Jind deserves Central university

In the Union Budget, the Centre has proposed 16 Central universities in the states. Haryana has no Central university. Jind deserves one because it is centrally located.

Moreover, Jind is a most backward district. It has low sex ratio, low literacy rate and big gender gap in literacy. The literacy rate in this district is 58.5 per cent as against 63.2 per cent in the state. Literacy is asymmetrically distributed among the sexes in this district. The female literacy rate is just 48.5 per cent while the male literacy rate is 73.8 per cent. Thus, the gender gap is as high as 25.3 per cent!

Jind also has the dubious distinction of being one of the 10 districts in India with the lowest sex ratio in the 0-6 age group in urban areas according to Census 2001.  The urban sex ratio in 0-6 age group in this district is as low as 775 while in rural areas it is 828. The adult sex ratio in this age group is  818 to 1000 males. A Central university will step up development in a big way. Kurukshetra University has already acquired some land for its PG Regional Centre at Jind. This centre can be upgraded to a Central university.

Reader (Social Work), Punjabi University, Patiala


A noble scheme

The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’s mission is to universalise the elementary education. No doubt, it has done a good job so far. It has a clear timeframe for providing quality basic education. The SSA’s main objective was to complete five years of primary schooling by 2007 and eight years of elementary schooling by 2010.

Its goal is to provide a convergent framework for implementation of elementary education schemes with budgetary provision. Funds released since 2002 in Punjab were utilised in building 8916 classrooms, 16928 toilets, 107 block resource centres and 600 cluster resource centres.

Under this scheme, in primary and upper primary schools, 49152 special needy children were helped. Tricycles, hearing aids and artificial limbs have been provided to them. Free books, mid-day meal centres and vocational scheme are SSA’s essential features.

However, a lot more needs to be done. Lakhs of children are still out of the school system. There is a lack of commitment in the teachers who should be motivated to make SSA a success.

B.R. SINGH, Budhlada

Payment for wheat

I read the news-item, “Sell wheat directly to FCI”. True, the Punjab government does not want to annoy the arhtiyas. It has already issued a notification regarding the payment of produce to farmers through account payee cheque. But now under pressure from arhtiyas, it does not want to implement the decision.

Keeping in view the condition of debt-ridden farmers, direct payment should be made for their produce. Hundreds of crores are pocketed by arhityas every year who are also moneylenders, charging a very high interest rate. With the help of the police and their musclemen, they harass poor farmers which is the main cause of the increasing number of suicides.


Cleaning up canals

It is good that for the first time after Independence, the Punjab government has undertaken the responsibility of revamping the dilapidated canal system. The strengthening of embankment measuring 25 per km and the removal of silt and hyacinth cost the government Rs 25 crore.

Admittedly, collective efforts can work wonders. The government’s Rs 3243-crore plan for repairing of the canals is welcome. I agree that there is need for a mass movement in this regard. Sant Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal has revived the Kali Bein by removing the silt and hyacinth from it and strengthening the 160-km embankment with voluntary efforts of his disciples and admirers.

The Baba has spent less than Rs 1 crore for this gigantic task. Let all the saints in different regions of Punjab and Haryana come forward to emulate Sant Seechwal’s example.


Of RTI and good governance

The RTI has created a ripple in the Chandigarh Administration. It has taken a retrograde decision to hike the fee for seeking information under the Right to Information Act.

Apparently, there are two reasons for this. One, the information sought from the administration most of the time turns out to be an embarrassment for obvious reasons. And two, non-compliance of the Act attracts a heavy fine. In other words, the administrative setup is being made accountable to the general public, at least on this count, for the first time.

Had a similar strict clause of accountability been there in the general working of every section of the government — the legislature, the executive and the judiciary — the vision of “good governance” would not have been a mirage. Still, it is not too late.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

Flats in Panchkula

The Housing Board of Haryana invited applications from the public along with huge earnest money for the allotment of 170 flats in Sector 20, Panchkula. The scheme opened on 5.11.2007 and closed on 30.11.2007. The number of applications received was 30 times of the number of flats. The reservation for the allotment was available as per the board policy and the spillover flats were to go to the general pool in case of insufficient applications in any reserved category.

Surprisingly, the Housing Board again opened the scheme from 25.2.2008 to 10.3.2008, three months after the closure of the scheme obviously with mala fide intentions.

I request the authorities concerned not to consider the applications received by the board after the actual closing date. Moreover, when the number of applicants was already much higher than the flats available, one fails to understand the latest act of the Housing Board.

S.S. GOEL, member,
Distt Public Relations & Grievances Committee, Panchkula

Why this disparity?

Investments in the Post Office and PPF accounts are being covered by one lucky coupon for every investment of Rs 5,000. However, this time, the Punjab government has shown a step-motherly treatment to those investors who had invested in October and November 2007 by not providing them the coupons. Early action is solicited.

M.M. SACHDEVA, Ferozepur City



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