Fighting tuitions in a textbook vacuum
|Jubilee hopes: Kal Ho Naa Ho and (below) LOC
The report about the non-availability of textbooks for Part-II examinees might have been an eye-opener for residents of Calcutta (Part II ahead, textbooks not available, Dec 4 ). But as a Part-II examinee in 2002 in the University of Burdwan, I was a victim of the same problem. I, too, had to appear for such an important examination, relying on the tutorial notes of my teachers. It is funny that despite such irresponsibility and mismanagement, the state government can talk of eviction of the “tuition culture”.
I have no shame in admitting that I managed to clear my examinations only due to the tutorial notes. There was not a single book available in the market in English and, having studied in the English medium throughout my life, I found it impossible to follow the very few books which were available in Bengali.
The new pattern of syllabus, which will be starting in Calcutta University this year, was already adopted in University of Burdwan in 2002 and we were the first batch appearing for the exam based on that syllabus.
Whether the authorities take any concrete step or not in this direction, there are two things which were clearly proved from the report:
First, the education system in Bengal has craters (rather than loopholes) and it is only the students who suffer. Second, this problem was brought to light only because it happened in Calcutta. The rest of the state is hardly worth attention.
Thankfully, my teachers helped me clear the examination; otherwise I would still have been on the rolls of the University of Burdwan.
Abhijeet Sarkar, Plagued by pirates
With Calcutta Police acting fast on pirated copies of Karan Johar’s Kal ho naa ho, the collections are unlikely to slip in the subsequent weeks (Pirates besiege five-day-old Bollywood biggie, Dec 3). With a range of big films lined up in 2004 — Khakee, LOC, Lakshya, to name a few — the film industry needs some support from the khakee force of Bengal to register a successful start to the new year.
T.R. Anand, Find him
The state government should do something to locate mountaineer Arijit Banerjee who has been missing since the Kedardome expedition (Lost to the world, not to the wife, Dec 5).
Prahlad Agarwala, Faith fable
Apropos the report ‘Pick and pay shopkeepers away’ (Dec 2), it is incredible how in a country where cheating and malpractice are the rule, Gopal Mazumdar of Basirhat is running a grocery shop without being present in person. He has put his faith totally on customers who take goods of their choice from the shop and deposit the price in the cashbox.
Piyal Mukherjee, Unhealthy move
If the high court’s order staying the filling up medical college berths in lieu of moneybags is justice done to the 13 students who have cleared JEE, then it is a blow to the health sector which was aiming to fill up its coffers by such unlawful means (Court stay on million-rupee medical seat, Dec 3).
Sunil Banerjee, Point-counterpoint
The report ‘Non-invasive alternative to angina therapy’ (Dec 22) was highly exaggerated in favour of Dr B. Khetawat. His claim is entirely wrong and the system has proved to be a total failure. After spending Rs 4,500 — which proved to be quite futile — my wife had to be admitted to Woodlands, resulting in expenditure of another Rs 20,000. It is, however, surprising as to how a normal charge of Rs 4,000 could be increased to an astronomical figure of Rs 70,000. I have already reported against Dr Khetawat to D.K. Ghosh, registrar, West Bengal Medical Council and to the assistant director, consumer affairs & fair business practice.
Chandmari Road, Howrah.
Dr B. Khetawat, medical director, K.B. Heart Foundation and visiting cardiologist, B.M. Birla Heart Research Centre and CMRI replies:
Mr Gupta seems to have confused external counterpulsation (ECP) with cardiovascular cartography. The former is a therapeutic procedure and a non-invasive alternative in angina treatment, while the latter is a mere diagnostic test to determine heart disease in relation to circulatory status — something his wife underwent at my centre. ECP is an FDA-approved technique with more than 5,000 machines currently in use worldwide. The therapy, as reported in Metro, is evidence-based and findings are documented on websites like ecpnetwork.com and eecp.com. I have explained my point of view to the IMA and the Medical Council with supporting documents, which they have found satisfactory.
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