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Why declare Sarabjit a martyr?

I fully agree with the views expressed in the editorial 'Murder and after' (May 7). Sarabjit Singh crossed into Pakistan territory under the influence of liquor. Residents of Bhikhiwind village have confirmed it. He suffered at the hands of the Pakistan Government and members of his family were also at the receiving end and all this happened due to the negligence of Sarabjit.

He was neither a military personnel nor a spy. His contribution towards the nation is zero. But the media unnecessarily made him a hero. There are hundreds of other Indian prisoners languishing in Pakistani jails. Some were spying for India. They spent prime time of their lives in prisons and that too for the national cause. Some have come back after serving imprisonment. But nobody recognised their services and sacrifices. We are sympathetic towards Sarabjit's family. But awarding him the Amar Shaheed title is totally wrong. The Punjab Government has announced an assistance of Rs 1 crore. But this is the tax-payers' money. No political leader gave a single rupee from his pocket. Politicians are be fooling the public.


Elusive peace

China pulled back its forces from the Daulat Beg Oldie sector after spending 20-odd days there. The four flag meetings and high-level diplomatic talks resulted in the Chinese backing off, but it does not mean that they won't come back again.

The problem has just been overcome for some time but it has not been eradicated. India needs a permanent solution before history forces us to face the same situation. A permanent solution will come only after the demarcation of boundaries in both disputed areas, Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh.


Dependence on guides

It is shocking that students have given up the good habit of making an independent study of books prescribed by the education board and universities. Students mostly depend on guides, available in plenty in the market.

This short-cut method of obtaining degrees and diplomas is surely going to damage the very cause of education. It is disappointing that a teacher with an MA degree in English cannot write an application in the language.

I would, therefore, prevail on all educationists to ban the publication and sale of cheap notes and guides.


Unfair promotion rules

It was good to read about the recent articles published in your paper regarding the unjustified promotions of trained graduate teachers (TGTs) on the posts of PGTs.

It is indeed disappointing to note that the highly unfair promotion rules for the posts of PGTs have never been amended since March 1991 and many TGTs trained and experience for teaching a particular subject have been promoted overnight for teaching a different subjects that they have never taught merely because they possess an irrelevant PG degree of that unrelated subject.

Surprisingly, a PG degree of an unrelated subject is never given weightage in the recruitment rules for the post of TGT. The sin of the UT Education Department is unpardonable keeping in view the fact that their present rules for direct recruitment to PGT posts ask for PG as well as UG degrees for the same relevant subject. It is ironical that the UT Education Department finds a Sanskrit TGT suitable to satiate the quest of the English language and also feels nothing wrong in making a physical education TGT teaching a highly complex subject like economics to the smart generation of youngsters willing to make their presence felt in this highly competitive world.

D P SURI, Chandigarh

Eye disorder

Apropos the news item 'Loss of sight stares at poverty-stricken family' (April 27), I examined the woman and her children about a couple of months ago when they were brought to me by members of an NGO. Actually, they are suffering from a rare congenital disorder "Aniridia". In this disorder, the iris tissue is absent from the eyes at birth. Other parts of the eye like the cornea, lens and retina are affected to varying degrees. As a result, the vision is subnormal even at birth.

Further deterioration of vision takes place during childhood or adolescence with the onset of glaucoma, which damages vision irreversibly, unless treated vigorously in a good set up. Even the results are not very encouraging.

In the present case, the children should be enrolled in a special school for the visually challenged, rather than studying in a regular school.

Additionally, the parents should be made aware that it is a hereditary disease.


Hope for industry

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal has assured that the new industrial policy will be investment-friendly and eliminate 'Inspector Raj'. Under the new policy, VAT refunds will be online, paper work will be reduced, focus will be on computerisation and increasing infrastructure for industry. The electricity rate will be slashed when Punjab becomes a power surplus state. Labour laws should be amended. There should be a hire- and-fire policy and minimum wages should relate with inflation. More incentives should be given to industry. If above measures are taken in letter and in spirit, there may be a ray of hope for the industry in Punjab, which is reeling under pressure.

DEEPAK SARAF, Rampura Phul

Unequal pay

All aided schools across Punjab have two set of norms: One for staff covered under the grant-in-aid scheme and the other for the staff not covered under it. While the staff covered under the scheme get full grade and other allowances on a par with government employees, their counterparts are getting a meagre pay and allowances and that too at the mercy of the respective managements of the schools. This, while the staff under uncovered posts having the same or sometimes having higher qualification than their counterparts.

Even the SGPC, which is running a number of schools and colleges, and paying handsome salaries and allowances to the uncovered college teachers, feels shy of paying equal grade and pay to school teachers. How can we expect quality education from an under paid, dejected lot of teachers at a time when the Right to Education Act is going to be implemented at the national level.

RS BHULLAR, Amritsar




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