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

Education as mainstay of development

The neglect of a prime area of concern like education will have deep repercussions in society. Our so-called educated youth being churned out of the present education system will not get jobs leading to rise in criminal activities, drug abuse, discontentment, etc. So, there is a strong need to give immediate attention to the quality of higher education (editorial “Criminal neglect”, August 21).

UGC rules and regulations to attract talent in the field of higher education should be strictly implemented by all states without any reservation. Adhocism in education is very dangerous. The government should take steps to appoint regular teachers in colleges.

The education sector needs a lot of investment. The Government of India has increased funds for higher education through agencies like UGC, DBT, DST, etc, for infrastructural development. These funds should be utilised strictly as per guidelines. The involvement of the private sector in higher education is always welcome but it should be well monitored by independent agencies. There should be no compromise on quality.

Dr RAMESH DOGRA, Chandigarh


The editorial ‘’Criminal neglect” (August 21) and the news reports on the deplorable condition of certain colleges give a vivid picture of the pitiable state of affairs of higher education in Punjab. Indeed, the worst sufferers are colleges and schools in rural areas which have shabby classrooms, old dilapidated furniture, ill-equipped labs, libraries stocked with redundant, obsolete books, and above all no requisite number of teachers. The situation has deteriorated  appallingly in the non-govt aided colleges, particularly after Punjab government’s decision in July 2005 that no grants would be released to these colleges to fill up posts, both teaching and non-teaching, after the said date.

The situation is equally bad in government colleges where regular appointments as per the norms have not been made and the colleges have been forced to recruit guest faculty and their salaries are met out of the PTA funds.

Besides releasing liberal grants to these colleges for basic infrastructure, the Punjab Government must ensure appointment of regular teachers and principals in govt colleges and must fill all the posts in govt-aided as well as unaided colleges under the grant -in-aid scheme.

N P MANOCHA, Chandigarh

No lowering of guard

Editorial “Message from LoC” (August 24) contains highly appropriate caution and valuable suggestions. In his interrogation, Abu Jundal had revealed Lashkar-e-Taiba’s plans to carry out terror attacks in J&K. Revelation of an underground tunnel in Samba and frequent violation of ceasefire are indicators of Pakistan’s desperation to infiltrate maximum number of terrorists into India before winters set in.

LoC needs constant vigil to deny any sneaking access from across the border. Those who indulge in activities of guiding and sheltering militants in India must be identified and isolated. Some anti-national elements appear to have penetrated the administration and security set-up as is evident from the arrest of constable Abdul Rashid Shigan who is responsible for running a militant module to carry out attacks. Fresh scanning may be conducted to cleanse government offices and field units.

The Pak ISI is still running camps in PoK under Hafiz Saeed’s supervision. We have to adopt multi-pronged strategy to thwart the activities of Pak-aided terrorists. Our youth must be engaged in social and economic developmental projects to wade off allurements. Seemingly, there may have been reduction in terror attacks but the threat has not vanished. The lull should not induce lethargy but inspire us to remain alert 24X7 to maintain peaceful environment.

SC VAID, Greater Noida

Getting away with foolishness

Many trees are to be felled for the Zirakpur-Bathinda four-laning project (News report, “96,000 trees face axe for four-laning project”, August 15). Nearly half of the trees were planted only a decade ago under the Rs 450 crore afforestation project after taking loan from the Japan government. No doubt, it reflects the poor vision of the government functionaries who cannot shield their foolishness by saying that double the number of trees shall be planted later. This statement itself raises many a question. How will funds generated out of the selling of axed trees be utilised? What measures shall be taken to check bungling in the sale of wood generated by axing trees? Will some other loan be taken to plant trees at Kandi? Nobody is ready to shoulder responsibility for poor planning.




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