L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Time to encourage research-oriented education

The editorial, “Education Reforms: Need for reality check” (September 13), rightly raises an important question related to quality of education. Establishing degree-printing universities and colleges mainly for profit not only raises questions about the standard of education but also compounds problems related to lack of job opportunities in public and private sectors, unemployment and underemployment of graduates/diploma holders, and inadequate vocational and entrepreneurial skills for self-employment. Such problems can be addressed only when education institutions produce skilled, competent and employable graduates.

The economy should also develop the potential to absorb them suitably. In this context we must consider the need for raising the standards of our existing education and research institutions. The role of higher education institutions, particularly the universities, should not be restricted to transfer of knowledge through classroom teaching and award of degrees. These institutions should play a bigger role in knowledge creation through active research to develop new technologies for agricultural and industrial development of the country.

The questions pertaining to good faculty and fair selection systems are fundamental. Academic leaders and administrators need to debate and address these issues.

Dr V R PARSHAD, Ludhiana


The editorial, “Education reforms: Need for reality check” (September 13), is an apt rendering of the existing educational situation in a suggestive mould. Higher education is directly linked with school education. Certain developments at the level of school education, like the introduction of the Right to Education and the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, are likely to give a push to enrolment in higher education. It makes more demands on higher education of better quality.

Though school education forms the bedrock of the whole edifice of education, it also does not appear to be in a happy state. Governance, teachers’ training and monitoring are at low ebb. Poor infrastructure and illusive outcomes, especially in government schools, hardly beg any description. The government should accord due priority to financial investment, at least 6% of the GDP, administration and planning, including supervision and teachers’ training.

Dr S KUMAR, Panchkula

Advani’s yatra

Despite the Congress getting deeper into an unfathomable morass of scams, the BJP took fatally long time to get the albatross of its Chief Minister in Karnataka, off its neck.  Ostensibly for a few bypoll seats and municipal elections, if not the sheer clout of the mining lobby, the BJP endured Yeddyurappa for too long.

On the contrary, it found itself stymied by a wily Congress, which by compulsion or choice, was seen to be acting on the scams. The Bellary brothers have now robbed the BJP of even the last vestiges of a fig leaf for moral cover. Given Nitin Gadkari’s “I know the best” style of functioning, the party is ill-equipped to find a solution to the problems, largely of its own making.

The first Advani yatra was at a time when the nation had just embarked on economic reforms. Today a flourishing 9% economy has millions of stakeholders, who are keen to see the economy grow. As such neither the earlier movement nor a sure-win issue can be reinvented. Anna Hazare has stolen the thunder of anti-corruption plank, and Advani can now ride only on its echo. Worse, if he intends to use it to score brownie points within a drifting BJP leadership. This yatra’s failure may not affect Advani much. But it would be a body blow to the BJP, that too, on the threshold of vital elections to the UP Assembly.

R NARAYANAN, Ghaziabad  

Preventable accidents

On September 13, the Jalandhar edition of The Tribune highlighted the tragic death of Babita (23), in an accident at Rama Mandi Chowk. The traffic there is in chaos because of the construction of an overbridge, which is taking a very long time.

Similarly, the roads in most of the colonies were dug up two years back. The sewer and water pipes have been laid, but manholes are lying uncovered. The plight of the residents of these areas has been repeatedly highlighted through the columns of your esteemed newspaper, but to no avail.

The flats promised to class III category of employees at Mohali, for which the allottees have deposited the required amount, are nowhere in sight. Let the state prove that it is responsive to people’s needs and speed up the construction jobs and save lives that may be lost in accidents due to unsafe conditions of roads near construction sites.

Dr L R SHARMA, Jalandhar City

Eco-friendly festivities

The Ganesh Utsav is just over. Nearly 1.5 lakh idols of Lord Ganesha were immersed in Mumbai alone. Similarly, during Durga Puja thousands of idols of Maa Durga are immersed in the Ganga and other rivers. This pollutes the waters endangering the life of the species. Could we go in for small size idols that cause negligible pollution and also not hurt our faith?

Lord Rama killed Ravana centuries ago. We repeat the ritual every year on Dussehra to commemorate the victory of good over evil. Despite this, Ravana lives on within us. If we kill Ravana, the evil within us, there will perhaps be no need to burn his effigy every year that pollutes the environment.

We celebrate Diwali or Guru Nanak Dev’s birthday with fireworks. It causes pollution and even injuries, sometimes fatal, to children. Surely, we can find better ways to celebrate.

Other religions are also not free from such rituals. I think it is time to change over to an eco-friendly method of celebrating festivals, but without hurting one’s religious sentiments.

Wg-Cdr CL SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

Changing attitude

B K Karkra’s middle, “Conditions apply!” (September 2), is interesting and thought-provoking. It has rightly brought the pertinent issue of corruption to our notice. Corruption is, indeed, deep-rooted in our society. Anna’s movement got overwhelming support of the people because he dared to act against corruption.

However, corruption is not confined to politicians and bureaucrats only. It is also found in the private sector. The writer, in the middle, is an advocate, and he manages to convince the consumer forum regarding the merits of his case. But it may not be easy to fight against a corrupt system.

But the problem is not that of corruption alone. It is our belief that people, in general, act for selfish motives, and nothing can change in this country. Anna’s movement has sent a strong message to all of us to come out of this cynicism and act against corruption. For this a social awareness campaign may help in mobilizing people to fight against corruption.

ANJU D ANAND, Chambaghat



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