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Pitfalls of university teaching

In his article, “Few opt for varsity teaching”, Prof Sucha Singh Gill has aptly said that because of the poor wages even the best universities are unable to attract high quality faculty. It is time university teachers were paid more for attracting fresh talent. Though teaching is an important profession, it is most neglected and ill-treated.

Every year, about 10,000 teachers are recruited to colleges and universities, which is 20 times more than the annual recruitment to the all-India and Central services. Unfortunately, however, these are not led by academic fountainheads or intellectual giants but by those with political clout. In the choice and assessment of faculty in these institutions, the highest principles and norms have not prevailed. To the traditional practices of nepotism and communalism, we have now added a new form of favouritism, namely, of choosing one’s cronies on the basis of political ideology.

Academics do not seem to have adequate awareness of their obligation to choose the right men and women for teaching and research and to set a model for other agencies in the states to follow. Where else shall the people look for probity and high quality? Privatisation and commercialisation of higher education has made a mess of total educational machinery. After all, privatisation, like the much-abused ‘autonomy’, is not a license to loot.


It is the duty to provide the right reasons for the quality of their work and the crucial role they are expected to play in our educational advancement. There is need for continuous review and assessment of professional excellence of these services as the teaching profession is cluttered with far too many people resting on withered laurels.

Dr ANIL BHATIYA, Dept of English, D.N. College, Hisar


Ask any child about his/her ambition. Pat comes the reply, any company. The reason?: excellent pay package. Prof Gill has rightly opined that to make teaching profession more attractive, the teachers should be paid handsome salaries.

Multinational companies, where salaries and perks are no constraints for the young and talented people, have reversed the gear for the teaching profession and added to the woes of falling standards. India churns out CAs, MBAs, doctors etc. but those responsible for making them are neglected just as pots are admired and not the potters.

Teachers appointed on ad hoc and contractual basis need due attention. They deserve financial and social security. Stringent measures are needed to make sick units healthy as also make teaching profession by choice and not by chance.

Dr S.K. BARIA, Head, Commerce Dept, SMDRSD College, Pathankot

Revised pension

The Sixth Pay Commission has totally ignored the pensioners’ welfare. Various associations have repeatedly represented to the panel for grant of 5 per cent DA at 65 years and 10 per cent at 75 years, but without taking them into confidence, it fixed the age of 80, 85, 90, 95 and 100. Why? It thought that a negligible number can reach the age of 80 and 85 years and none can reach 90, 95 and 100 years of age.

Again, this panel has framed an anti-pensioner’s formula to gradually reduce the DA from 15.5 per cent granted by the fifth panel; when it reaches 67 per cent granted by the fifth pay panel, the same will be reduced to 34 per cent as recommended by the sixth panel. Consequently, this has created a big gap between the recommendations of the fifth and sixth pay panels, adversely affecting the interest of the pensioners.

The sixth pay panel’s recommendations are unfair to pensioners who are already hard hit by the steep rise in the prices of essential commodities. The Centre would do well to rectify the recommendations and do justice to them.



Silos for Punjab

The suggestion for silos is most welcome. Punjab should build a chain of large-sized silos and godowns in rural and peri-urban areas for storing 5-6 million tonnes of foodgrains under controlled conditions. The state-run agencies can run silos professionally.

Farmers’ groups and panchayats should also be encouraged for installing silos of 20-100-tonne capacity at their levels. There the produce has to be graded, dried and stored with crop-specific controlled temperature, humidity and post-harvest sanitary and phyto-sanitary treatments for eliminating losses caused by insects, disease, etc, and conserving the quality of the produce.

A system should be evolved to help farmers sell their produce to these store houses/ silos at support or market price or deposit the produce with them and get advance payments or bank loan against the pledged stocks.

With credible quality assurance, the prospective domestic and global buyers will always prefer to purchase the material stored at the sites. The state government should play a significant role in establishing this system and other infrastructural facilities.

Dr M. S. BAJWA, (Former Director, Research, PAU), Mohali


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