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Punjab lets down unaided teachers

The UGC had recommended the state governments to implement the revised pay scales with the offer to bear 80 per cent of the financial burden for the first five years of all the posts in existence as on 1.1.2006. It exhorted the states to take the financial onus for the next five years. This was an indirect but clear signal from the UGC that the implementation of the revised pay scales was impossible without government aid.

Unfortunately, the Punjab government made a distinction between the aided and unaided posts just to absolve itself of the responsibility of providing financial assistance. Many private managements have approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court to direct the state government to admit the claims of the unaided posts and reimburse the same. But despite the repeated reminders to the DPI (Colleges), claims of the unaided staff were neither entertained nor admitted.

Meanwhile, some teachers working on unaided posts moved the educational tribunal. In its judgment, the tribunal not only observed the parity between the aided and unaided staff, but also admitted that giving any direction to the state government to reimburse the claims of the unaided staff was beyond its jurisdiction. On the private managements' appeal, the High Court issued notices to all the parties concerned, including the government.

Meanwhile, the teachers working on unaided posts approached the DPI and the Principal Secretary to get the orders of the tribunal implemented. The grant to one of the colleges was stopped on the ground that there was no stay in this case, but it is nothing short of arm-twisting when the matter is sub judice. When the government itself is stopping grants to the colleges in a phased manner by freezing the posts, it cannot and should not compel the managements to implement revised pays scales and DA instalments. It will mean only the closure of colleges.

Before taking any harsh decision, the government must consider the balance sheets and financial projections of the colleges. Otherwise the managements will be forced to move the Supreme Court to direct the UGC to stop all grants to Punjab for the non-implementation of the UGC notification in its entirety which will not be in the interest the state colleges. The government cannot have one set of rules for itself and another for the managements.


Cashless treatment

Apropos the news item 'Cashless treatment for road accident victims' (July 30), it is a highly appreciable pilot project of the Union Ministry of Roads, Transport and Highways for road accident victims on the Gurgaon-Jaipur stretch of National Highway No.8. It will be more appropriate if this project is extended in phases to other highway stretches and without putting any limit of up to Rs 30,000 for cashless treatment. About 13 years ago, I lost my son in a fatal accident on the Chandigarh-Manali highway as he could not be taken to hospital due to a road blockade. More painful is that not even a single glass of water could be given to him.

B K NAYYAR, Panchkula

DA instalment

While the Central government has given the 8 per cent DA instalment to its employees, which was announced on April 19, this year, the Punjab government, which generally follows the Central pattern, has yet to release it for its employees/pensioners. One fails to understand why the Punjab government is sitting over it.

V P KAPOOR, Panchkula

Injustice to Punjabi

The middle ‘Learning Punjabi in Delhi’ (July 20) was a timely read. Providing a lively picture of ragging in colleges, it throws light on a celebrated Punjabi writer who was a favourite author of us students when I was studying in BA (Part I) at Government Barjindra College, Faridkot, in 1967. It was the year when Giani Gurdit Singh was honoured by Unesco for his magnum opus ‘Mera Pind’.

Delhi University has done injustice to a well-developed powerful language. Don’t the same people who have decided to remove Punjabi enjoy Punjabi songs and Punjabi music at functions and marriages? Isn’t Punjabi the most sweet, simple and widely spoken language in India? Punjabi is not a language of one religion, one state, one caste, but a language of ancient cultures, virtually a heritage of a big chunk of humanity.

D C SHARMA, Kangra

Bitter experience

On July 18, I along with my family went to watch a movie at the recently opened multiplex in Sector 5 of Panchkula. Sad to say, it took us 20 minutes to reach the theatre hall from the ground floor as the escalators were non-functional and we had to walk to reach the theatre. Senior citizens had a harrowing experience and it took their breath away when they were made to move up to the sixth floor on their feet and that, too, with the help of family members. One hopes the Administration as well as the multiplex authorities will ensure that such inconveniences are not meted out to those who come to enjoy their outings.


Patronising power thieves

The news report 'Charge-sheeted PSPCL whistleblower cries foul' (July 16) reflects poorly on the PSPCL. As it is, the honest and upright officers are a vanishing tribe. A whistleblower like Additional Superintending Engineer Nirmal Singh is even rarer.

The PSPCL CMD knew very well how Nirmal Singh was a terror to power thieves in Amritsar. Yet, he was transferred within seven months and has been charge-sheeted now. His boss, who is patronising power thieves, continues on his post beyond the tenure of three years.

A complaint submitted to the CMD on December 12 was followed by an affidavit on June 13 by Nirmal Singh. The CMD, who is not taking action in power theft cases and victimising the whistleblower, should resign.


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