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Serious negligence


It is clear that no matter how serious an incident, follow up and corrective action is not in the nature of the Indian system of governance. The attitude is one of merely tiding over the immediate crisis and deflecting criticism any which way – the most favoured being the setting up of inquiry commissions whose reports rarely see the light of day, if they are ever submitted.
To make things worse, any incident – such as the explosion that took place at the Raipur Sports College in Doon – opens up such a mind boggling can of worms that any one investigating such matters would find the negligence, ignorance, lack of professionalism at all levels almost endless. Take for instance what happened in Raipur. There is probably not a single person in Maldevta who does not know that it is dangerous to enter the firing range, leave alone pick up things from there and bring them home. There has been more than one incident in the past of junk-collectors and shepherds recovering unexploded ammunition from there and getting seriously injured. Under the circumstance, outings there by the students of any college, leave alone a government run one, ought to be strictly forbidden.
Not only did the students go there, it turns out that the college authorities were not even aware that they had left the premises. The parents of the talented students who get admission to the college are under the belief that they are well looked after and the care is top of the line. Yet, it seems, the children are more or less left to fend for themselves. It also turns out that not even the most rudimentary medical facilities are available at the College, when in actual fact – considering that it is focused on developing sports talent – it should have highly qualified doctors and other medical personnel posted there. There has been much criticism of the private university in Doon where a student died of an asthmatic attack as medical aid could not get to him in time, but it is clear that the situation is not very different in an institution run by government, where at least its own declared standards ought to be strictly adhered to.
Consider the irony. The person who ought to take responsibility – the College Principal – is actually complaining against the Army for having not prevented his students from trespassing on the firing range, picking up material from there and blowing it up in the college premises. This is a classic example of misdirection – pointing the investigations away from where they ought to go. It is truly extraordinary how the Army is expected to keep a tag on every projectile used at a firing range to ensure it has exploded or not. Only someone completely unaware of the military ethos would expect such a thing. It seems, however, that the political and administrative set-up comprises just such persons.
The sporting talent at the Raipur College is expected to go on and win medals at the international level. How can that ever become possible when the standards maintained at the institution are so low? Why should the faculty or the principal compromise on these issues if they are top-notch sports professionals as they ought to be? The discipline at a sports institution should be even higher than that of normal ones. If those in charge are not aware of students bunking college and bringing in bombs, how would they be monitoring crucial issues such as use of performance enhancing drugs? At first glance, it seems obvious that the Sports College is in need of a major revamp. At the same time, however, there is little hope of such action being taken till, maybe, six months before the next elections!

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