SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Teachers must focus only on teaching

The Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) was started in many states and Union Territories with great fanfare. In Himachal Pradesh, it has failed to achieve the desired results. Instead of improving the standard of education, it has taken the teacher far away from the student.

The teacher is always busy in attending seminars and workshops. If the conferences are conducted on holidays, the teacher is entitled to compensatory leave, the net result being the loss of precious teaching hours in the school.

There is need for an open debate on the merits and demerits of the SSA. In my college days, there was an English essay in our syllabus by Prof Leacock in which he had a dream to set an ideal college. According to him, in his college, the teacher will only teach and no other job will be assigned to him. But here the position is otherwise -- the teacher is assigned all kinds of duties except teaching! The government should ensure that the teacher remains in the class always. Only then, we can expect quality education.

SANTOSH KUMAR JAMWAL, Chauki Jamwal, (Hamirpur)


 

Train to Amritsar

The train service from Chandigarh to Amritsar has been discontinued because of the lack of passengers. The train service failed as it takes longer for one to reach Amritsar and hence is inconvenient.

A new track has been laid from Chandigarh to Morinda. The Morinda-Sirhind track is already in use. The people of Chandigarh and neighbourhood are keen to travel by train to Amritsar and other cities en-route. The authorities should introduce trains from Chandigarh to Amritsar via Morinda. It will have good occupancy, be economical and ease congestion on the road. The people should not be made to wait for too long till the completion of the Morinda-Ludhiana track.

K.S. HOTHI, Chandigarh

 

Tackle the menace of stray dogs

With over one lakh stray dogs in Amritsar city alone, dog bites are on the rise. One lane in the Holy City has been christened “Kuttian Wali Gali”. Technology and resources are available to reduce the stray dog population. Effective coordination between the Animal Husbandry and Health departments and the Municipal Corporation together with the active cooperation of the communities are a must to tackle the problem.

In an article, “Deaths from rabies: A disgrace and a challenge” in The Tribune (Oct 29, 2006), this writer examined the problem at length. This was based on how policies and strategies being followed successfully in other countries tried to motivate stakeholders in India to reduce the number of dog bites and death from rabies. Over the last 10 years, deaths reported in the country were between 25,000 and 30,000.

As this has become a major problem in Amritsar city, I appeal to Navjot Singh Sidhu, MP, and all others concerned to use their good offices to tackle the menace. Dog bylaws of Amritsar may need revision. The Centre and the states may need to deliberate on making the existing laws on protecting animals from cruelty, less stringent and more sensitive to human health and safety.

SATNAM SINGH, Chandigarh

PU’s star alumni

The list of the alumni stars honoured during the diamond jubilee by my alma mater Panjab University, made interesting reading. Apart from Ministers and MPs, former VCs who were only doing their job while in service, a university librarian, a Home Ministry official, and a research centre head, there were many others. Did the VC form a jury for selection and who were on it?

Distinguished sportsmen, writers, artists, historians and outstanding members of the judiciary and armed forces seem to have been left out. They should have been honoured too. In the entire list, one did not find a single alumnus named after a Singh whom the university considered suitable for recognition.

PU is a university of Panjab for namesake. The establishment’s attachment and heart are more with the Centre in New Delhi. Why is the PU Chancellor the Vice-President of India and not the Punjab Governor? While the Punjab government must sanction adequate funds to PU, the university must be released from the stranglehold of the Centre and the UGC. In any case, the PU’s star alumni list needs to be updated.

Maj-Gen HIMMAT SINGH GILL (retd), Chandigarh

Chandigarh posting

Why do bureaucrats prefer to remain in Chandigarh or try to return there soon? The answer is simplistic. Unlike in the states, there is minimal political interference here and they can run every department according to their whim. No wonder, a number of departments in Chandigarh are without rightful heads.

For example, unlike in Punjab and Haryana, whose rules the Chandigarh UT Administration supposedly follows, the post of DPI (Colleges) did not return to the teachers’ community after 1976. Why? These officers, holding too many top posts, keep complaining of overwork!

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

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