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Future of PIMS bleak

The future of about 300 students of PIMS, Jalandhar, is uncertain. It is a big disappointment and painful both for the students and parents. All are agitating now along with the staff. But who is responsible for the mess? 'Sapni apne bache khandi hai' (a snake eats its own little ones) is relevant to the working of the MCI, the controlling authority for medical colleges. PIMS is not the first example of wrongdoing and wrong planning and working of the MCI which first gives permission to an institute and then derecognises it, finding faults. The present state of affairs is due to the irresponsibility of the Government of Punjab as well as the working of the MCI. In the name of promoting medical education and other professions, some individuals are being promoted and the future of the professions and students is the least priority of either.

Dr Daler Singh Multani, Mohali

Outsourcing ATMs risky

One is surprised to learn that the State Bank of India has outsourced the ATM to an agency which dispenses soiled, torn and defaced notes as I experienced the other day. When I approached the branch concerned, I was advised to apply to the main branch for exchanging fake and soiled notes. It is incumbent upon the bank to ensure that the agency dispenses notes as per the guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India. The regulator must realise the risk involved and specify the services that can be outsourced.

Another aspect is that the outsourcing agencies are getting contracts by submitting the lowest tender, which is not in accordance with the Minimum Wages Act. The principal employers ignore this aspect as they are only concerned with saving some money, without realising that the employees of the agency would not be paid enough remuneration.

For instance, a lift operator in some government organisations is paid only around Rs 4,000 whereas as per the Minimum Wages Act, he should be paid Rs 9,000 with other benefits of provident fund, medical, insurance etc. The authorities must take note of this exploitation.

Col Mahesh Chadha, Panchkula

Freebies bad governance

This is with reference to the editorial 'Copycat freebies' (January 2), the subsidies/freebees are the result of bad governance, inefficiency and corruption in the system. If the performance of a utility sector is low, it leads to a rise in the costs and prices. Though I am not in favour of subsidies/freebies, the decision taken by the Kejriwal government in Delhi for lowering the electricity charges for up to 400 units per month and free supply of 20,000 litres of water to each household per month is a welcome step. Even a slight cost of water raises the cost of living of the middle class, thereby leading to cuts in the expenditures on education, health and other necessary consumables. The common man is burdened with taxes on each item. This is all due to the government being in league with the service provider corporate companies and criminal misutilisation of public funds in the name of management. The prices of the necessities need to be brought down by infusing efficiency in the management, eliminating corruption and cutting the expenditure of the governance. This will be a tribute to the common man.

Dr Puran Singh, Nilokheri

Political gimmicks

The editorial "Copycat freebies" (January 2) raises the pertinent issue of subsidies given to people. The decision of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to provide water free of cost and reduce the electricity charges have been taken without keeping economics in mind. The requirement is clean water and efficient power supply at affordable rates.

Free electricity is already sinking the states like Punjab. Free power for agriculture has become the main cause of the depleting groundwater. It is also the biggest cause of the state's fiscal troubles, costing ~5,000 crore every year.

Freebies are nothing but political gimmicks. Why do the political parties not try to come up with better policies where people can improve their standard, income and contribute to the growth of the nation by paying all bills properly? Freebies do not make for sound economics. In the long run, they may not even guarantee votes.

Dr Harjeev Khanna, Bathinda

Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: [email protected]



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