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Politics cripples Haryana universities

Have the universities in Haryana become merely the factories for producing degree holders and not thinkers and those who have excelled in the fields of economics, history, law, management, teaching and education, arts and history of art, music, photography, journalism, cinema and adventure? Yes, there are quite a few who have earned a name for themselves in the country and abroad. But a majority of them have been ordinary performers and ended up merely as clerks, shopkeepers, petty businessmen in their family establishments, service providers in the hotel industry and technical assistants in large industrial houses. Only a census of the alumni can establish my contention.

But does the rambling created in the academia as a result of Prof D R Chaudhry's article (August 13) has the potential for a turnaround in the state's education sector? Only if teachers, students, politicians and the administration introspect honestly can the ominous tag be removed.

To attain excellence in higher education and making significant contributions to the various branches of knowledge through research, one has to examine the foundations laid by school and college teachers in the state. The weakness at the foundation cannot be repaired by external adhesives but by replacing the substandard material and nourishing it with micro-nutrients such as the established values and ethical standards.

Regrettably, the truth is otherwise because with undesirable political interventions in the academia, few upright and renowned teachers would like to stay on the faculty or even join the institution for ensuring excellence in future. While endorsing the comment by Prof Chaudhry that the priority of the non-academic VCs has been to find opportunities for appeasing their political mentors or masters, I do not foresee any major change in the academic milieu of the universities across the state. The entire scenario can only change if the search committees are comprised of eminent persons in the academia that really pick up far-sighted persons who have shown excellence in either industry or academic research.


Civil servants

This refers to the middle 'Proud to be a bureaucrat?' (August 20). Day in, day out leaders talk of women empowerment. Encouraging them to join the civil service is a step in the right direction. But when they become an IAS officers, they are prevented from performing their duties honestly, which certainly discourages them.

Moreover, civil servants are transferred or suspended on frivolous grounds to satisfy the ego of politicians. The writer has satirically referred to Durga without 'Shakti' (power) but she (Nagpal) is certainly a tamer of snakes. Bureaucrats who dance to the tunes of politicians are doing disservice to the country and bringing their profession into disrepute. Gone are the days when they were considered to be the steel frame of the government.


DA instalment

The DA instalment (8 per cent) is due to the employees and pensioners of the Punjab government w.e.f. January 1, 2013. Some of neighbouring states have released it. We hope the SAD government will release it without further delay.


Hang them

The crime of rape is increasing day by day in this country. And a curious paradox is that the more we talk of checking it, the more numbers of such incidents we face. Shamefully, now little girls are the targets of the perpetrators. We are trying to solve this problem by holding discussions on television channels. We held so many rounds of discussions daily on TV and in newspapers after the Delhi gang rape, but the result is before all to see. All we need to stop this shame is to hang all such beasts.

PROF P KAUR, email

Punjab's turmoil

The Punjab government has been sanctioned Rs 500 crore by Canara Bank after it mortgaged PUDA Bhavan. It is really shocking news and the SAD-BJP government is responsible for the abysmal fiscal condition of the state. The SAD's power subsidy, the free atta-dal scheme and other populist schemes are some of major factors for this economic turmoil.

Congress leaders have demanded a financial emergency in the state. Besides, both parties have mismanaged the state funds, including financial assistance received from time to time from the Centre under various schemes, which was used for salary and pension disbursement.

SAHIL GARG, Chandigarh

Two-pronged threat

This is with reference to Afghanistan President Karzai's request to New Delhi to supply arms to his country. The pullout of the US troops in 2014 is likely to prove the proverbial last straw for durable peace, stability and free trade in South Asia. It will, therefore, be in our best interests to strengthen relations with Kabul.

The Strategic Partnership Agreement with Afghanistan inked by us in 2011 clearly endorses the free flow of military assistance, including training army and police personnel. On the other hand, the newly elected Nawaz Sharif government, with its innate anti-India sentiment and pressure from the Pakistan army, will continue playing every trick to destabilise us.

They would, therefore, keep harping on contentious issues like Kashmir, LoC violations, Siachen and Sir Creek, preferably in concert with China, which has, of late, turned menacingly active on the northern borders. We have, therefore, to remain prepared for defeating the two-pronged threat.

The relations with Pakistan can improve only when a really strong, sensible and effective civilian government assumes power, which can effectively rein in the Taliban, the ISI and the Pakistan army. Such an ideal dispensation seems impossible at least in the foreseeable future. Thus, the road ahead for us is both difficult and bumpy.

Govind Singh Khimta, SHIMLA



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