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

Getting out of Centre’s shadow

Shifting of foodgrains from Punjab is not a permanent solution to the foodgrain storage crisis (news report “House resolution on grain storage”, June 29).It is futile to ask the Centre to create additional storage space in Punjab. A statement by Food & Supply Minister Adesh Pratap Singh Kairon will not alleviate the loss of precious foodgrains.

The FIFO (First In First Out) system in dispatching the stocks to the deficit states is not adhered to with the result the stocks stored for long get damaged. The decision to export wheat is a temporary solution. Construction of silos as per the recommendations of Dr Swaminathan at 150 places in India is not feasible because of heavy investment required and loss to the jute industry (gunny bags will no longer be required).

The government needs to seriously think of switching over from procurement to scientific storage.  The alternative for making storage arrangements is to keep surplus crops in scientifically made godowns. Private players or government should construct godowns in the deficit states to accommodate foodgrains coming from Punjab by tying up with the railways to move the stocks in April-May itself at the time of purchase direct from the ‘mandis’ to save storage and transportation charges.

The government should revise storage charges so that private parties come forward for construction of godowns. One of the reasons for non-construction of covered space by private sector is less storage charges paid to godown owners by the government. With high cost of land property and construction cost, the construction of godowns is not viable with the existing storage charges. 

The problem of storage space should be made a ‘case study project’ for experienced field officers and not university experts.

HARISH K. MONGA, Ferozepur

Private colleges

It is a welcome statement by the Punjab Chief Minister that the state will initiate steps to fix the fee structure in the private sector in education. However, the state must get the cost analysis done of each of the programmes in the government sector.

Further, professional courses are regulated by respective councils (MCI, DCI, AICTE, VCI, etc.) and thus their minimum prescribed standards (fixed assets and recurring expenditure) should be taken into account. Private sector institutions should be self-supporting. The government in order to fulfil its committed liabilities has to carry out extra expenditure. Private institutions can reduce such unproductive expenditure, if regulatory authorities allow such adjustments.

There is widespread perception among the common masses that private institutions are educational shops which charge exorbitant fee, hire substandard and sub-optimal manpower, compromise on educational standards and misuse funds.

Though there are many black sheep, the country is proud to have private institutions of global standards. Private institutions can deliver better, if there is change in the mindset of the authorities and the general public and they are made partners in the process of development.

The government, in order to be globally competitive, is pumping funds into universities and colleges. Further, the institutions in the public sector are under tremendous pressure to generate internal resources. Many of the professional and technical institutions have converted 30-50% of their intake to paid seats for which lakhs of rupees are charged to raise their resources to fulfil their needs.


Students’ interest

The editorial ‘Now for the test’ (June 29) has very rightly raised doubts about the kind of students joining IITs who are largely hatched and groomed in the coaching centres which hardly devote time and energy in increasing students’ comprehension of the subject. The main objective is to ‘crack’ the examination rather than focus on a subject of a student’s interest.

Our education system, right from the elementary stage, should be largely devoted to develop analytical faculty of the mind of the students rather than cracking for the examination in a slipshod manner.

Dr S KUMAR, Panchkula

Wrong decision

GNDU’s Academic Council and Syndicate’s decision of doing away with Punjab History & Culture (PHC) is irrational, unplanned and lacks foresight (news report “GND varsity makes Punjabi mandatory”, June 27). How can we force an adult student to study one particular subject without any fruitful outcome? This step will not enhance the image of Guru Nanak Dev University within the educational fraternity.

The wards of defence, paramilitary, civil servants, bankers and employees of private companies living temporarily in Punjab will not benefit in any way by learning functional Punjabi in any way. Furthermore, hundreds of ad-hoc History lecturers and students will suffer.

Moreover, PHC focuses on Punjab’s topography, its role in ancient, medieval and modern times, life and teachings of ten Sikh Gurus, Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s Empire and Punjab’s role in the national movement. This makes the students aware about Punjab’s rich cultural heritage.



The recent decision of the GNDU to make Punjabi mandatory in all undergraduate courses needs to be reviewed. Most of the students from Punjab have already studied Punjabi in schools, the decision is likely to discourage students coming from other states to Punjab. Students must be allowed to concentrate on their respective subjects. The option of choosing Punjab history and culture must be retained. If the university feels the need, it can start a certificate course in Punjabi and let the students decide for themselves.


Why throw away blood?

It was shocking to know that a blood bank run by a private trust had been throwing away unused blood, collected through blood donation camps, due to the expiry of the date. On the other hand, it had not been providing blood to poor patients for saving their lives (news report, “Sirsa blood bank’s licence suspended”, June 30).

Wastage of blood is criminal and strict action should be taken against defaulters. Functioning of blood banks should be monitored by the state governments to ensure the supply of requisitioned blood to patients and transparency in dealings.

Col R D SINGH, Ambala Cantt



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