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Private funding will boost education

I agree with the views expressed in the editorial, “The more the merrier: Himachal lures private universities” (July 21). Private universities can certainly help the government in providing higher education to a large section of the population that will be deprived of it in their absence. If we think of the ‘cut-offs’ this season in some of the colleges in Delhi, we will agree that not all students will be able to fulfil their desire of higher education. More private colleges will allow these students to seek higher education.

This is already happening. Students, who do not have a brilliant academic record, have managed to get admission in private universities and are doing well. Without the services of these universities, the country will not able to provide educational opportunities to many students. Only a few students make it to the premier institutions every year.

Moreover, if “education is a thriving business”, let it be. If we require better infrastructure, funds will be required. This will become possible if money is invested in this sector. There is nothing wrong with private funding so long as better and quality education, good placement services and a favourable atmosphere for education are provided. The government can, in such a situation, use its limited resources to provide education in the neglected areas.



The editorial, ‘’The more, the merrier‘’ (July 21), presents a balanced assessment of the increase in number of private universities in Himachal Pradesh. While welcoming the trend, the editorial rightly warns the state government against the misuse of the land being allotted to such private education providers. These private universities are targeting only those districts of the state that have better infrastructure. The hilly districts like Lahaul & Spiti, Kinnaur, Kullu, Chamba, etc, are being neglected. If the quality of education and market-dictated courses are offered, there is no doubt this will benefit the local students and will attract students from other states as well. Let us not make this state another Bihar, where hundreds of private universities had to be closed due to mismanagement and poor quality of education.

Er LR SHARMA, Sundernagar (HP)

Lurking danger

This refers to the editorial, “Threat to dams” (July 21). The recent report saying that the 225-metre high Bhakra Dam is on the latest hit list of Pakistan-based terrorist outfits is a matter of grave concern. Any harm brought to this dam will be a catastrophe for the region. One wonders why it takes such a warning for the authorities to start taking action. We always wait for the inevitable to happen and then discuss the whole issue with our experts. Our priority should always be to provide adequate security to such vital installations.

I agree with the view that other dams may be equally vulnerable. The government must act quickly.


Sports stadia

After the doping scandal, now we read the news that sports stadia are being used for parties and not for sporting activities (editorial, “Against the spirit of sport”, July 20). It is unfortunate in a country that has so many sports lovers. There are some unscrupulous elements that can do anything to earn money. It is true that we give more preference to cricket, but that is because other sports are ignored. What is the future of sports in any country, which allows its stadia to be used for fun and parties?

No doubt, we are lagging far behind other countries. I cannot conceive of this happening in a country like the US or even China. It is a shame for all of us. When our countrymen compete with international champions, we expect them to do well. If sportspersons do not get sports venues for practice throughout the year, how will they compete at the highest level? Now, the government cannot be blamed for all our ‘sins’. We should not spoil our stadia by using their infrastructure for parties. We should also not allow others to do so.


Education system

This refers to the article “Impart practical knowledge” (July 19). I fully agree with the writer that children are under stress of getting more marks, and coaching centres are minting money. Parents try their best to make their children ‘marketable’. The parents should not be blamed, as they are the victims of our education system.


Public cooperation

It is a shame that the UPA government has failed to meet several targets such as improving the dismal sex ratio and reducing infant mortality rate (editorial, “Well-being of the poor”, July 20). As the editorial tells us, in immunisation, India’s record is worse than even that of Bangladesh and Pakistan. The reason, funds meant for these schemes have been diverted. This is what National Human Rights Commission officials tell us.

If this state of affairs continues, we will have to suffer despite paying taxes.

While it is true that it is not very simple even for the government to implement such ambitious schemes, there can be no excuses for lagging behind in immunisation. One can still understand that the dismal sex ratio has more to do with the society, and the mindset of the people cannot be changed very easily.

Therefore, it is essential that the government, the media, NGOs and Civil society work together to address these issues. No scheme can be successful unless we cooperate with the government.


A pet’s demise

The middle, “People for the dogs” (July 21) by Lieut-Gen Baljit Singh (retd), was interesting, but it had renewed our sorrow over the sudden death of our dog, Buzo, on July 4.

Though I had never kept a pet all my life, my son brought the puppy when he was sixteen. During the seven years that Buzo lived with us, we had risked our “heart to a dog to tear” despite Rudyard Kipling’s warning that “...when we are certain of sorrow in store, why do we always arrange for more? ”

His death left us shell-shocked and we felt as if a family member had died or a part of us had gone away with him. If my son Simran and daughter Anu wept inconsolably, my wife Daljit and I also could not hold back our tears for long. Buzo’s devotion and bonding were so deep that we buried him in our flowerbed, and planted a sapling on the mound. Then we went to the Golden Temple, Amritsar, to pray.




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