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Teachers in pursuit of learning

The editorial “New deal for teachers: they must be paid higher salaries” (Oct 6) rightly observes that teachers who are as much affected by inflationary pressure and stagnant pay scales as other sections cannot be ignored any more. Two questions arise in this context. First, is the pay hike as proposed enough? And second, does it place us on a par with others in public employment?

Successive commissions have failed to examine why a teacher teaching the same course in an affiliated college as a teacher in a university department in the same university and possessing equivalent qualifications should not receive the same salary. In the states, teachers are less fortunately placed. Clearly, the new pay structure will be a subject of protracted struggle.

The UGC has failed to check corruption and complacency in the universities which, in turn, have failed to enforce the rule of law in the affiliated colleges in regard to appointments, service conditions and conduct of teachers to their detriment. But laws are for lesser mortals.

Parity with all-India services is a low aim for the teaching profession. The pursuit of learning and dissemination has rewards beyond parities and hierarchical equivalence. Teachers must realise their duties and strive for the students’ welfare.



If the government approves the pay hike recommended by the UGC’s Pay Review Committee as also raise the retirement age for college and university teachers, there will be a dearth of talented and intelligent people everywhere — administration, judiciary, engineering, medical, army, police, media, etc.

Everyone will opt for teaching — a more relaxed job with good pay, less working hours, lots of holidays, freedom to participate in politics or any other activity. Now, there is a competition between the committees and commissions to recommend the pay hike of those on the payroll of the government.

Is there anyone in the government or Opposition who can dare talk about the drastic and qualitative changes in the work culture following the hefty pay hike? Sadly, our country has turned into a highly insensitive welfare state.

KAAJAL TIWARI, Motihari (Bihar)

Illogical stand

National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan has rejected the demand for judicial inquiry into New Delhi’s Batla House (Jamia Nagar) police encounter on the ground that it would adversely affect the morale of the police.

To Mr Narayanan, the morale of the police is so important that he totally condoned police atrocities and excesses which tantamount to the gravest violation and contravention of human rights. Such views are quite in conformity with the typical bureaucracy which is blind, deaf and dumb to the aspirations and feelings of the people.

Dr M. HASHIM KIDWAI, Former MP, New Delhi


The clamour of a few NGOs financed by dubious sources, sidelined politicians and the mercenary media channels to suspect every act of the special task force as a fake encounter seems to be disapproved at the national level. The personnel entrusted with the onus of nabbing the extremists are defenders of freedom and deserve to be adored as national heroes.


Travel agents

I read K.R. Wadhwaney’s Aviation notes on the theme, “Air travel to cost more” (Oct 5). He has projected fare hike further to be increased to burden the traveller by 5 per cent commission to travel agents. Travel agent is a service provider who helps curtail the direct cost of airline.

By rendering service on behalf of the airlines, he held reduce the staff cost and other related burden on the carrier. It is because of the airlines run in the rat race while competing with each other that the passengers are harassed with rising taxes.

If a lawyer, doctor or engineer has to be paid his fee, why not a travel agent who plans movements of people? Don’t curse the travel service provider who also earns valuable foreign exchange for the country while promoting India as a holiday destination to tourists in and out of the country.

S.P. AERY, Gurgaon

Karva Chauth with a difference

When women across the country observed fast on Karva Chauth on October 17, praying a long life for their husbands, the Chandigarh Traffic Police celebrated it with a difference. It presented gifts to women using helmets for their long life. Indeed, it was a fine gesture.

The purpose of organising the helmet awareness programme on that day was to make the use of helmet a daily habit for everyone for safety while driving. It would be appropriate if the police emulated this practice by organising such camps in all the villages, towns and cities for spreading awareness about the traffic rules, road safety and discipline.




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