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Make PU a Central university

I read Prof Shelly Walia’s article about conferring Central University status to Panjab University, Chandigarh. It is a reasonable plea, which the Punjab government should support without making it a political issue.

Panjab University is already a university by the Act of Parliament and not by the act of the Punjab Assembly, as is the case with Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar or Punjabi University, Patiala. The Vice-President of India is its Chancellor by designation and not the Governor of Punjab, as in the case of other universities. In fact, the Centre on its own can amend the Act in Parliament to grant Central University status to Panjab University, as it has done in the case of Allahabad University.

The writer aptly argued that being the country’s fourth oldest university with a good academic standing, it would grow further with liberal Central funding rather than being starved off by the Punjab government occasionally by denying its 40 per cent share of budgetary allocation. Not only staff but students too have to gain most as practically every student of Central universities is covered by some scholarship or financial support.

To safeguard the interests of Punjab and Punjabi language, the Punjab government can ask the Centre to make a special provision for these studies in the Act. Also the university can be renamed as Shaheed Bhagat Singh Panjab University, Chandigarh, as demanded by the Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA). It would give political support to Punjab’s claim over Chandigarh City as well.

The Punjab government, Union Minister of State for Finance Pawan Kumar Bansal, who is also Chandigarh MP should support this justifiable issue.

Prof CHAMAN LAL, Centre of Indian Languages, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi


Injustice to jawans

The Sixth Central Pay Commission has downgraded defence officers. The Army wins the wars for us. The most important morale boosting factors are a fat salary, faster promotion and fashionable uniform. All the three factors are missing.

Today, guards wear the uniform standing outside the shops. Over 90 per cent officers having remained Lieutenant-Colonel (now Colonel) for 26 years, get the salary of a Major/ time-scale Lieutenant-Colonel (now revised to Colonel) with no further prospect of promotion.

Is it not demoralising for defence officers to be considered a Major-General with 33 years of service which an IAS officer gets it after 18 years of service? An integrated pay scale from a Lieutenant to a Major-General may be considered with faster promotion. And the pension should be 50 per cent of the last pay drawn, not rank wise.

Dr B. R. PARUTHI, Chandigarh


It is heartening that the Sixth Pay Commission has increased the pay scales and allowances considerably, but with a focus on performance. Reduction of general holidays is a right step; offices shall remain open throughout the year except Saturdays and Sundays and three national holidays.

For pensioners also, enhancement is praiseworthy. But one amendment is required. Pension should be enhanced @ 5 per cent at 65 years, 10 per cent at 70, 15 per cent at 75 and 20 per cent at 80 years and above as decided earlier. Please give this benefit of pension to those who are 65 years and above.

S. K. MITTAL, Panchkula


It is not yet clear whether there would be a 40 per cent hike in the pension of Central government employees. Will this hike be effective from January 1, 2006 or January 1, 2008?

I am a freedom fighter, drawing a monthly pension of Rs 10,000 besides Rs 3,000 from the Punjab government. Will freedom fighters like me also get the benefit of 40 per cent hike in their pension and, if so, from which date it will be effective?

P. N. KAPUR, Mundi (Kharar)

Reduce workload

These days in India, everyone at the drop of a brick wishes to get his/her case probed by the CBI or decided by no less than the Supreme Court. They even try to seek the intervention of the President of India. Apparently, people have lost faith in the lower functionaries, who need to be pulled up for their inefficiency.

The CBI or the Supreme Court should accept or consider only those cases which are of national importance or security. This will reduce their workload and the people will stop undermining the importance of these high institutions.

BRIJ RAJ, Mississauga (Canada)


Scrap the system of orderlies

The system of orderlies in the Army is being misused and exploited and at times leaves a bad taste between officers and men in uniform (“Officers and orderlies” by Brig Harwant Singh, March 26). It is a British legacy in the Army and not in the IAF where I worked for nine years in the early sixties.

In the IAF, Airmen have their own civilian orderlies for the same job in the Army where a combatant is provided to the officer in the border area. In the peace area too, combatants are provided for this job, but the officers’ families engage them in odd jobs like washing clothes, bringing vegetables from market, etc.

The work culture in the Army and the IAF is different because Army jawans are less educated and less conscious about their rights compared with Airmen. Further, the Army discipline is more salute-oriented but Airmen pay due respect with more consideration for work and efficiency; the IAF officers are less bothered about their daily quota of salutes.

If a jawan refuses to work as an orderly, officers harass him with more work, issue bad reports and deny him a promotion. All this results in bad blood among the officers and the jawans. The Army would do well to scrap this system of orderlies forthwith.

BALDEV SINGH CHAUDHARY, Ex-Corporal, Ambala Cantonment



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