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M. Phil: need for entrance test

Since the UGC’s decision to do away with the NET as a compulsory criterion for the appointment of a college lecturer, there has been a mad rush amonmg students to do M. Phil. An M. Phil degree holder will now be eligible to apply for a college lecturer’s post.

Various institutions that offer degrees through distances education are busy minting money by offering M.Phil to one and all irrespective of their percentage or any entrance exam. The seats are unlimited!

The newspapers carry advertisements luring the aspirants to study M.Phil through their respective institutions. Ironically, these so-called temples of learning are also offering M. Phil in sciences and what is more, the students don’t have to attend the classes regularly! The institutions charge hefty fees and guarantee success in any course sans any worry. Where does the worth and sanctity of degrees lie when everything is served on a platter?

Recently, the UGC decided to admit students in M.Phil and Ph.D through entrance tests only. It is a welcome step. All the universities across the country should strictly follow this criterion for admissions in M.Phil and Ph.D so that the hard working candidates get the advantage.

Dr VINOD K. CHOPRA, Hamirpur (HP)


Garden in distress

During a visit to Nehru Rose Garden, Ludhiana, recently, I was shocked to see its precarious condition. The beds meant for growing roses were found to be occupied with other kind of annuals. This is a sad state of affairs. Either the garden should be maintained as a complete rose garden by growing wide variety of roses or its name be changed to simply a garden.

In case the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is facing financial crunch, the funds can be arranged by involving NGOs, social organisations and individual donors to maintain the lost glory of the Nehru Rose Garden.

Dr Y.R. CHANANA, Former Head, Horticulture (PAU), Ludhiana

Armed forces

I appreciate Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assurance on Monday to do justice to the defence and police personnel. The Sixth Pay Commission consisting of IAS officers has demoralised us. Its Chairman, Justice B.N. Srikrishna, was carried away by the members’ suggestions and didn’t give due attention to the pressing demands of the services. Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and Defence Minister A.K. Antony have dubbed the report as “pro-IAS”.

The edit “Discomfort in uniform” (April 1) suggested ways to rectify the anomalies in the pay panel report. We hope the review by the Committee of Secretaries (who are all IAS officers again!) would not be an eyewash. If due justice is not accorded to the defence and police personnel, it would be a sad day for the nation as psychologically their output would deteriorate.

Col S.K. LAMBA (retd), Panchkula


The review of the pay panel report by the Committee of Secretaries is welcome. However, this committee’s findings may be more or less similar to those of the Sixth Pay Commission. For these members (just like those in the Sixth Pay Commission) have no first-hand experience of a soldier’s work in forward hostile areas, those infested by insurgency and under the shadow of bullets.

The bureaucracy in India, with an incorrigible superiority complex, was allowed to grow by incompetent and over-dependent politicians and their own lust for remaining above all may not allow a rationale outlook. Shall we wait to see if this panel can prove our fears wrong?

Brig M.M.S. DATTA (retd), Ambala Cantonment


The Committee of Secretaries has been asked to submit its report within two months. Propriety demands that at least one member from the aggrieved cadre should also be included in this committee. The raw deal to the defence personnel is deplorable. A demoralised force will be a liability and not an asset to the nation. A nation’s strength depends upon a highly professional force.

The fast depletion of officers’ strength in the defence forces is a matter of concern. More worrying is the youth’s mindset; they are not interested to join the forces. That is why the NDA, the IMA and the OTA have not been able to draw the sanctioned strength. The sooner we address the problem, the better it would be for the nation.



Toll tax hike unjustified

I would like to highlight the CAG’s revelation of the toll tax racket in Punjab. Something similar has happened in Haryana also. Until two months ago, the toll tax rate at the Unchana lake barrier was Rs 35 only, but it has been simply doubled to Rs 70!

Normally, after a period of time, the toll tax is supposed to be withdrawn when the expenditure on the road or bridge has been met. There is absolutely no rationale in doubling the rate after considerable period of time. Will the authorities please restore the status quo ante?




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