623 No Franchising, UGC to Privates by vuz12598


									                                                                                             623                                             Regd DL(W)9/2052/06-08
                                                                                                                                                      RNI 37006/81

                                                                                             It’s Time to Think Differential Wages— Edit

                                                                                                  Y C Simhadri Likely to Move Patna HC

                                                                                                An Un/Under Qualified Professor in KU

                                                                                                         DU Maths Teachers ‘Perturbed’

                                                                                                                Composite Culture of India

                                                                                                                 Now, Get Water From Air

New Delhi; Vol XXVIII, No 12                                                    15 JUNE 2008                                                                                Rs 250

 First they created “Deemed” universities, now restrict
          No Franchising, UGC to Privates
          This restrictive diktat will rob many privatisers reaping rich harvest
                                             T R Kem also made iit on the faculty of      franchising or indulging even in distance          run lucrative distance education
   Based on Chetan Chauhan in HT             (among others) Jamia Millia Islamia, New     education courses (barring a few) etc              courses — at a fat fees.
                                             Delhi, it is just an incidental perk which   including offshoring of courses.                        Now all of this will just dry up unless
                                             nobody should grudge.                             This has created a piquant                    the UGC can further be persuaded
FIRST they createdhundreds to be
 University” by
                           under                  Anyway, be that as it may, the latest   situation for many private players.                (bought over) to permit them all of this
Section 3 of the UGC Act 1956. In just one   on this front is that the UGC has issued a   Because recognition from AICTE (one                and more. At the end of the day,
year they managed to create more             stern warning and threatened withdrawal      of the prime prerequisites) permitted              therefore, there is money to made in this
deemed universities than all the previous    of the status of “Deemed to be               them not just to franchise but also to             whole game to the utter delight of
years together of UGC.                       University” if those recognised are found                                                       mandarins of MHRD and the UGC.
      The reasons are not hard to guess.
After all, the privatisers of Chhattisgarh
vintage, including our good old Mr Sunil
Kumar (currently the sole Joint Secretary
in MHRD despite having completed 5
                                             CVC Seizes UGC Files on e-Governance
years) and his mentor Arjun Singh, are                                                    Commissioner of India (CVC) has seized             universities. Reports indicate that
sitting at the helm to facilitate such         Fallout of sudden                          the files of the UGC following allegations         whereas Raju Sharma insisted on two
private deemed to be universities.                                                        of many irregularities in a Rs 230 crore           separate reports on the Project, viz, the
      Incidentally, Dr Raju Sharma, an IAS   removal of Raju                              project of e-governance of the                     technical and financial one, the UGC
officer of UP cadre who was ousted within
2 months of his joining, had also            Sharma as UGC Secy                           universities and colleges.
                                                                                                Recall that Dr Raju Sharma, an IAS
                                                                                                                                             wanted to push the Project as it was for
                                                                                                                                             reasons not difficult to guess.
reportedly objected to the questionable                                                   officer appointed as Secretary of UGC,                  The TOI reports that even the MHRD
practices surrounding this massive                                                        was removed unceremoniously within 2               had reservations and raised objections to
                                                  Based on Akshaya Mukul, in
racket in the UGC of recognising private                                                  months of his joining because he had the           the pet project of the UGC. To overcome
                                                      The Times of India
universities at such a pace. Clearly, the                                                 gumption to disagree with the Chairman             the objections, the UGC set up its own
motive was more than just academic                                                        of UGC as also other officials on the              committee to examine the Project which
good of the country. If in the process
some relatives or family members of Dr       The Times of that theJune] ran a story
                                              that states
                                                          India [4
                                                                   Chief Vigilance
                                                                                          contentious question of a major project
                                                                                          relating to e-governance of the
                                                                                                                                             found everything in order. So, out goes
                                                                                                                                             the objections by Mr R P Agarwal,
                                                                                                                                             Secretary, MHRD as also his Financial
                                                                                                                                             Adviser, Mr S K Ray. It has become
Its pay revision time, and FEDCUTA appears from the blue                                                                                     almost a habit with the so-called
                                                                                                                                             “autonomous” organisations to let
                                                                                                                                             MHRD be and proceed with whatever
FEDCUTA Meets Sonia, Arjun on Pay                                                                                                            they lay their hands upon.
                                                                                                                                                  UT learns that following the removal
                                                                                                                                             of Raju Sharma the PMO got hyper active
                                             Mr Arjun Singh, that the PRC reluctantly     the priority professions and for this parity
         From official sources                                                                                                               on the subject that has resulted in the
                                             met the only teachers’ delegation — of       in working and service conditions with
                                                                                                                                             effective intervention by the CVC.
                                             FEDCUTA — for the first time in May          competing professions is a pre-requisite
                                                                                                                                                  On the other hand, the UGC recalled
                                             2008.                                        states the press- release.
Aoffice bearers of consisting of
  FEDCUTA delegation
                      teachers’                    The delegation met Mr Arjun Singh            The delegation urged the UPA
                                                                                                                                             Dr R K Chauhan though he could not
                                                                                                                                             make it in the formal selection as
associations of 9 major central              also. In memoranda to Ms Gandhi and Mr       Chairperson and the Union HRD Minister
                                                                                                                                             Secretary of UGC to officiate as Secretary
universities met the UPA Chairperson Ms      Arjun Singh, while appreciating the          for their urgent intervention so that the
                                                                                                                                             thus fulfilling his long-cherished. Such is
Sonia Gandhi on 29 May last and              government move for huge / quantum           UGC takes an early decision for:
                                                                                                                                             the stuff petty politicking is made of.
conveyed their anguish at teaching           expansion of higher education, the                 (a) Better facilities to faculty for
                                                                                                                                                  The TOI continues that after
profession having been pushed to low         delegation expressed its dismay over ‘no           a c a d e m i c a d v an ce m e n t an d
                                                                                                                                             objections from Raju Sharma and MHRD,
priority profession because of the           exercise on commensurate faculty                   research.
                                                                                                                                             the Expenditure Secretary of the
existing working and service conditions      planning’.                                         (b) Attractive initial higher pay at the
                                                                                                                                             Government of India did not attend the
of teachers, states a press-release of the         The delegation stressed that if the          entry level for Lecturers and fast and
                                                                                                                                             meeting that approved the Project.
body following a Press Conference held       higher education system has to deliver             sound career advancement scheme
earlier on the day, viz, 30 May last.        and accelerate the socio-economic                  i ncl ud in g     p ro f ess o rsh i p   /   Covenience!
                                             development, the system must attract               professor’s grade in colleges; and
      The delegation expressed its
concern over the “tardy functioning” of      and retain talent in teaching profession.          (c) Adequate service and working             Itthe at picture. Although CVC came in
                                                                                                                                                 is   this stage that the
                                                                                                                                                                          the UGC
the UGC’s Pay Review Committee (PRC)         Education is ‘mother’ of all the                   conditions.                                  Actg-Secy, R K Chauhan, has denied that
(headed by Prof G K Chadha, former VC        professions and provides reservoir of              The       delegation       was       given   the CVC has seized records of the Project
of JNU and presently VC of the University    engineers, doctors, teachers, journalists,   assurance of their positive intervention           but insiders say that files were seized on
of SAARC countries) appointed to make        administrators,           entrepreneurs,     by Ms Gandhi and Mr Arjun Singh.                   29 May but, prior to that, a lot of
recommendations for attracting and           managers, political leaders, lawyers and           The delegation consisted of Aditya           tempering had already been reportedly
retaining talent in higher education.        social activists. Yet the teaching           Narayan Misra (President of FEDCUTA                done. Ironically, it was R K Chauhan who
Though the Committee was set up in           profession has lately become one of the      and DUTA), Prof Tabrez Alam Khan (Secy             at one stage had objected to the Project.
September 2007, it was only after strong     lowest priority professions. There is a      of FEDCUTA and Jamia Teachers’                     Call it convenience if you will.
intervention by the Union HRD Minister,      strong need to make teaching as one of                         >     Contd on P 3 Col 3


          It’s Time to Think Differential Wages in Teaching
                              government-funded institutions are
  TEACHERS employed in thenoises to secure their share of the Pay
   currently making necessary
                                                                                              or Mathematics has to put in much more labour than a student of
                                                                                              Hindi or Sanskrit or Punjabi or Sociology or even Philosophy. This
  Commission since the report of the VI Pay Commission for the                                structured equal pay works to the disadvantage of those who have
  employees of the Central Government is already out.                                         put in more labour than others. Ditto for teachers of law(s). After all
       Almost with a clockwork regularity and after couple of                                 (generally speaking though there definitely are exceptions) those
  press-releases etc from AIFUCTO and FEDCUTA, the UGC has also                               who opt for a law degree are the ones who do not normally make it
  appointed Pay Review Committee headed by Prof G K Chadha. And                               into a PG course of their choice. So, in a way, even the teachers of
  going by the trend of events, soon enough, the Chadha Committee                             law(s) should not get the same structured wage. For teachers of
  will also come out with recommendations for suitable pay increases                          engineering disciplines the situation is being somewhat corrected
  for teachers. Non-teaching staff, by and large, gets what the VI Pay                        through separate recommendations via AICTE. But, rest will
  Commission says.                                                                            command an equal structure wage post Chadha Committee. The
       Recently the FEDCUTA held a press conference to tell the people                        system will remain atrophied because unions and associations like
  at large that they have met Sonia Gandhi and Arjun Singh on the issue.                      FEDCUTA and AIFUCTO are there to protect the ‘interests’ of
  They are definitely entitled to whosoever they care to meet and                             everyone and not the specific target groups. This anomaly needs to
  whosoever in their opinion is capable of getting the teachers a pay                         be corrected. There should be a weighted index for monetary
  raise. Other groups, like Librarians, have also started laying their                        advantage and extra incentive to teachers of disciplines which are
  claims to equality with teachers and the like.                                              more popular and more “difficult” meaning thereby requiring more
       In all of this melee the basic question has almost been forgotten.                     and intense slogging. Post retirement they can be treated equals.
  Why should the take-home salaries be same for every discipline in                                 This seems an impossibility in a system marked by structured
  teaching? What is so common between a teacher of (say)                                      fixed equal wages. But, the ongoing privatisation process will
  Mathematics and a teacher of Hindi or Punjabi or even Sociology and                         automatically correct this wrong in the long run. Private institutes,
  Philosophy? Is the academic background of these groups (or                                  even the likes of Bansal of Kota, pay sky to their ‘efficient’ teachers.
  sub-groups) of teachers the same? Do they even have the same IQ?                            It is not uncommon for a Bansal (Kota) teacher driving a big car to
  Same level of clarity, understanding and even the competitiveness?                          his workplace where he does what is expected of him: teach. And
  There can be exceptions. But, by and large, the academic disciplines                        command a monthly wage of Rs 1 lakh-plus. It is time the nation also
  are not equal across the board. Who opts for (say) Hindi or Punjabi                         learnt to differentiate between disciplines. And pay accordingly. There
  after his +2? Normally the one who cannot manage admission in the                           is nothing ‘equal’ between Nuclear Medicine and Hindi. Why should
  much-in-demand disciplines like Economics etc. But, once they                               teachers in these areas be treated equal? All it needs is thinking out
  become teachers by hook or crook they start getting the same wage,                          of box. We know this will run contrary to line taken by unions and
  same perks and same status. This works to the disadvantage of those                         associations. But, there is more to teaching than just unions and
  who have to work immensely harder. After all, a student of Physics                          associations. Can anyone dare think differential wage in this country?

Readers’ Voice
Confusion about mandatory minimum qualifications
AN utter confusion is prevailing about colleges but despite reminders RTI and particularcandidatesthe answer-sheets of
 the       mandatory          minimum  trying to play truant with the
                                                                      they are
                                                                                          trend in
                                                                                                    and recommended
                                                                                                                                            entrance). Mr P D Gupta, CoE, conducted
                                                                                                                                            the first Pre-Medical Test (PMT) entrance
qualifications    for   appointment        of   avoiding to furnish the requisite             high-level      competent         authority   examination of MDU excellently.
Lecturers and Principals in the colleges        information. Their silence is encouraging     investigate the matter. Following this, the          Mr Gupta had a team of 3-4
and university departments, especially in       these self-financed BEd colleges to           matter was handed over to the Haryana         confidential lieutenants. Evaluation work
the self-financed BEd colleges.                 continue this aberration.                     Vigilance Bureau. This bureau is raiding      was done manually in those days.
      There is an outright conflict or rather        Since UT has always exposed the          the houses of certain involved persons        Examiners were brought from far of
contradiction in the policies of UGC and        corrupting influence in the field of higher   including the Controller of Examinations      places. These confidential lieutenants
the National Council for Teacher                education, you may mobilise opinion to        Mr Sukhbir Singh.                             guarded them to keep the sanctity of this
Education (NCTE) which has created              remedy this great chaos and check the               Sir, MDU was established vide           prestigious entrance examination.
chaos all around and taking advantage of        degradation of the standards of BEd           Haryana Act No 25 of 1975 which came                 Once          there       was        a
this slovenly approach towards an               education.                                    into being on 19 April 1976 as Rohtak         fabricated/fictitious, leakage in an
important matter, the managements of                                    (Dr) H S SINHA        University, Rohtak (RUR). The name of         examination, Mr P D Gupta sent one of
the self-financed BEd colleges are              Former President KUTA                         the University was altered in 1977 by the     his lieutenants to Chandigarh to submit
recruiting ever mere MA, MEd(s) or in                                                         then Government from RUR to MDU.              his resignation to the Vice-Chancellor Mr
some places MA, BEd(s) as Lecturers in          304/11, Mohalla Mahadev                             Mr H S Anand, IAS was the first         Hardwari Lal who was busy in his Civil
their colleges, as has been exposed by          Kurukshetra 136118 (Haryana)                  Controller of Examinations (herein after      Writ Petition (CWP), going on in Punjab
the media [clipping of Punjab Kesari                                                          called as CoE) of MDU. The 2nd CoE was        & Haryana High Court. Mr Lal used to
dated 25 December 2007, a Hindi                 MDU Controller of                             Mr P D Khurana, HCS (Haryana Civil            stay in the Punjab Agricultural University
mainline newspaper has been enclosed].                                                        Services) servant. 3rd & 4th were Dr B S      (PAU), Ludhiana’s Guest House in
      There is no agency either of the
                                                Examinations                                  Dahiya and Mr S Chakraborty                   Chandigarh. Dr Cheema, the then
UGC or of NCTE to monitor such
aberrations. The universities concerned
                                                Apropos the Inquest Against Member
                                                            item ‘KUK Court
                                                                                              respectively, who served as CoE for
                                                                                              about 6 months each. It was all an ad-hoc
                                                                                                                                            Vice-Chancellor of PAU, Ludhiana was a
                                                                                                                                            good friend of Mr Hardwari Lal.
also do not take any cognisance while           [UT, 1 June, p 5] which informs us that       arrangement.                                         I was also associated with this
approving the appointments of Lecturers         “There could be no other evidence that              When Mr Hardwari Lal joined as          prestigious entrance examination work.
there, as the colleges plead that they          the    examination     was     thoroughly     Vice-Chancellor on 27 October 1977, he        For the first time, I had an opportunity to
have been granted exemption by the              bungled.     Regardless     of   excuses      brought Mr P D Gupta, a wonderful             see Mr Hardwari Lal in person and
NCTE to recruit persons with lower              tendered, the moral responsibility of Dr R    Mathematician-        cum-       university   explained, on his asking about the
qualifications.                                 P Hooda, the Vice-Chancellor of               administrator, who having served as           possible likelihood of the persons
      This has led to the downgrading of        Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU),           Lecturer (Mathematics) for many years,        involved in the leakage — Printer, Paper-
or rather degradation of the standards of       Rohtak in Haryana, which conducted the        Principal, Ramjas College, Delhi and the      Setter, paper-moderator, invigilator or
these teacher-producing factories, which        entrance exam, cannot be denied.              CoE of Kurukshetra University for a few       any other person/authority involved in it.
have made some underhand deal with              Transferring some officials here and          years after his retirement from Delhi         Mr Lal, the Vice-Chancellor did not
the NCTE that has allowed the                   there will not do.”                           joined MDU on 23 November 1978 on             accept the resignation of Mr P D Gupta.
mushrooming growth of BEd colleges on                The above news indicates the             contract basis.                                      Mr Gupta, the knowledgeable,
some extra-academic considerations to           transfer of Mr Sukhbir Singh, who was               The team comprising Mr Hardwari         daring person, was fully familiar in
flourish with underqualified staff.             holding the post of Controller of             Lal, the Vice-Chancellor, Dr S N Rao, the     arranging the papers-setting work with
      The reproachable aspect of the            Examinations and was involved in the          Registrar, Mr P D Gupta, the CoE and Mr       strict     secrecy,       conducting      the
whole problem is that both UGC and              alleged leakage of MD/MS/PG diploma           L Rama Chandran, the Dean of Colleges         examinations,           dispatching       the
NCTE are maintaining a meaningful               entrance examinations.                        was amazing for achieving the objectives      answer-books            for       evaluation,
silence on this issue. Both these                    Keeping in view the above alleged        of University administration of this infant   maintaining complete confidentiality,
organisation were approached to furnish         leakage prima-facie, the Vice-Chancellor,     university.                                   follow-up action in respect of unfair
information under the Right to                  Dr R P Hooda, constituted a fact-finding            The role of the CoE is of utmost        means cases, declaration of results in
Information Act, 2005 regarding the             inquiry committee to look into the            importance since credibility of the           time, re- evaluation of the answer-books,
minimum qualifications prescribed for           allegations. The committee expressed          University largely rests on the successful    if any, and many other function
the post of Lecturers/Principals in BEd         doubts over the emergence of a                holding of examinations (general as well                         >     Contd on P 3 Col 1
15 JUNE 2008                                                  REGIONAL NEWSFILE                                                                                                           3
           Y C Simhadri Likely to Move Patna HC for Relief
        Chancellor may have some tough
            questions to answer
                                              will be watched with interest not only in
              Special to UT                   academic circles but outside as well. At
                                              stake is not just a job but the reputation
                                              of a well known scholar and a 4 times
BY removing Prof PatnaSimhadri as
 Vice-Chancellor of
                    Y C
                        University in         Vice-Chancellor of different universities
a sudden and unexpected move the              starting from Andhra University at
Chancellor (Governor of Bihar), Mr R S        Waltair, then Nagarjuna down South to
Gavai, almost cleared the passage for         Varanasi in North and latest at Patna.
award of Padmashri to Prof S D Thorat,              However, it appears Prof Y C
Chairman of UGC. The staff in the Raj         Simhadri is trying to exhaust all
Bhavan lost no time in promptly               efficacious alternative remedies. Having
informing Union Ministry of Home (which       already       represented       to      the
was to decide on Padma award within           Chancellor-Governor a few times, he has
hours if not days), MHRD Arjun Singh and      also written to the President of India, Ms
almost everyone who mattered. The fate        Pratibha Patil, as also the Congress
of Yedla C Simhadri was thus sealed.          supremo, Ms Sonia Gandhi. Probably a
      All the entreaties, representations     letter has also gone to Mr Arjun Singh,
and communications from Prof Y C              Union Minister of HRD. Relief appears
Simhadri, the ousted VC, failed to            unlikely in the face of such an ouster. So,
evoke any positive results. Pushed to         someone (Simhadri that is) who has
the wall, it appears, Y C Simhadri has        been Vice-Chancellor of 4 different
almost made up his mind to approach           universities and who probably is one of
Patna High Court for a suitable relief.       the highest qualified persons from
      Whether Simhadri will succeed is        among the SC category is facing a
difficult to say. Based in Patna, the         situation not of his own making. He fell
Governor       (Chancellor     of    Patna    foul of the Chancellor-Governor R S
University) may use all his skills to keep    Gavai because, somehow, his relative S
Simhadri in limbo. It bears repetition that   D Thorat had to be conferred the
the ‘resignation’ of Y C Simhadri was         Padmashri this year itself.
obtained      on     orders    from     the   Charges
Chancellor-Governor on 21 January
2008. Since the resignation was not
voluntary, within a day, Simhadri
                                              In the produceofwas: all that they
                                                     name      ‘charges’

withdrew the same signalling to the               Vice-Chancellor Y C Simhadri visited
Chancellor (Governor of Bihar) that he
                                                     [Right] The Order’ dated 21
did not plan to leave the matter rest at
                                                  January 2008 by Governor Gavai
that. If and when Prof Y C Simhadri
                                                removing Simhadri as VC of Patna
manages to file the petition, the outcome

                                                                                                                                                France for 5 days without the prior
MDU VC’s moral responsibility; Mess in Patna Varsity                                                                                            written permission of the Chancellor.
                                                                                                                                                Simhadri has produced evidence
>    From P 2 Col 4                           forthcoming entrance examination in a         of the Universities. It has also                    that the practice was to inform the
                                              fair manner.                                  recommended that the OSD acting on                  Chancellor (or his agent) orally and
connected with examinations. I have                                                         the behalf of the Chancellor should not             then the formal “permission” would
                                                           OM PARKASH WADHWA
seen the university administration,                                                         be empowered to interrogate of the                  arrive later. In any case, this was an
                                              HoD (Public Administration)                                                                       ‘official’ trip so to say. As President of
particularly the examinations wing, quite                                                   officers, teachers
closely.                                      Government College                                  and other employees of the                    AIU, Simhadri had gone to sign an
       Though, it is the collective           Rohtak 124001                                 Universities or inspect their offices.              MoU with the Government of France
responsibility of both the academicians                                                           Finally,   the     Committee       has        on behalf of the Govt of India. Can
and University officers/officials in          Patna Varsity Mess                            suggested that the state government                 t h i s b e c a l l ed m i s c o n d u c t o r
conducting the examinations (entrance         [Letter dated 24 April 2008 addressed         should constitute a group of Experts to             offence? That too serious enough to
examinations in particular) smoothly,         to Mr R S Gawai, Governor, Bihar &            recommend appropriate measures to                   warrant sudden dismissal?
but, based on my experience, I would say      Chancellor Patna University, Raj              restore the health of the universities in the       A complaint from the Principal of
that in conducting the examinations           Bhawan, Patna- 800001]                        state.                                              Patna Women’s College on some
smoothly and fairly, the man at the top of
this Examination Wing — CoE — must be         M    y dear Chancellor, May I draw your
                                                   attention to the Report of the Inquiry
                                                                                                  The report has been published in
                                                                                            the PUCL Bulletin of April 2008.
                                                                                                                                                silly dispute relating to number of
                                                                                                                                                holidays during Christmas, etc. In
above board.                                  Committee set up by the Bihar PUCL                  However, for ready reference I am             Bihar, the Chancellor sends out a list
       After the departure of Mr Gupta, Mr    under the chairmanship of Dr Prabhakar        attaching a copy.                                   of holidays and VCs of 13 odd State
(now Dr) K C Bhardwaj joined as               Sinha, National Vice President of the               I request you to take suitable action         Universities have no control on the
full-fledged CoE on 6-10-1983. Mr Ishwar      PUCL, on the recent suspension of Prof        so that the high office of the Chancellor           holidays. How, then, can this be an
Singh Dahiya, the then Deputy Registrar       N K Choudhary, head of the Department         is not dragged into unbecoming                      offence on the part of Prof Simhadri?
who could not become CoE, was very            of Economics, Patna University?               controversy.                                        Some complaints from students,
jealous to this appointment. As I was a             As an old boy of the Patna                             SYED SHAHABUDUDDIN                   teachers and karamcharis. Well, all of
personal associate to Mr Gupta and            University, I am appalled by the findings              Former Member, Rajya Sabha                 them warranted at least an inquiry
thereafter to Mr Bhardwaj, the two CoEs,      of the Committee. Apart from the                                                                  and not straight dismissal as the
Mr Dahiya ventilated his grievances           Choudhary affair, the Committee has                                                               Chancellor (Governor) did.
occasionally to me against this               reported that as Chancellor you have                                                                The rest, as they say, is history.
(Bhardwaj’s) appointment as CoE.              appointed one Shri Krishna Kumar as an                                                        Without waiting for a formal reply to the
       Mr K C Bhardwaj remained as CoE        OSD who conducts sudden raids on                                                              ‘chargesheet’             served            upon
of MDU for a longest period from 1983 to      colleges, calls Vice Chancellors and          FEDCUTA on Pay                                  Vice-Chancellor Y C Simhadri on 12
                                              other University officers directly and
2005. Yes in his absence (for various
reasons), Mr Chhatar Singh, IAS, Mr K L       recommends action.
                                                                                            Revision                                        January, the Chancellor went ahead and
                                                                                                                                            directed “Off With His Head” on 21
Chhachra, Dr S B Singal, Mr V P Mehta,              This is an extra-legal and even         >    From P 1 Col 3
                                                                                                                                            January as if something very ugly had
Mr K C Dadwal officiated as CoEs of           illegal procedure because the Patna           Association), Dr Samira Behera (Jt Secy         happened and that the dismissal could
MDU.                                          University Act, 1976, and the Bihar           of FEDCUTA, Assam University Teachers’          not wait even for a few days for the
       After the retirement of Dr K C         Universities Act, 1976 does not               Association, Prof Saleem Akhtar                 formality of an inquiry to be over. There
Bhardwaj (who is presently the                empower the Chancellor to appoint an          (President, AMUTA), Prof Kamal Mitra            is not one person in the whole university
Vice-Chancellor of Ch Devi Lal University,    OSD to inquire into the affairs of the        Chenoy (President, JNUTA), Prof Ram             system to oppose this sort of treatment
Sirsa), Dr Net Ram Garg, Mr Pradeep           Universities and colleges, or to inspect      Kishore Shastri (President, Allahabad           to a VC. Judge the standards of
Kasni, HCS, Mr K C Dadwal, Mr Sukhbir         them.                                         University Teachers’ Association), Prof M       behaviour for yourself.
Singh remained as the CoEs on adhoc                 Apparently, he is acting under your     S Senam Raju (Secretary, IGNOUTA),
basis.                                        authority as the Chancellor.                  Prof James Raju (Hyderabad Central
       Last month ie May 2008, Mr K C               As for the Choudhary case, the          University Teachers’ Association) and            Q: Who said, “Our lives
Dadwal, the senior most Deputy                Committee has recommended that his            Prof Arif Zaidi (President, Jamia                begin to end the day we be-
Registrar in the University, has replaced     suspension be revoked immediately and         Hamdard        University      Teachers’
                                              the Chancellor should act within the          Association).
                                                                                                                                             come silent about things
Mr Sukhbir Singh. Mr Dadwal deserves.
Let us hope the University conducts the       limits of the statute and desist from day                                                      thatmatter”?
                                              to day intervention in the administration                                                      A: Dr Martin Luther King, Jr
4                                                              REGIONAL NEWSFILE                                                                             15 JUNE 2008

       An Un/Under Qualified Appointed Professor in KU
 Case of Rajbir in Institute of Mass Communication & Media Technology
                                               more than 10 years at IGNOU and HPU,          accommodation on the campus at the                 issued by Dr Rajbir Singh, the then
From our Kurukshetra correspondent             (c) Dr Madhu Bala, MA (Linguistics 1979),     appropriate time.                                  Chairman, Deptt of Journalism, KU.
                                               PhD(Linguistics 1988) MA (Hindi 1997)                Appointment letter dated 31.X.07            Simultaneously, he was working as
                                               MMC (2002); she claimed that she has          was delivered personally on 01.11.07 by            DPRO in Haryana Govt.
KURUKSHETRA of Professor in the
 advertised a post
                                               been teaching for more than 17 years          Mr S P Batra OSD to VC, KU to Dr Rajbir            3. Though he got MMC in 2000 from
Institute of Mass Communication and            including 7 years regular teaching in the     Singh at his residence H No 2063, Sector           GJU Hisar (the minimum qualification
Media Technology (IMC&MT), KU under            Deptt of Journalism and Mass                  27C, Chandigarh.                                   for the post of Lecturer in Journalism &
self-finance scheme vide advertisement         Communication at KU.                                 The KU after issuing appointment            Mass Communication being MMC,
No 4/2007. The last date was 14 August               Prof B K Kuthiala and Dr M K Jain       letter dated 31.X.07 also issued another           NET / PhD) he was found fit to teach
2007. Qualification for the post were:         did scrutiny of the applications on 22        letter     No       ET-7/07/13987         dated    the students of PGDJMC / BJ / MMC at
      “An e mi ne nt sc ho la r with           August 2007. The committee observed,          02.11.2007 and ET-7/07/14380 dated                 GJU from 1996 to 2007! Prof Manoj
      published work of high quality           “Dr Rajbir Singh and Dr S B Sharma are        08.11.07. For what reason? Sources                 Dayal, Dean and Chairman,
      actively engaged in research with        eligible. Dr Madhu Bala is not eligible       reveal that, first, the post of Professor was      Department of CM&T&ADVET Mgt
      10 years of experience in post           as she belongs to the discipline of           advertised           under        self-finance.    &PR, GJU Hisar issued an experience
      g ra du a t e te a chin g a nd or        linguistics. Her qualifications and           Appointment of Dr Rajbir was also done             certificate to this effect.
      re se a r ch         at         the      research work not related to mass             under self-finance scheme. Future of               Simultaneously, he was working as
      university/national level institute      communication.”                               self-finance courses being uncertain, to           DPRO/Assistant Director/Dy Director in
      including experience of guiding                Later Dr R P Hooda (the then VC of      adjust him against a regular post, Dr              Haryana Govt. His experience
      re search at doctoral level in           KU) ordered on 22 Auguyst 2007 itself,        Hooda transferred a post of Professor              certificate issued by Prof Dayal also
      communication/Journalism".               “Dr Rajbir Singh and Dr S B Sharma may        from Economics Deptt to IMC&MT. This               indicates that he was paper-setter and
      The response to this ad was very         be called for interview as and when the       was done just to secure his future in KU.          examiner of various examinations in
poor. Only 3 candidates, namely, Dr            meeting of the selection committee is         The whole process smacks of favouritism            the University for the last 10 years.
Rajbir Singh — a Dy Director from PR           convened and they may be asked to             in the appointment of Dr Singh.                    Interestingly, He was a student of MMC
Department Haryana Chandigarh, Dr S B          submit 4 sets of their publications at the           Later, he was allotted an E-Type            in 2000 at GJU Hisar. How come he
Sharma          —       State     Bureau       time of interview and the assessment          House (under construction) by Dr R P               was also a paper setter and examiner
Chief-cum-Incharge        Punjab   Kesari      work may be got done on the spot.”            Hooda. In fact, power of allotment of              of MMC in the years 2000 at the same
Shimla, and Dr Madhu Bala, a Sr Reader               Interview was conducted on 1            houses lies with House Allotment                   GJU Hisar where he was a student?
Deptt of MEL, KU were the applicants.          October 2007 at 11 am. The meeting was        Committee of the University. As such,                    Interestingly, he was teaching as
                                               attended by 7 persons, namely, Dr R P         appointment of Rajbir Singh as a                   guest faculty at KU and GJU for more
Some Scrutiny This!                            Hooda — VC, Prof J S Yadav                    Professor in the IMC&MT, KU raises                 than 10 years to BJ and MMC students
Prof BProfessor MDirector Dean Faculty
      K Kuthiala,
                  K Jain,
                          IMC&MT, KU           (Chancellor’s Nominee), Dr M K Jain —
                                               Dean, Prof B Kuthiala — Director,
                                                                                             many questions:
                                                                                             1. How can a person, who is an MA in
                                                                                                                                                without the minimum qualifications. He
                                                                                                                                                has not claimed any TA /DA to travel to
of    Management,      scrutinised   the       IMC&MT, KU, Prof R M Pathak (expert),         English, be registered for PhD in                  Kurukshetra/       Hisar    from   Kaithal/
applications.                                  Director, M G Kashi Vidyapeeth,               Education without BEd and MEd? Later               Chandigarh. Moreover, he has not
     Qualifications of the candidates          Varanasi, Prof Vepa Rao (expert), H P         he was awarded PhD in Education.                   claimed any remuneration for teaching
were: (a) Dr Rajbir Singh, MA (English         University, Prof A N K Durrani (expert),      2. How was a person who passed                     as a Guest Faculty at KU/GJU. The issue
1985 KU) PGDJMC (1996, KU) PhD                 AMU, Aligarh and Prof V K Agarwal             PGDJMC in 1996 from KU (the                        here is very vital. How can a person be
(Education, 1999, KU) MMC (2000, GJU.          (Secretary), Registrar of KU.                 qualification for the post of Lecturer in          present simultaneously at 3 places —
He claimed that he was teaching post                 Committee      recommended       the    Journalism & Mass Communication                    Kurukshetra, Hisar and Chandigarh — at
graduate classes at KU and GJU for more        appointment of Dr Rajbir Singh. They          being MMC, NET/PhD) was found fit to               the same time? It clearly indicate that he
than 10 years. (b) Dr S B Sharma, MMC          also recommended that he may be               teach the students of PGDJMC/BJ /                  procured bogus experience certificate
(1999) PhD (Journalism, 2007), He also         provided         suitable        university   MMC at KU from 1994 to 1998? An                    from KU/GJU. Scrutiny committee did
claimed the he was a visiting faculty for                                                    experience certificate to this effect was          not consider that Dr Singh is MMC of
                                                                                                                                                2000 from KU. He was PhD of 1999 from
                                                                                                                                                KU in Education. That means he was not
                                                                                                                                                PhD      in     Journalism     and    Mass
SC Lady Lecturer in Electronics at                                                                                                              Communication after obtaining the
                                                                                                                                                MMC. Furthermore he was an employee
                                                                                                                                                of PR Deptt of Haryana where no PG
Kurukshetra University Resigns                                                                                                                  teaching /research is being done. Merely
                                                                                                                                                one or two lectures by an unqualified
                                                                                                                                                person in PCP classes at KU or GJU
                                               George was not called. Dr George was a        Delhi that too in a private college of Delhi       cannot be called teaching/research
   The gameplan is                             founder chairman and Dean of faculty.         University.                                        experience of more than 10 years.
                                               Now he is retired. Rather, he was allgedly         As per the roaster, now this post
to replace SC with                             abused during the conference that             after vacation by SC candidate will go
                                                                                                                                                      If Dr Singh, MA (English 1985),
                                                                                                                                                PhD Education, 1999) and MMC (2000)
general category                               during the previous regime there was no
                                               progress in the department. It was
                                                                                             to a general category candidate. The
                                                                                             new chairman of the department will fit
                                                                                                                                                without any Teaching Experience of
                                                                                                                                                PG classes was found qualified for the
                                               running in a casual manner.                   his favorite on this post as a Lecturer a          post of Professor in KU, then why not
From our Kurukshetra correspondent                  Earlier in an interview dated       .    fellow who is reportedly teaching                  other fellows who were better
                                               One of the PhD students of Dinesh, one        (private coaching) to his son/daughter             qualified? How was Dr Madhu Bala MA
                                               Virender, were appointed as Lecturer in       at home. He is also busy in his other              (Linguistics 1979), PhD (Linguistics
RECENTLY a SC Department from
              lady Lecturer
                                               Electronics. Both of them were MSc
                                               Physics. In this interview, Dr Dyshyant
                                                                                             household work.
                                                                                             Dr Rakesh
                                                                                                                                                1988) MMC (2002) with 7 years regular
                                                                                                                                                teaching experience to Journalism
Kurukshetra University has resigned due        Gupta, MSc Electronics and PhD                                                                   students was not found qualified?
to alleged ill will and negative attitude of
Dr Dinesh Kumar, Chairman of the
                                               Electronics with 15 years teaching
                                               experience were ignored. This case is
                                                                                             Why Dr Rakesh is inin Physics and
                                                                                              subject experts
                                                                                                                   the panel of
                                                                                                                                                      Question arises whether Prof B K
                                                                                                                                                Kuthiala himself is competent to hold the
Department.                                    pending adjudication in the High Court of     Electronics in KU? In fact, Dr Dinesh
                                                                                             showed him dream to be a Professor of              position as Director IMC & MT, KU? He is
      Going by the facts, it appears, the      Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh.                                                                MA (Anthropology), no BJ, no MMC no
present Chairman has started some kind                                                       nano-Science in KU. If I will be professor
                                               UGC mandate violated                          then you will be professor at KU.                  PhD. But he was appointed as a Reader
of an anti-SC derive in the department. A                                                                                                       in KU. Later he was called as Professor in
few years ago, he had created problems
for another fellow Suresh Kumar.
                                               Allinstructions from thedespite tothe clear
                                                    this being done
                                                                        UGC        appoint
                                                                                                   First Dr Rakesh was invited as
                                                                                             subject expert in KU. He was one of the            GJU on deputation. Later, Dr Hooda
                                                                                                                                                installed him as Director. When Prof
      Going by the circumstances, it           Mc Electronics teachers to teach              members of Selection committee during
                                               Electronics courses.                          the CAS interview of Dr Dinesh as                  Kuthiala himself does not possess any
appears that that he wants to fit some                                                                                                          diploma/ degree in journalism and is
favorite candidate of general category. In           In another incident, a few years ago,   Professor CAS. Later, Dr Rakesh applied
                                               a person who was teaching BSc                 for the post of Professor of Physics in KU.        working as a faculty member, why will he
a selection committee dated, 3 persons                                                                                                          bother about others’ qualifications in the
appeared in the interview for one post of      Electronics for the last 13 years was         Scrutiny committee in KU rejected
                                               appointed as Lecturer in Physics to teach     unfortunate/deliberately his application.          scrutiny committee? But in case of Dr
Lecturer in Electronics, viz, Anand                                                                                                             Madhu Bala he has shown extra
Kumar, Mamta and Anil Kumar. All of            Physics Classes.Touchier was reason.          He was declared as ineligible.
                                               The lady lecturer given so much work                It KU were already Professor in other        sensitivity. She was declared unqualified.
them were qualified. Anand and Mamta                                                                                                                  It is obvious that the Scrutiny
possess MSc Physics. Anil was MSc              load that she was teaching others classes     universities may be considered as
                                               as well as her own. Chairman and other        ineligible. But they me be subject expert          Committee did not act fairly. The
Electronics. Anand was ignored despite                                                                                                          selection committee did not assess the
having 4 years experience of teaching.         teachers were available in the                in KU and conduct interview and
                                               department rare. On the other hand she        competent to appoint / select Professor            candidates judiciously. The chairman
Anil was not considered because he was                                                                                                          Selection Committee, Dr R P Hooda,
allegedly not suited to Dr Dinesh. Mamta       was instructed to sit in the department       in KU. When the matter of Dr Rakesh
                                               from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.                      came in the light of a Professor of Physics        managed subject experts from
was appointed because it suited him.                                                                                                            Varanasi, Shimla and Aligarh.
                                                     Earlier, she was working as Lecturer    in Meerut. He files a case against Dr
George not invited                             in Physics in a private college of Delhi      Rakesh for fraud and cheating.It is usual                These questionable appointments
                                                                                                                                                were largely known yet the EC was silent.
Before the interview, Dr Dineshexperts.
 contacted to the subject
                               allgedly        University. She shifted to KU because her
                                               father is living in Kurukshetra. Moreover
                                                                                             trend in KU, there are many teachers they
                                                                                             are always very close to the VC. After             Why? If the matter is not resolved at
Later in the conference meeting, one of        this post was a university position. After    escape of the VC, the start to abuse him.          University/ Chancellor level then it will go
the experts revealed the negation of           her resignation, she is forced to stay in     So is the case of Ram Pal Hooda and Dr             to the Lokpal Haryana or the President of
Anand to him. In the conference, Dr                                                          Dinesh Kumar.                                      India.
15 JUNE 2008                                                   REGIONAL NEWSFILE                                                                                                   5
      DU Maths Teachers ‘Perturbed’ Over New Syllabus
                Allege VC stonewalled all efforts to follow Ordinances/Statutes
                                               colleges.” Since they were asked to send     and scientific institutions such as the       meeting, the body that reportedly
         From official sources                 their comments by 26 April, they had to      IIT’s, IISc, ISRO, DRDO and NPL.              “approved” this syllabus itself has no
                                               hurriedly convene meetings, which was               Unfortunately, not one of these        statutory recognition. The conclusions of
                                               not easy since classes had got over on 23    representations was read out at the           this meeting, therefore, can in no way be
THE Mathematics teachers of various
 colleges of Delhi University, are             March and exams were in full swing,          meeting of the Empowered Committee            construed as the decision of the
extremely perturbed about the way in           continues the press-release. “The timing     held on 28 April, to which members of the     Committee of Courses or of the Faculty
which the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Deepak         seems to have been designed to give          Committee of Courses and the Faculty of       of Mathematics to approve the syllabus,
Pental, has bypassed all statutes,             college teachers hardly any time to          Mathematics had been invited.                 a prerequisite for placing it before the
ordinances and norms in order to try and       discuss it and to formulate their opinions          Even the names of the colleges         Academic Council. It is simply a
push through a new undergraduate               about it,” whines the organisation.          which had sent their criticism and            transparent attempt to subvert the
Mathematics syllabus in a meeting of the             Despite the shortage of time, at       comments were not reported. Moreover,         functioning of both these statutory
Academic Council to be reportedly held         least    16    colleges    sent    written   no changes at all were made in the draft,     bodies.
in June, states a press- release by a newly    representations expressing their deep        confirming the suspicion that even the              We strongly feel that the proposed
formed organisation called in the              dismay about the draft which had many        obviously cosmetic exercise of asking         syllabus, if implemented in its current
University of Delhi.                           half-baked and vague proposals and           colleges for their opinions was just a        form, will cause immense damage to
                                               several glaring omissions states the         farce. These bull-dozing tactics have led     undergraduate mathematics education
Dinesh Singh                                   press-release.                               to widespread resentment among                and to the careers of future generations
The press-release further alleged that
 “this is clearly being done to compel
                                                     DILUTION OF STANDARDS: They
                                               pointed out that the whimsical manner in
                                                                                            college teachers, who feel that they are
                                                                                            being completely bypassed in this
                                                                                                                                          of our students. This will make the
                                                                                                                                          Mathematics (Honours) at our University
colleges to implement it from this July        which the draft has been prepared would      important exercise.                           extremely unattractive and drive bright
itself, despite the grave misgivings           lead to a dilution of standards and the             The above-mentioned meeting was        young students away from it.
expressed by teachers of various               omissions (such as that of Mechanics)        chaired by the Director of South Campus             We demand that the existing
colleges,” continues the release.              would be a serious handicap for those of     and           addressed      by       the     syllabus be continued for another year
       The organisation alleges that the       our students who wish to appear for the      pro-Vice-Chancellor (a non Math               (viz 2008-09) during which extensive
proposed syllabus has been prepared            NET, the IAS, post-graduate studies in       person), both of whom have no statutory       discussions on the proposed syllabus are
not by the Committee of Courses of the         most universities (including our own!)       locus standi as far as Departmental           held with college teachers through
Mathematics Department (as laid                                                             revision of syllabi is concerned. In that     meetings, workshops and symposiums.
down in the Ordinances and Statutes)
but by an “empowered committee” set
up by the Vice-Chancellor and headed
by Prof Dinesh Singh, a Professor in           St Stephen’s College makes new policy for admissions
the Department of Mathematics, who is
also the Director of the South Campus.
       Considering the fact that the
proposal differs drastically in structure,
                                               DTF Angry at Policy Shift on Admissions
form and content from an earlier draft
prepared by the Department of
Mathematics, states the press-release, “it
                                               THE Democraticits “deep concern”(DTF)
                                                has expresses
                                                              Teachers’ Front
                                                                                            sections, states a press-release dated 2
                                                                                            June of the organisation.
                                                                                                                                          adopted         last    year    after   wide
                                                                                                                                          consultations involving the teaching staff
                                               the news that the St Stephen’s College is         “It would have been most                 so that the provision of reservation for the
came as a complete shock to college
                                               planning to change its admission policy      appropriate to have widely publicized in      SC/ST and for Christians with Dalit
teachers who saw it for the first time in
                                                                                            time the admission policy that was            background which were introduced last
mid-April, 2008, when it was sent to the
                                                                                                                                          year translated into intake of such
                                                                                                                                          students. Frequent and unstated
                                                                                                                                          changes are uncalled for,” states the
Vadodara University Dithers Over                                                                                                                 It would be most unfortunate, states
                                                                                                                                          DTF, however, if the proposed changes
                                                                                                                                          reduce in any way the earmarked 15%
Action on Prof Panikkar                                                                                                                   seats the SC/ST candidates and 10%
                                                                                                                                          seats (25% of the 40% seats reserved for
                                                                                                                                          Christians) for Daliit Christians. Such a
Inquiry ordered by VC & Guv give conflicting findings                                                                                     move would reverse the progressive
                                                                                                                                          initiatives taken during the last year. Only
                                                                                                                                          those opposed to reservations for the
                                                                                            authorities have been dithering on the 10     deprived, those seeking to reserve this
by Manoj Mitta, in The Times of India                                                       charges they themselves served upon           institution of academic excellence for the
                                                                                            Panikkar in July 2007, as he was the Dean     children of the political, social and
                                                                                            of the Faculty at the time of exhibition.
THE twoon a student exhibitionthe year
        parallel inquiries into
                                                                                            Though the VC-appointed Committee
                                                                                                                                          economic elite through a non-
                                                                                                                                          transparent admission process and
ago at Vadodara’s renowned faculty of                                                       reported that the charges framed against      those whose religious fundamentalism
fine arts, allegedly for offending religious                                                Panikkar were “proved”, the University        disallows recognition of dalits among
sentiments, seem to have cancelled each                                                     authorities could not disregard the other     Christians would have cause to be
other out. For, Prof Shivaji Panikkar, who                                                  Committee as the Governor who had             happy, adds DTF.
was suspended for permitting and                                                            appointed it, is the Visitor of the                  “Such a regressive step would also
backing such an exhibition has since                                                        University.                                   amount to be a capitulation to the
been neither dismissed nor reinstated.                                                      Stalemate                                     Hindutva brigade that would not allow
      On one hand, the “inquiry                                                                                                           dalits, who do not proclaim themselves
committee” set up by the Vice-
Chancellor, Manoj Soni, found him guilty
                                                                                            The stalematetoo despite the fact that
                                                                                             Alagh panel
                                                                                                             faulted Panikkar for         Hindus, any benefit of reservations,”
                                                                                            aggravating the crisis on the campus by       states DTF. In fact the Hindutva brigade
of    violating    conduct     rules     and                                                allowing the students to hold another         accepts reservation for the SC/ST on the
                                                        Prof Shivaji Panikkar
recommended “appropriate disciplinary                                                       exhibition to protest the arrest of           condition that non-Hindus should be
action”. But on the other hand, the                                                                                                       deprived of it. In the recent past it has
                                                                                            Chandramohan and the violation of
“fact-finding committee” appointed by          well, on May 9, 2007, when it was                                                          sought to inject communal poison by
                                                                                            academic freedom. It suggested to the
Gujarat Governor Nawal Kishore Sharma          subjected to the mob attack. While the                                                     organizing meetings of SC/ST political
                                                                                            Governor to issue a mild reprimand to
recommended “withdrawal of the                 the VC-appointed gave the finding that                                                     leaders to campaign that allowing dalit
                                                                                            Panikkar without any bearing on his
suspension orders” against Panikkar as         the exhibition was open to the public                                                      Christians reservation would adversely
                                                                                            seniority in the University and eligibility
he could be let off with a “mild               the governor-appointed committee                                                           affect other dalits. “ We urge the St
                                                                                            for future responsibilities.
reprimand”.                                    held faculty of fine arts was still going                                                  Stephen’s’ College administration not to
                                               through the examination procedure                                                          give      up      far-reaching    progressive
Unusual                                        when the mob barged into the
                                                                                             UT, 30th Year of Truth!                      initiatives it took last year, states DTF.
Unusual as theyresult ofthe political
 inquiries were a
                             parallel          exhibition.
polarization on the campus in the wake         Alagh Committee Castigates
of the time of the exhibition. Though          VC
episode in which a ’moral brigade’                                                           “The words ‘law and order’ have so frequently been misused
vandalized the exhibition and the police       Conductedby by a 3-member former
                                                headed      economist and a
                                                                                             as an excuse for oppression that the very phrase has become
arrested student S Chandramohan on             Minister      Y      K       Alagh,   the     suspect in countries which have known authoritarian rule....
the charge of putting up the graphic           governor-appointed probe came down
installations which offended religious         heavily on the VC and other University
                                                                                             There is no intrinsic virtue in law and order unless ‘law’ is
sensibilities of Hindus and Christians.        authorities for allowing the mob and the      equated with justice and ‘order’ with the discipline of a people
      The issue in contention is whether       police to disrupt the examination process     satisfied that justice has been done....The true measure of jus-
the exhibition of student’s work was           in the faculty of Fine Arts.
purely a part of the examination                     Thanks to such adverse findings         tice of a system is the amount of protection it guarantees to
process or was it open to the public as        against themselves, the university            the weak.”                                — Aung Saan Suu Kyi
6                                                                                  FEATURE                                                                      15 JUNE 2008

              Some Thoughts on Composite Culture of India
                                                                           by Asghar Ali Engineer

India invaders rather from beginning of
       saw wave after wave of outsiders                When we say pure Hindu or Islamic
                                                 culture we imply that culture is product of
                                                                                                  culture of Japan. All these cultures are
                                                                                                  radically different though Buddhism is a
                                                                                                                                                   but one should not emphasize syncretic
                                                                                                                                                   nature of our heritage such for the sake
history. Only those who are known as             religion and nothing else. This is not true.     common factor among them.                        of political need but also in the interest of
adivasis or aboriginals and Dravidians           Religion undoubtedly is an important                   Similarly Islam also spread to many        our authentic history. History should not
are known to be original inhabitants of          influence but not the only one. Religion         areas far away from Arabia, the land of its      be distorted either way - to divide people
India. The Dravidian culture may not have        is, among others, one of the factors in          origin. It spread from Indonesia in South        as also to unite people. Distortion of
had composite character as also the              giving birth to a culture. Culture, in fact,     East Asia to Algeria in North Africa.            history, even for positive purpose, is a
aboriginal one which was essentially a           is product of several factors like customs,      Though Islam is a common factor and yet          dangerous thing. History should be
folk culture. The Aryan culture that begins      traditions, whether, locally available           indigenous cultures of Indonesia,                written rising above all religious, political
with Aryan invasion, is the dawn of              materials, geographical conditions and           Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Iran,      or cultural needs. Those who temper with
composite culture in India. I know a             so on.                                           Central Asia, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco,             their past would temper with their future
section of scholars, especially those                                                             Tunisia and Algeria, china, Turkey and           as well.
affiliated with Sangh Parivar, maintain
                                                 Pre-existingCulture                              Eastern Europe gave rise to numerous
                                                                                                                                                   Fusion of religious and
that Aryans were original inhabitants and
never came from outside. However, most
                                                 Aof a pre-existent culture. Andframe
                                                   religion may appear within the
                                                                                                  cultures different from each other. If
                                                                                                  religion were the only factor all these          spiritualpractices
                                                 religious teachings may deeply influence
noted historians and scholars do not
subscribe to this view and maintain that         that pre- existent culture and re-fashion it
                                                                                                  cultures would not differ.
                                                                                                  Indo-Islamic Culture
                                                                                                                                                   Islamic ritual practices influenced
                                                                                                                                                    indigenous Hindu practices and vice
Aryans came from outside.                        in its own way. For example, Islam                                                                versa. Many scholars have pointed out
       I propose in this article to deal with
composite culture which came into
                                                 appeared within the frame of pre-existing
                                                 Arab      culture    and     subsequently        In India
                                                                                                              its existence for almost
                                                                                                                 years     gave      rise    to
                                                                                                                                                   that Satya Narayan Katha which is widely
                                                                                                                                                   prevalent in northern India today came
existence with the invasion of various           remoulded that culture in its own way.      Indo-Islamic culture which in northern                into existence by imitating Muslim
Muslim dynasties in Sultanate as well as         But what we call ’Islamic culture’ cannot   India is also called by various names like            practice of public narration of Prophet’s
Mughal period. Preceding these Muslim            be thought of without Arab culture of its   Ganga-Jamni tehzib (culture of the                    life story especially in Bengal and
dynasties were many others like Sakias,          time.                                       region between the rivers Ganga and                   subsequently it spread to other parts of
Huns and Greeks and all of them left their             Similarly what we call ’Hindu’        Jamuna or Mili-juli tahzib(syncretic                  north India. Common Hindus are hardly
deep imprints on our culture. It is more         culture or Buddhist culture came into       culture) or Sanjhi virasat (composite                 aware of origin of practice of Satya
difficult and challenging to trace their         existence within the framework of           heritage). Though these terms mainly                  Narayan Katha.
influences now as they constitute                pre-existent Dravidian and Aryan cultures   refer to north Indian culture. Composite                    Similarly several Sufi rituals,
remotest past.                                   and the Hindu or Buddhist cultures          culture is not essential restricted to north          practices and beliefs, have deep imprint
       However, influences of Turks,             cannot be imagined without their            India. India is land of many cultures and             of indigenous practices. The noted
Tughlaks, Khaljis, Lodis and especially          pre-existent cultures. Also, when these     all regional cultures from north to south             German scholar Gruhnbalm thinks that
Moghuls have been very well recorded             religions spread to areas other than that   and east to western parts of India.                   the Sufi doctrine of fana’ fi Allah
and continue to be part of our culture. But      of their origin, they imbibed, assimilated         When we refer to culture it includes           (annihilation in Allah) is result of Hindu
in our mutual animosities we deliberately        and integrated elements of cultures         art and architecture, language, poetry,               doctrine of smadhi in which a person
ignore these influences or even try to           already existing in those areas.            music, paintings, dances, draperies,                  annihilates himself in Ishwara, the
reduce our culture to a monolithic one or              Buddhism spread to various            food habits, customs, traditions and                  ultimate being. It is also important to note
pure one. It is well known that all              countries like Sri Lanka, China, Thailand,  some religious, especially spiritual                  that many great Sufi saints like Baba
communal as well as bigoted elements             Tibet, Cambodia, Vietnam and Japan          practices. After years of composite                   Farid of Punjab, Sheikh Mohammad of
try to project a ’pure’ culture. They try to     and so on. This gave rise to syncretic      traditions coming into existence it                   Maharashtra and others wrote in local
emphasise a pure Hindu or pure Islamic           cultures in Thailand, Sri Lanka, China,     becomes so assimilated that we consider               languages like Punjabi or Marathi. This
culture. In other words we communalise           Cambodia and Tibet. The Buddhist            it part of our original culture. Only                 made them much more acceptable
our culture as we communalize our                culture in India cannot be same as say      scholars know its composite nature.                   among the local populace.
politics.                                        Buddhist culture of Tibet or Buddhist              The discourse about Composite                        Baba Farid is highly respected by
                                                                                             culture is also deeply influenced by                  Sikhs as his Punjabi verses have been
                                                                                             political needs. The communal forces, as              included in the Adi Granth sahib. The
                                                                                             pointed out before, want to deny                      Punjab University has established Baba
                                   WANTED                                                    existence of syncretism or composite
                                                                                             nature of culture and those who promote
                                                                                                                                                   Farid Chair and lot of work on Sufism is
                                                                                                                                                   done through this department. Sikh
        Applications are invited from the eligible candidates for the following              national integration and communal                     Gurus had great regard for Sufi saints.
  vacancies in Swami Vivekanand Mahavidyalaya run by Bal Bhagwan Shikshan                    harmony try to develop a composite                    When the foundation stone for Har
  Prasarak Mandal, Ahmedpur. The applications should reach the undersigned                   discourse for our culture as it helps                 Mandir was being laid the Sikh Guru
  within fifteen days from the date of publication of this advertisement at the college      bringing communities together.                        Arjan Dev insisted that Mian Mir, the Sufi
  address.                                                                                          This composite discourse becomes               saint of Lahore would be the one to lay
                                                                                             a great political need in a society like              the foundation stone. He was requested
  Sr.No            Post             No. of           Full time          Reservation          India which is so diverse and in the                  and he came and laid the foundation
                                     Posts                                                   process of nation building fusion of                  stone of Har Mandir.
                                                                                             various communities and harmony                             Sufis showed respect for Hindu
   01      Principal             one           Full time             Unreserved              among them becomes very necessary.                    religion and indigenous practices. Many
                                                                                             The British rulers were busy dividing us              rituals during the urs (death anniversary)
  Educational Qualifications:                                                                and our liberation from British rule would            of a Sufi saint have been borrowed by
      1)        A Master Degree with at least 55% of the marks OR it’s equivalent grade not have been possible without bringing
                                                                                                                                                   local Hindu customs around a temple.
                of B in the seven point scale with letter grades O,A,B,C,D,E,&F.             various communities, especially Hindus                Khwaja Hasan Nizami in his book Fatimi
      2)        Ph.D. or equivalent published work.                                          and Muslims together. Thus even during                D’awat-e-Islam have described in detail
      3)        A.     Professor’s Grade: (Rs.16000-450-20900-500-22400) (Minimum to be freedom struggle communal forces
                                                                                             our                                                   some of these rituals. According to him
                fixed at     17300/-) Total experience of fifteen years of teaching/ research i
                                                                                             were        emphasizing         our     separate      the annual day rituals of Hindu temple
                universities/ Colleges & other institutions of higher education.             communal identities.                                  were adopted for urs rituals like taking
                B.     Reader’s Grade: (Rs.12000-420-18300)(Minimum to be fixed at
                                                                                             Hindu Rashtra & Islamic                               out sandal paste in procession and
                       12840/-) Total experience of 10 years of teaching/ Research in
                                                                                                                                                   chador in a palkhi (palanquin) and
                       Universities / Colleges & Other Institutions of Higher Education.     Nation                                                washing the grave of the Sufi and offering
  Pay Scales:                                                                                       The theories of Hindu Rashtra and              chador is adoption of temple rituals.
      Pay Scale and other allowances as per the rules of U.G.C., State Govt. and             Islamic nation was result of such
      Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University, Nanded.                                   attempts          by     communal          forces.    Only Difference
                                                                                             Ultimately these communal forces on
                Eligible Candidates should submit their applications through the proper both sides succeeded in dividing our                       Only grave. In annual day ritual idol is
                                                                                                                                                        difference is that idol is replaced

                channel.                                                                     nation despite such composite nature of               washed with sandal paste and on urs Sufi
      2)        No. T.A. / D.A. will be paid for attending the interview.                    our cultural and some religious practices.            saint’s grave is washed with the paste
      3)        Attested xerox copies of S.S.C. Certificates , Degree, Mark sheets etc.      The national discourse, of course,                    after bringing it in a procession along
                should be attached to the application.                                       emphasized composite nature of our                    with a chador. It is interesting to note that
      4)        The Condition of 55% is not applicable to those candidates who were          culture but for various reasons, not to be            in Mahim, Mumbai, the police inspector
                appointed before 27.02.1979 as a Lecturer.                                   discussed here, this discourse was                    (generally a Hindu) carries the chador in
                                                                                             drowned in the separatist cacophony and               a thali (large dish) on his head and offers
        Application Complete in all respect should be reached to the following               more than half a million human beings                 on the grave of Sufi saint Makhdum
  address.                                                                                   lost their lives.                                     Mahimi.
                                                                                                    Today in contemporary India                          Again in Mumbai there are Hindu,
        To,                                                                                  communal forces are no less active.                   Muslim and Christian shrines where
        The Secretary,                                                                       These forces still talk of Hindu Rashtra              people of all religions go and take vows
        Bal Bhagwan Shikshan Prasarak Mandal,                                                and have coined slogan of ’one nation,                and pay their respects. Three shrines like
        c/o Swami Vivekanand Mahavidyalaya,                                                  one culture and one language. Such an                 Haji Ali, Siddhi Vinayak temple and
        Shirur Tajband, Tq. Ahmedpur Dist. Latur (M.S.)                                      approach denies the rich diversity of                 Mahim and Mount Mary churches are
        Pin. 413514                                                                          India and our composite heritage. Thus it             such shrines. Ajmersharif also attracts,
                                                                                             is in the interest of our unity to emphasize          along with other shrines like Nizamuddin
  Sd/ -                                                                            Sd/-      and re- emphasize the syncretic nature of             Awliya in Delhi and Baba Gesudaraz in
  President                                                                  Secretary       our heritage to draw people together.
                                                                                                    It is true that this is our political need                      >     Contd on P 7 Col 1
15 JUNE 2008                                                                        FEATURE                                                                                              7
Some Thoughts on Composite Culture of India
>       From P 6 Col 4                             Sindhi     cultures, despite    political      spoken by people in Bazar and never            was of the opinion that concept of
                                                   divisions, remain highly syncretic even        became court language except towards           tawheedi (oneness of God) was found in
Gulbargasharif attract large number of             after partition.                               the end of Moghul period. Urdu is mixture      Upanishad      AFTER      Qur’an.    The
non-Muslims.                                                                                      of local Indian dialects like Brijbhasha,      handwritten manuscript of Sirr-e-Akbar
     Sindh (now in Pakistan) and
                                                   Khusro                                         Haryanvi, Maithili, Purbi, Persian, Arabic,    prepared by Darasikoh himself is in the
Kashmir have strong Sufi traditions and
in both these regions Hindus have been
                                                   Amir Khusro, a greatAwliya,and great
                                                    close to Nizamuddin
                                                                                   very           Sanskrit etc.                                  library of Darul Musannifin, Azamgarh
                                                                                                                                                 and it was shown to me by its Director.
highly influenced by Sufis. In united              Sufi saint from Delhi, was himself a Sufi      Lanuguage of ruling class                      Dara Shikoh begins with Bismilliah
Punjab too, apart from Baba Farid,
Bullehshah, Makhdumshah Inayat and
                                                   and has made very seminal contribution
                                                   to composite culture of north India. His       Towards the end ofofMoghulclass and
                                                                                                   became language     ruling
                                                                                                                              period it          al-Rehman al- Rahim on left side and
                                                                                                                                                 Ganesha namaha on the right with a
others were highly respected by non-               father had come to India from Uzbekistan       was spoken by people of all communities        small figure of Ganesha.
Muslims as well. Bullehshah was from               and Khusro was born in India. His father       and it never was language of Muslims                 Darashikoh also wrote his magnum
Qadiriya school and was also influenced            married a local Muslim woman. Thus he          alone as it is projected today. Urdu           opus which he named Majma’-ul-
by Shatariayah school and hence one                was both an Uzbek from his father’s side       produced great Hindu poets, storywriters       Bahrayn i.e. Commingling of Two
finds elements of rebellion in his poetry.         and an Indian from mother’s side.              and novelists during freedom struggle as       Oceans (i.e. Hinduism and Islam). He
                                                         He composed poems in Persian but         well as in earlier period. Among story         compares teachings of two religions and
Sindh                                              also poems whose one line was in               writers and novelists in Urdu Premchand        concludes that difference is of language
In Sindh Shah Abdul amongBhitai was
 extremely popular
                                                   Persian and one line in local dialect Biraj.
                                                   He also composed dohas in Hindi which
                                                                                                  is the well-known name. He wrote
                                                                                                  volumes of short stories and acquired
                                                                                                                                                 (one is in Sanskrit and other in Arabic),
                                                                                                                                                 not of content. Hinduism and Islam have
apart from Muslims. Shah is a great                were on the lips of people. He was very        legendry fame through his Urdu fiction.        remarkable similarities in terms of
symbol of Sindhi culture and personality.          proud of being an Indian and wrote an               Krishanchand, Rejindra Singh Bedi,        contents and he discusses all the
No student of Sindhi culture and poetry            article on India in which he compares          Ramlal, Maniktala, Jogendra Paul and           theological terms of two religions and
can ever work ignoring Shah Abdul Latif.           India with other countries and proves          several others are well-known fiction          draws this conclusion. Books like
His poetic work has been collected in              India’s superiority, its flora and fauna and   writers in Urdu. Similarly Brijnarayan         Majma’-l-Bahrayn are true representative
Risalo and Risaloi is as popular among             maintains that India is unparalleled in its    Chakbast, Anandnarayan Mulla, Firaq            of our composite culture.
Hindu Sindhis as among Muslim Sindhis.             beauty. Anyone would feel proud of India       Gorakhpuri, Jagannath Azad, Pandit
In fact all Sindhis irrespective of their          after reading his essay.                       Zutshi Gulzar, Kalidas Gupta Raza,             Music, and architecture
religion sing verses from Risalo; with
great devotion. Shah Abdul Latif is,
                                                         Khusro was not only a great poet
                                                   but also a musician and invented some
                                                                                                  Pandit Ratan Nath Sarshar, Daya
                                                                                                  Shankar Naseem, Fikr Tausvi, Belraj            M uslims and inHindusfieldmademusic,
                                                                                                                                                   contributions  the       of

indeed part of our great composite                 musical instruments like sitar which is        Menra and several others are reputed to        paintings and architecture also. We
heritage.                                          in fact sah tar (three strings) as there       be good poets. Firaq Gorakhpuri carved         evolved a composite architecture which
      Kashmir is another region where              are three strings in this instrument.          out his own niche after Faiz Ahmed Faiz.       can be seen in Hindu temples as well as
Sufis helped create syncretic culture. No          Khusro also invented qawwali a genre           Thus Urdu was and is most significant          in structures constructed by Muslim
one can think of Kashmir without                   of poetry which is sung in                     symbol of our composite heritage.              kings, emperors and nawabs. Adilshahi
mentioning Nundrishi (Sufi Nuruddin is             accompaniment with harmonium and                                                              structures are an excellent example of
popularly known as Nundrishi in                    tabla on Sufi mausoleums. Khusro was
                                                                                                  Mulsim poets                                   composite architecture in Bijapur which
Kashmir) and the Shaivite saint Lalded.
Though Nuruddin was Muslim and
                                                   very close to Nizamuddin and wrote a
                                                   dirge on his death in Brij which is highly
                                                                                                  Even Muslim poets of UrduHindu holy
                                                                                                   wrote poems celebrating
                                                                                                                            language             was centre of Adilshahi rule.
                                                                                                                                                       Ibrahim Adilshah, popularly known
Lalded a Shaivite Hindu both shared very           popular even today.                            places and festivals. Ghalib who wrote in      as Jagatguru, was also scholar of
close relationship of mother and son and                 Urdu language itself is the great        nineteenth century wrote a long poem in        Sanskrit language and wrote poetry in
both are highly respected by all                   symbol of our composite culture. It was        Persian on Benaras and named it                Kannada as well as in Persian and
Kashmiris irrespective of religion. Both           borne in bazaar by mixing of different         Kaa’ba-e- Hindustan (chiragh-e-Dair) in        Deccani Urdu. Golgumbad, counted
have left deep imprint on syncretic                communities like Turks, Hindus, Indian         which he showers praises on the Hindu          among the wonders of the world is
culture of Kashmir. Both Kashmiri and              Muslims and others. It was always              holy place of worship. He says in one of       mausoleum of Ibrahim Adilshah and his
                                                                                                  the verses of this masnavi (long duet) that    wife and other relatives and its
                                                                                                  even grass of Benaras is like a garden         architecture is good example of our
                                                                                                  and its dust like the essence of soul          composite architecture. One even finds
                                                                                                  (jawher). Ghalib says further in this          idol of Lord Ganesha in one of the forts
      Now, Get Water From Air                                                                     colourful city of temples bahar (season of
                                                                                                  spring) remains permanent and never
                                                                                                  changes. In all seasons spring, or cold or
                                                                                                                                                 built during Adilshahi rule near Kolhapur.
                                                                                                                                                       Muslims enriched Indian classical
                                                                                                                                                 music through their own contribution.
                                                                                                  summer it always remains like paradise.        Dhrupad       and   Khayal      are    their
           Chennai Co Akash Ganga Has Patented                                                          Thus Ghalib lavishes praise on           contribution in Indian classical music.
                                                                                                  Benaras, the holy city of Hindus. He had       Khusro also invented some ragas. There
                Conversion Technology                                                             stayed in Benaras for few days while           have been several Muslim gharanas
                                                                                                  going from Delhi to Calcutta and he fell
           BSF among others using the machines                                                    in love with this holy city. Similarly Nazir
                                                                                                                                                 (schools) who made rich contribution to
                                                                                                                                                 Indian classical music. Tansen was one
                                                                                                  Akbarabadi wrote several poems                 of the greatest musician during medieval
                                                                                                  celebrating Hindu festivals. His poems
                 by Anirvan Ghosh, from Bangalore in                                              are in simple Hindustani. Many Sufis also
                                                                                                                                                 times. In our own times Bade Akbar Ali
                                                                                                                                                 Khan, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Zakir
                         The Economic Times                                                       wrote popular songs on Holi, the festival      Husain, they are all great musicians in
                                                                                                  of color. A programme based on these           their own right.
                                                                                                  songs was presented at Nehru Centre,
    IT HAS an almostreal. A fewconnotation
     to it, but it’s very
                                                   in the US to produce water- generating
                                                   machines in India.                             Mumbai written by Shamim Tariq, an
                                                                                                                                                       On the other hand Shankar
                                                                                                                                                 Shambhu two brothers were great
    in India are generating water out of thin             The company is now eyeing a             Urdu writer and journalist. It was indeed      qawwali singers and sang qawwalis on
    air, literally. And this watershed             global market, having sold $ 2.5 million       very impressive programme.                     the day of urs at Ajmersharif. Wherever
    technology is finding applications             worth of air-to-water machines for the               Also Holi, Dasehra and Diwali were       they were they would come to Ajmer on
    already, with the Indian Border Security       African market. “Our distributor network       officially celebrated in Mughal Darbars        the day of urs (death anniversary) to sing
    Force (BSF) among others using the             is growing and we are receiving                with great pomp and pageantry. On the          qawwali there. They had great faith in
    machines to meet the drinking water            enquiries and orders from institutional        day of Diwali Moghul princesses would          Khwaja Moinuddin, the Sufi saint of
    requirements of its troops in remote           and retail buyers from all parts of the        go round and distribute saris to poor          Ajmer.
    areas.                                         world,” says Pallan Katgara, president,        Hindu women and Red fort was                         Thus we see that India has great and
          And in water-parched African             WaterMaker.                                    decorated with lamps and it was known          rich tradition of composite culture which
    regions, these machines are selling like              These machines work best when           as jashn-e-chiraghan (i.e. festival of         our communal politics has completely
    hot cakes.                                     the temperature is around 25-32                lamps). Both Nauruz and Diwali were            ignored today and raising slogans of
          Chennai based Akash Ganga has            degrees Celsius and the humidity is            celebrated in grand manner. Nauruz is          pure Hindu and Muslim culture widening
    developed its own technology to make           between 60% and 70%. Factoring in the          central Asian festival.                        communal divide between two religious
    water from air using a heat exchange           operating cost of running a conventional             It is also important to note that both   communities.        Unfortunately       our
    process. Its founder S S Sivakumar, who        water filtration unit, the new air-to-water    the Hindu epics Ramayana and                   textbooks also downplay our syncretic
    holds the patent for this technology,          technology works out more economical.          Mahabharata were translated into               culture. It is time we do away with this
    explains, “It functions by drawing                    This new technology has the             Persian and Arabic and were beautifully        divide by projecting this rich culture calls
    atmospheric air in and makes a little rain     potential to grab a share from the             calligraphed. I have seen one such copy        it ganga-jamni tahzib, sanjhi wirasat or by
    by reducing its temperature. When              market for packaged water, which is one        of Ramayana calligraphed in Arabic             any other name.
    moisture particles get heavy and drop,         of the fastest growing at over 25%             script and bound with golden margins
                                                                                                  like the Qur’an in Alwar Museum. It is said    *Centre for Study of Society and
    that water is collected and filtered and       annually, according to the Centre for
                                                                                                  there are 60 different Persian and Arabic      Secularism, Mumbai — 400 055.
    given to you as drinking water by the          Science       and     Environment.     The
    machine.” Sivakumar’s invention is             machines provide pure drinking water           translations       of   Ramayana        and
    available at just over Rs 9,000 for an         while preserving the ground water level,       Mahabharata.
    eight litre water maker to around Rs           and possibly address one of the most                 Dara Shikoh, son of Shah Jahan
    42,000 for a 120-litre one. The machines       contentious problems in developing             who was appointed successor to the
    produce water at a cost of less than Re        countries — the availability of pure and       throne of India but lost to Aurangzeb in
    1 per litre, and can extract up to 25 litres   cheap water in water-scarce areas. Over        the battle of Samugarh, translated
    of pure water in a day.                        the last decade, the market for all water      Upanishad into Persian and named it             The power to command fre-
          Another player, Mumbai-based             filter machines grew around 30% each           Sirr-e-Akbar (The Great Mystery). Dara
    Water-Maker India, has collaborated            year, according to a report by the Filter      Shikoh had mastered Sanskrit language           quently causes failure to
    with Atmospheric Water Technologies            Machines Manufacturers.                        by spending few years in Benaras with           think. — Barbara Tuchman,
                                                                                                  well-known scholars of that language. He                 author and historian
8                                                                     COUNTERPOINT                                                                       15 JUNE 2008

          Ecological Perils of the Sethusamudram Project
  by C B S R Sharma, Professor of Ecology & Environmental Sc, [Retd] Pondicherry University, Puducherry

The Supreme
 hearings on
                     Court deferred the
                    the Sethusamudram
                                              coastal ecosystems. This state of affairs
                                              is      deplorable     because        EIA
                                                                                             which is routine for the Research Institute
                                                                                             at Mandapam. Instead, ecological
                                                                                                                                           "single season", or "three seasons " are
                                                                                                                                           unacceptable. Since the ecosystem is
Project to mid-July giving everyone           consciousness developed since the              studies on the 30km- Indo-Srilanka            tough and data collection painfully slow
another chance to reflect. A re-look into     times of the Growth Models of Club of          Barrier Reef should have been initiated       resorting to shortcuts is a natural
the documents made available is               Rome during the ’70s. In fact, some of the     for its role in the fragile ecosystem.        temptation, as they started very late.
therefore called for. Prima facie, it         EIA Reports in the world added to                     CEP was satisfied with the “20 Km      Claims of NEERI, are therefore suspect,
appears that the project was rushed           knowledge, methodologies and became            distance” between the first island of the     and dependence on them by CEP, naive.
through jumping over standard scientific      models for future. NEERI and CEP must          Reserve and the barrier reef. This
                                                                                                                                           Political Decision
procedures and oblivious of ecological        be aware of these. Despite the trust           distance is nothing in a sea. Instances of
                  and        environmental    reposed on NEERI, Institutions and
                                              Academies dealing with Marine systems
                                                                                             Pollutants traveling thousands of miles
                                                                                             should have been known to the
                                                                                                                                           Discerning from the memberships on
                                                                                                                                            various committees, it is widely felt in
      The 1000+ pages in the “public          in India, UK, USA and Australia, United        committee. Further, irrespective of the       the scientific circles that a political
domain” tells that the current phase of       Nations Environment Program should             type of alignment, the pollution normal in    decision was taken first, “internally”, to
the project began from 1998 when a            have been consulted.                           shipping routes and harbours, will            keep the project “on fast track” and
Steering Group was constituted to                                                            impact       biota     cumulatively    and    initiate “advance Actions”.
oversee future activities. Tuticorin Port
                                              Ecology                                        irrevocably. The biosphere reserve will be           That this is a channel without banks
Trust was made the nodal agency.
National Environmental Engineering
                                              Ecology tells consistingthis region, an
                                                             us that
                                                                        of the Indian
                                                                                             lost in time. Mangroves on the east coast
                                                                                             and        between        Kilakkarai   and
                                                                                                                                           in a fragile ecosystem whose ultimate
                                                                                                                                           effects terminate in the coastal societies,
Research Institute was asked to make an       coast, from Vedaranyam to Tuticorin, 21        Adirampattinam continue to be victims of      is ignored. A project without the benefit
Environmental        Examination,      and    small islands, an Inhabited Pamban             salt industry and aquaculture.                of wisdom from a precedent is being
propose      a    Environment       Impact    island, a marine biosphere reserve, a                                                        pushed at political speed without the
Assessment after a Project Report was         30-km barrier reef, the Northwest              Biases                                        backing of sufficient homework. It is still
made by L&T Ramboll. An Environmental
Monitoring Committee also “was put in
                                              Srilankan coast, Jafna islands and
                                              shallow waters, are very interactive. The      Biases are aspects — the physical,
                                                                                                         obvious pertaining to the         not realized that the adversities of SSCP,
                                                                                                                                           if and when materialize, will be borne
place”! Finally a Committee of Eminent        role of the Reef is yet to be studied.         biological and chemical parameters            exclusively by the local people. It is a bad
Persons was constituted in October,           Limiting studies to the Indian Territory       which change under stresses. Data on          omen for the country if scientists are
2007. Thus NEERI carries maximum              only, is therefore unscientific. An effect     these are to be gathered in an ecosystem      influenced       to     bypass     standard
responsibility    for      giving     EIAs,   on any one component initiates chain           spanning between the coasts of India          methodologies and ignore ecological
Environmentally      Viable     Route,    a   reactions      and    impacts     at    one    and Srilanka and from Vedaranyam to           thumb       rules.     In   addition,    the
Techno-Economic Feasibility Report, an        microhabitat influences others, because        Tuticorin . Sites are to be selected          Indo-Srilanka barrier reef, like all reefs,
Environmental Management Plan and a           ecosystems are contiguous. A channel in        covering     all    the    representative     will be of significant ecological value, and
Post- Project Monitoring Mechanism. By        this fragile ecosystem, constitutes an         micro-locations on the basis of statistical   should not be dented for this very reason,
backing the NEERI proposals, the CEP          intervention without home-work and a           requirements. Sampling has to be              the consequences of which are neither
shares its accountability. However, its       risk in the least.                             periodical based on natural cycles and        predictable nor reversible.
                                                    Transport-generated pollutions in        episodes of storms, cyclones, etc.
report is not kept in the public domain!                                                                                                   Campaign
      The EIA appears good only on the        future, not only destroy biota, affect the     Sampling duration should be longer
non-dynamic aspects, which are needed         quality of the fish but also cause acid rain
                                              from southern Kerala to the north of
                                                                                             because, shorter ones could be
                                                                                                                                           In this context only a can force the
                                                                                                                                            eminent citizens only
                                                                                                                                                                   campaign by

for the channel building. It is weak on the                                                                                                government to review the entire project
dynamic parameters which affect               Vedaranyam.                                         Though 6 years were available for
                                                    The biosphere reserve is a “Marine       such a home work from 1998, only 2            from     scientific and     ecological
ecology and its chain reactions. It                                                                                                        perspectives.
bestowed only a ritualistic attention on      Silent Valley”. Data and experiences from      years were utilized! Data generated from
the socio-economic aspects of the             other marine parks would be more useful
                                              than the exercise on a rare Tsunami

  For Your
                                                                                                                  Don’t Read UT
  INFORMATION                                                                                          It’s bad for you because UT
STAYED: A division bench of Delhi HIgh Court headed by Chief Justice B C Shah and              •    ‘Exposes’ by ‘coverage’
   Mr Justice Murlidhar on 30 May last (the last day for the Court before summer                    Nudism is ‘bad’ after all
   vacation) stayed the ongoing inquiry proceedings against Prof Ramesh Chandra,
   the founder-Director of ACBR (Ambedkar Centre for Biomedical Research) of the
   University of Delhi being conducted by Justice (Retd) K S Mahajan. Ramesh
   Chandra was placed under suspension on 22 March 2007 on wholly frivolous                    •    ‘Spoils’ character
   charges that he failed to inform the University of Delhi that as Vice-Chancellor of              [Impressionable minds!]
   Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, he was terminated 9 days before he was to
   complete his 2nd term there. Interestingly, all this while there is no one to listen
   to the fact that Prof Deepak Pental, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Delhi,        •    Speaks ill of Boss
   was himself terminated from TERI in 1992 and was selected as Professor in South                  [(S)he can spoil your future]
   Campus in October 1993 and therefore withheld the crucial information from his
   potential employer (University of Delhi) and gained advantage therefrom. Later,
   even the official Website of DU has been manipulated such that Prof Pental is
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SELECTED: It is learnt that Dr (Ms) Daman Saluja of the Ambedkar Centre for                         [Costs a King’s ransom]
   Biomedical Research (ACBR) of the University of Delhi has been promoted as
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   formality will have to await the formal                                                                                                 Regd DL(W)9/2052/06-08
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CORRECTION: Prof D P S Verma informs                       (Rs)           (Rs)                Phone-cum-fax: 011-2550-8071; 011-25598024
   that ‘Samanta of KIIT is UGC Member’         1-Yr        60             125                Printed at Samrat Offset Works, B-62/5
   [UT, 1 June] is somewhat inaccurate         3-Yrs        150            300                Naraina Ph II, New Delhi for C S Kalra,
   in that there are 4 persons of private      LIFE         600           1200                Printer, Publisher and Owner from 770,    NAME
   universities as Members of UGC in a                                                        Vikaskunj, New Delhi 110018
   total of 11 not counting Chairman and All remittances by D/D, MO or                         R No 37006/81
   Prof R A Yadav of AICTE. Thus, in the Cheque (add Rs 85 towards bank
   absence of bureaucrats who do not charges for outstation cheques since                     If undelivered, return to:
   always attend UGC meetings the our banks are charging us sky for                           UNIVERSITYTODAY                              CITY/STATE
   majority rests with private universities’ collection) in the name of “University
   representatives. Imagine of shape of Today” drawn at Delhi.                                770, Vikaskunj                                    PIN
   things to come.                                                                            New Delhi 110018

Owned, Published and Printed by C S Kalra and published from 770, Vikaskunj, Vikaspuri, New Delhi 110018. Printed at Samrat Offset Works, B-62, Naraina Industrial Area
Ph II, New Delhi 110028. Editor: C S Kalra

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