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

Blow to Punjab’s primary education

This refers to the editorial The great book scam: Blow to primary school education system (May 29) and the news report ‘Rs 46 crore schoolbook scam interrupted in Punjab’ (May 31). It is shameful that Punjab Education Minister Sikandar Singh Maluka was involved in the Rs 46-crore scam in the purchase of library books, science kits, maps, and practical notebooks for schools across the state. Had the scam not been discovered and reported in the Press, he would have misappropriated a considerable amount of the money that was given by the Centre.The money was provided by the Centre under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Sarva Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan.

He has shamefully appointed a three-member committee of his trusted men for getting things done as per his will. Moreover, books were unfit for students of primary schools, as these contained objectionable contents. More shameful is that the distribution work of these books was given to those who did not have any experience in the publication and selling of books. Strangely, it was a “pipes-making factory” which was assigned this job. Even the science kits and other articles were to be had from dubious sources. Instead of getting the scam and illegalities probed by the CBI, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has appointed a retired Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, who is known to him. So, this investigation seems to be eyewash and the minister concerned will get a clean chit. The helpless committee members will be blamed and punished for the sins committed by the Education Minister. As the embezzled amount belongs to the Central grants, the case must be probed by the CBI only.

RK KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Saving cricket

This refers to the editorial Clean up the act in IPL: It’s time to change the system (May 22). It is true that the credibility of the Indian Premier League continues to suffer due to the unholy nexus between cricket and the underworld. Rich businessmen and film stars buy cricketing leagues and indulge in spot-fixing and match-fixing, rendering cricketers as saleable goods. A huge amount of money is transacted in the IPL, which is beyond the imagination of the common man. Clearly, black money is the root cause of all illegalities. It has been rightly suggested by the editorial that the BCCI should be held accountable and brought under the ambit of Right to Information Act to keep the sport alive.


PGI’s appointments

This has reference to news item ‘PGI's computerisation process tardy’ (Chandigarh Tribune, May 31). I, being an eye patient as well as a regular visitor to the advanced eye centre, have another story to tell. Once you are registered in the department, there is a practice of giving an appointment for the next visit with specific date and time. I was asked to come on my next visit on a particular date at 3 pm, but at the same time, I was required to report for the registration before 11 am. This is mandatory for eye patients. When I tried to discuss the uncomfortable timing (3 pm) with my doctor, he retorted that it was the rule in the PGI. Doesn’t it sound strange: registration before 11 am and wait for turn till 3 pm? The PGI authorities are requested to review such rules which cause undue harassment to patients, particularly senior citizens.

HS WALIA, Mohali

De-controlling diesel

Since the decontrol of diesel, its price has continuously been rising. But these days crude oil prices have decreased substantially. Diesel is the lifeline of buses, taxis and trucks and any increase in its price directly affects the prices of essential commodities. And the profit earned on it goes to oil companies. Also, the government’s revenue has increased at the cost of the common man whose miseries have increased manifold. After the decontrol of diesel prices, there should be a regulating authority to monitor the international prices of crude oil and to scrutinise the reasons, before oil companies are allowed to increase the prices of diesel and petrol.

SS BHATHAL, Ludhiana

Do good marks reflect brilliance? 

Apropos the news item Brilliance across board: CBSE results reaffirm faith in youth (May 29), I don’t deem it right to relate the recently declared results of the CBSE 10+2 with the brilliance of students. No doubt, the marks obtained by students reflect their intelligence, class performance during the whole academic session based on their comprehension of the prescribed syllabi and hard work by them and their teachers. Nevertheless, it may not be true in case of recent results declared by various boards across the country.

Thanks to the number games encouraged by premier institutes of the country, namely IITs, business schools, etc, which have made it imperative for aspiring students to obtain as many marks as possible to ensure their admission in them, most of the boards are allegedly vying with one another to resort to different methods to award maximum marks to their respective students, in some cases 100 per cent marks, whether they deserve or not, which is a blind emulation of European and American systems not suiting the Indian ambience.




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