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Engg institutes yield real estate profits

Apropos the letter 'Substandard engg education' (August 23), the lack of quality education and quality faculty are not the only reasons for substandard engineering education. The real cause is the CLU (change of land use) because behind every institute, it is the profits due to the escalation of cost of land which college managements are able to reap even if the institutes do not earn sufficiently.

The Ministry of HRD and charitable trusts/societies are fully aware of the problem of plenty due to the excess of intake capacity over availability of students. As reported in The Tribune (Kaleidoscope, August 25), more than 35 engineering colleges affiliated to PTU have sought reduction in admissions to BTech courses in the CSE, IT and ECE. This gap has cascading effects on educational standards.

The managements keep on devising new means such as time-saving joining integrated courses, MOUs with foreign universities, early induction programmes, etc, to lure students. Further, the managements are not able to pay well to their faculty due to the dwindling admissions. This results in compromising on the quality of selected faculty. The net effect is the substandard engineering education and an increase in unemployable graduates.

A check on the mushrooming of engineering institutions and the introduction of Public Private Participation in the education system may arrest the falling educational standards to a large extent.


Time to act

Despite the umpteen acts of barbarity committed against our soldiers by Pakistan soldiers/terrorists, our government has always been unwilling to react or retaliate. Such ceasefire violations by Pakistan do not bode well for harmonious relations. Shockingly, the government is still bent on holding peace talks with it. This dilly-dallying attitude of our government has exposed our weaknesses and inability to take on a tiny country like Pakistan. We cannot bear to be back-stabbed repeatedly by the enemy and lose our precious soldiers. It is time to act now.


Tobacco sale

Nowadays the use of tobacco products by teenagers is shocking. More than 1,200 smokers die daily all over the world. And at least two youth or adults become regular smokers. Nearly 90 per cent of new smokers learn smoking from their friends. Moreover, the easy availability of tobacco products near schools and houses just make things worse and they turn chain smokers in no time. The state government has failed to check the sale of these items in the vicinity of schools. Also, the sale of tobacco products to teenagers below 18 goes unchecked.

AKKU ATTRI, Ludhiana

Tumbling rupee

With every passing day, the value of the rupee has been depreciating. Though China, Brazil, Russia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Turkey "are suffering from the same syndrome", the Indian rupee is the worst performer, making markets nervous and the government does not seem to have much elbow room to tide over the crisis. The non-functioning of Parliament has led to the stalling of various Bills, besides policy paralysis on the part of the government. The ruling dispensation is not strong enough to take bold and effective steps to turn the tide of events for the growth of the economy which (at 5 per cent) is the lowest in a decade. The fiscal deficit is rising. It may lead to a credit downgrade.


Baradari Garden

Patiala has been a princely state and it boasts a number of gardens. It has the famous Baradari Garden meant to enjoy morning/evening walks and exercises in a pleasant atmosphere. Sad to say, Phatak No. 21 passes through it, posing a risk to the lives of visitors. The authorities would do well to install traffic signals at both ends of the divider crossing the tracks or provide other safety measures to prevent a tragedy.


United against RTI

It is distressing to note that politicians of all shades join hands when their interests are common and at stake. The Central Information Commission's ruling, bringing the political parties under the RTI, and the Supreme Court's judgement to disqualify the convicted MPs and MLAs came as a bolt from the blue for most politicians.

Most of the political parties, irrespective of their differences and agendas, have united in fighting back instead of adopting these reforms. They seem to be against the principle of transparency. They all have adopted unanimous resolutions to nullify both the reforms.


Terror shadow on writings

The article 'Creative writing under the shadow of terror' (August 13) by Meenakshi Bharat truly depicts the unfortunate scenes of blood on the streets and roads. Undoubtedly, the present-day creative writings such as novels and short stories and paintings and sculptures carry the influence of terror. How can a creative writer escape the effect of his contemporaneous events?

Terrorism is not a one-day phenomenon. It has its roots in factors like regionalism, religious fanaticism, communalism, racism, discontentment, materialism and poverty. Most of the creative writers are sincere to the core when they actually paint the picture of terrorism and definitely influence the minds of readers and society as a whole.

KK PURI, Gurdaspur



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