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PGI’s promotion mantra: Publish or perish

It is high time we had a serious relook into the process of appointments and promotions of faculty in institutes of higher learning in general and the PGI, Chandigarh, in particular. In a teaching medical institute like the PGI, ideally the overall worth of a faculty member should be assessed in three spheres --- clinical work, teaching and research.

In the absence of objective criteria for the first two, the number of publications or research grants obtained seems to be used as a parameter for promotions. It may be unfair to assess faculty from different departments with the same yardstick. For instance, clinical faculty overburdened with patient load and surgical responsibilities is definitely at a disadvantage as compared to their peers in non-clinical departments. Even within the same department, inequitable availability of research time and resources due to several factors is well known.

At the end of the day, it does not matter how good a clinician or teacher one is, since the work output in these areas does not carry any weight.

The mantra “publish or perish” breeds insecurity in the minds of the faculty forcing them into a frenetic rat race of  getting material published by all means even at the cost of compromising on quality of research and relegating teaching and patient care to the back seat.

In many teaching hospitals in the West, these problems have been overcome by creating different channels viz. research, teaching, clinical care to suit the core competence of individual faculty members. Not doing so and using a single criterion, that too flawed and arbitrary, is sure to frustrate the hard working faculty and further increase brain drain to the private sector. Not taking cognisance of the problem area and blaming it purely on lure of the lucre is not the right solution.


Stop Army VRS

Earlier a career in the armed forces was a clear-cut choice, almost a passion (news report “Hundreds of officers leaving armed forces”, May 10). Those opting for it were imbued with patriotic fervour to serve the country. Accepting the fact that a job in the armed forces is in no way less lucrative, the voluntary retirement scheme should be outrightly done away with. Only persons with the right aptitude should be selected. To inculcate the spirit of patriotism in students, tales of military bravery should be included in the school syllabi.

DS KANG, Hoshiarpur

Issues ignored

The editorial ‘Missing Children’ (May18) and the news report ‘5, 5470 children missing since 2009’ (May 16) are a shocking pointer to the callous indifference of our politicians, the police and the administration towards missing children. The data put up by the Home Ministry did not ignite seriousness of the parliamentarians for deliberation since it remained busy in the cartoon politics. No one can imagine the state of mind of parents of these children.

Surely, these missing children belong to poor strata of the society. Had any VIP child gone missing, the police and government machinery would be activated .Let there be better coordination between the police of all states. The police should be alerted at all checkpoints at roads and railway stations when any case of a missing child is reported.

B B GOYAL, Ludhiana

Dignity lost

Due to the low standard of behaviour of parliamentarians, public faith in the institution of Parliament has suffered much erosion as pointed out in the editorial ‘60 years of Parliament’ (May 15). It was an institution which enjoyed dignity and glory owing to benign presence of parliamentarians like Ram Manohar Lohia, Atal Bihar Vajpayee, HV Kamath, Nath Pai, Surinder Diwedi and those of their ilk. The Parliament reflected the mood of the public and represented the aspirations of the masses. But now it has been reduced to a mere edifice where scamsters are protected, personal interests are safeguarded, falsehood is practiced, malpractices are legitimised and truth is snuffed. Most of the parliamentarians look upon themselves as demi-gods.

Prof IQBAL SINGH, Jalandhar

Restore agents’ fee

After the agents’ commission was withdrawn, common people, especially senior citizens have been facing a lot of difficulty in PO (post office) deposit. There is no help available for filling forms and for other formalities. The Finance Minister must restore the agents’ commission and help the public to facilitate deposit schemes which would increase the number of small savings deposits as well. Due to lack of agents’ help, people are reluctant to go in for PO schemes.


Release DA

Punjab government pensioners and employees are eagerly awaiting the release of January 2012 DA installment which has already been granted by the central government and the Haryana government to their employees. The Punjab government should also release the same at the earliest.

BM RAWLLEY, Zirakpur

Breaking the nexus

The High Court has shown great care for the City Beautiful by prohibiting construction of tall buildings or 19-storeyed sky-scrapers which the Tatas were building for influential politicians and bureaucrats (news report, "HC halts construction around Sukhna", May 15). The nexus between politicians, bureaucrats and business houses has been broken. The HC has finally asked Punjab, Haryana and UT Administration to stop the construction of any such building around Sukhna Lake and take immediate steps to demolish any construction.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Help from consumer courts

Civic authorities are legally bound to supply clean drinking water to its residents and failure to do so is a clear cut case of deficiency in service within the ambit of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The affected Zirakpur residents as mentioned in the news report ‘Residents get muddy water’ (Chandigarh Tribune, May 18) should approach the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum seeking directions to the authorities to do the needful alongwith grant of compensation.

The procedure is very simple. Any consumer himself can serve a notice on the concerned authorities for supply of clean drinking water, failing which he can go to the consumer court. You will find how effective and speedy this common man's law is.

H S WALIA, Chandigarh



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