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

Rural students

Higher education in India is directly linked to the size of one's pocket. Students from rural areas taking the recent Joint Engineering Entrance (JEE) for admission to NITs and other institutions were the main sufferers due to lack of coaching facilities in these areas. They are not conversant with the admission process and pattern of examination. Nor are they aware of filling choices online. Due to this handicap, they are forced to take admission in institutions which charge double the fee of NITs and IIITs.

This year, the CSAB (Central Seat Allocation Board) had registered many self-financing /deemed universities and technical institutions to admit candidates for B.Tech courses. The CSAB sponsored the candidates as per merit in the examination. However, these so-called good institutions do not followed norms of reservation and fee structure like the NITs and other government institutions.

The question is how did these institutions get registered with the CSAB? How is that a candidate sponsored by the CSAB to an NIT has to pay only around Rs 4 lakh for a BTech degree whereas another qualified candidate sponsored by the same board to a self-financed engineering institute has to pay more than Rs 8 lakh for the same degree? The All-Indian Council for Technical Education should save the rural students from such exploitation.

Sushma Kumari, Nadaun (HP)

Calls dropped

BSNL telephone users in Punjab are facing the problem of call-dropping in landline phones, for both outgoing and incoming calls. BSNL is requested to look into this problem.

Subhash Bansal, Patiala

Shun drugs, be healthy

Drug addiction in Punjab is a curse on the youth. We are all aware that drugs are very dangerous as they affect the organs of the addicts. The supply of drugs should be investigated. How are they easily available to our youngsters? The availability is possible because of the greed of certain people.

Our youth have lost the values of dedication and hard work and parents are unable to guide them. Social organisations and the government should conduct social programmes and moral classes in schools and colleges. Stress should be laid on imbibing values of family and society and the importance of staying healthy by avoiding drugs and staying cultured.

Kulwant Singh, Kuwait

Mediation is the way

Apropos the news item Awareness on mediation needed (September 14), the Himachal judiciary has rightly identified the importance of mediation. This mechanism is being practised in India since the ancient times. The beauty of mediation is that the parties involved in the process resolve their disputes outside the court through mutual consent by way of give and take, with the help of a neutral agent known as mediator. The HC has rightly said that though the Indian legal system is among the best in the world, it is ridden by delays in the resolution of disputes. Hence, there is a need for mediation which is speedy and convenient. Even today, minor deputes are resolved through the Panchayati Raj institutions. Mediation is a participative, speedy, efficient, economical, simple and confidential mechanism for all parties concerned.

Dr K D Lakhanpal, Bilaspur

Remove encroachments

The news item Traders rent out foorpaths (August 30) depicts a sad state of affairs in Bathinda, wherein shopkeepers in connivance with MCB officials encroach upon pavements and MC land for personal gains. Several shops are run from footpaths. This business is flourishing at the cost of public safety. The footpaths have been occupied by shopkeepers and traders and parking places by taxi owners and bazaars and streets by rehriwalas, rickshawalas and three-wheelers. Where should the common man go? Local politicians play populist games by allowing such encroachments. The district administration should start an anti-encroachment drive with the help of citizens and NGOs because Bathinda is our own city we should not destroy it for petty gains.

Rakesh Narula, Bathinda

Update Army tools

The article by Gurmeet Kanwal "Agenda for new Army Chief" (August 29) is thought-provoking. One fails to understand the mindset of politicians and bureaucracy. On the one hand, they both ask for help of the services at the drop of a hat in sorting out problems and on the other hand, they are shy of providing basics to the services.

The Army equipment needs to be replaced immediately, but is not being done for want of funds and signatures of the appropriate authority. We do not have a good road network while China has the best roads right up to our borders. Each passing year means an increase in the list of obsolete equipment and cost of replacement. The authorities keep praying: "Oh God, not during my time", and are getting away with not signing. If this state continues, the repeat of 1962 is likely.

Lt-Col Vinay Tevatia (retd), Panchkula

Check mining mafia

Though delayed and politically motivated, the recent decision of the government to sell sand and gravel of its own is welcome (editorial Mine over money, September 4). But the new mining policy will bring down the prices of minor minerals only if the government pursues it wholeheartedly. The ill-functioning Mandi Board should be revamped to meet the challenge. The unholy politico-bureaucratic mafia must be broken. Thegovernment should stop the auction of quarries to check unscrupulous private mining contractors. Efficacy of the new system is imperative to restore the credibility of the government.

DS Kang, Bahadurpur (Hoshiarpur)

Visit no open sesame

There is a great hype on Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to India. But we should have no high expectations from it. Regarding the border dispute, it would be unrealistic to expect more than status quo. A high-profile visit is not an open sesame to a knotty border issue. It is a long- drawn exercise.

As for investment, China will invest in sectors which benefit it. Foreign investments are not guided by the economic interests of the recipient country. The area where India can ask China for some sort of parity is trade. It should discuss ways and means to reduce the high balance-of-trade deficit with it.

Hema, Langeri

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: Letters@tribuneindia.com



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