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Keep a check on education ombudsman

The appointment of an ombudsman in every recognised institution of higher education is a welcome step as suggested in the editorial Ombudsman for education’ (January 18). It will provide an intra-institutional platform to the suffering student community to register their grievances and seek redressal. Let us hope that the grievances related to ragging (in spite of the various regulations in place) are also brought under the purview of the ombudsman.

But the very purpose of creating of an ombudsman may be defeated if the government does not put in place some mechanism to oversee its functioning. For example, the office of insurance ombudsman in Chandigarh has been rendered dysfunctional for the last four months because of the post lying vacant. To get the desired results, intent must be complemented with implementation.

Prof YP MAKKER, Malout


Leaking of exam papers as mentioned in the editorial Leaking exam papers (January 18) is a vicious attempt for fast gains without the requisite capability. The remedy to the problem lies in making the system extraordinarily full-proof. Question banks should be prepared and examination papers should be set using IT tools just an hour before candidates take up their examination. Minimising mediators and reducing time span from paper setting to commencement of examinations can help a lot in checking the malpractice.

Because of such malpractices, square pegs manage to get fixed in round holes. The deserving fail to make it with seats being filled by the less deserving. Students lose faith in the examination system. It conveys a wrong message to the students that the road to success passes not only through books but through misdeeds like paying bribe to pass exams.


Symbolic value

Every political party is allotted a symbol to mark its distinct identity. So it should be taken symbolically, not literally. To claim its physical form borders on political naivety. Scores of elephant statues in UP were not sculptured and installed in a day. Covering the statues of elephants for a month or so will not make much difference.

The editorialPoll panel is right (January 17) is quite an eye-opener. Just before elections, the statues installed at massive public cost in the big Indian state of UP has taken centre stage. The political parties are merely shadow-boxing to garner votes. The Election Commission should also take note of the Congress flag/symbol, which resembles our national flag very much. The only distinction between the two is the hand on one and the Ashok Chakra on the other, in the middle white stripe.

SS BENIWAL, Chandigarh


While the directive of the Chief Election Commissioner regarding covering of all the statutes of elephants has come as a bolt from the blue to Mayawati, it has brought cheer on the faces of leaders of all the opposition parties in UP. It is an irony that none of the several constitutional authorities was able to put a full stop on the wasteful expenditure made in the guise of beautification, when it was being spent for possible political gain by the BSP.

The huge amount spent on the so-called beautification could have been used for welfare activities. BSP is defending itself by saying that the tusk of elephant statues point upwards in a welcome position whereas in the party symbol, the tusks point downward and so have nothing to do with party symbol.


Respect history

The Dagshai Cantt, one of the oldest cantonments in our country, is not as lively as the other tourist towns of Shimla and Kasauli. But it holds within itself a rich, enchanting and vast history of the British era.

It houses the Dagshai Jail, once visited by Mahatma Gandhi; 3 cemeteries of the British period, Sadar Bazaar of the British time and of course Marrie Rebecca’s grave. The middle Rebecca’s grave (January 17) was interesting and generated awareness. APS Dagshai, a ‘military farm’ and many houses that are more than 100-years old are the other landmarks of this sleepy hamlet.

During the weekend, visitors from Chandigarh and adjacent areas, visit this silent hillock, not to mingle with its serene surroundings but to loiter and litter around. Many people fag and booze in and around the cemeteries. Everyone has access to these historical sites.

The Dagshai Jail has been renovated recently and has been taken over by the Army. Anyone can visit the place without paying any entry charges. Respect for these places can be generated but care of historical places should come from within.

ANJALI SHARMA, Dagshai Cantt

Moral critique

The conscience of the general public never singes when they grease the palm of the ‘sarkari babus’ when they want to get their work done. If a right thinking person raises an objection to the ‘chalta hai’ syndrome, he is ridiculed as being foolish, one who lives in a fool’s paradise and lacks awareness of what ‘life’ is.

But the current flood of anti-corruption rhetoric has awakened the element of guilt in the sub-conscience of those people who ignore an honest person’s advice. The present anti-corruption chant may perhaps be intelligible in this perspective.

The stink and moral rot of corruption suddenly came into sharp focus due to Anna Hazare’s fasts and obdurate stance. We can cool down the ‘fashionable’ critics of corruption into silence by adopting an elementary but most effective weapon against it. Moral critique is the most incisive knife which shreds into pieces the phenomenon of amorality.

AKHILESH, Paonta Sahib (HP)

What a meeting!

After reading the middle ‘Remarkable Sardars’ we realise how nice it feels to come in contact with great people suddenly, without any plan. Somebody rightly summed it up, we learn more from people as compared to books.

A single conversation with a wise man across the table is worth a month’s study of books. Definitely it is. It depends on us how we find ways to learn something from everyone we meet and surely if we start learning this way, we will be benefited.


Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030. Letters can also be sent by e-mail to: Letters@ tribuneindia.com

— Editor-in-Chief



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