Its time for up-gradation of schools

With the passing years, the education has come a long way in the state of Punjab, from what it was to what it is today; there is a lot of improvement in the same. The people of the state also now very well understand the meaning and essence of education in their lives, and hence want their kids to go to school.

To facilitate the same, the chief minister of the state, Parkash Singh Badal has recently agreed to approve the up-gradation of around 372 government high schools to the status of senior secondary schools and 162 government middle schools to the level of high schools. With this announcement, further up-gradation of facilities at the school will also be made to take them up to these levels.

Schools will be upgraded in different states of Punjab. Parminder Singh Dhindsa promised the Finance Minister of the state the upgrade during the budget speech this year. There are around 34 schools in Ludhiana that will be upgraded and on the other hand, Amritsar and Barnala have 25 and 11 schools respectively as a part of this up-gradation plan. 24 schools each in Jalandhar and Patiala will also be upgraded to the next level. Pathankot, Ferozepur, Tarn Taran, Fatehgarh Sahib, SAS Nagar, Ropar and Muktsar are a few more places amongst others where schools have been chosen to be upgraded.

On the other hand, the colleges have also got their share of up-gradation as a new boys hostel has been recently inaugurated at the Guru Nanak Dev University. Smriti Zubin Irani, the minister of Human Resource Development, inaugurated it digitally. The hostel has been constructed at a cost of around Rs. 3.5 crores under the Rashtriya Ucch Shiksha Abhiyan. During her video conferencing, Smriti Irani also mentioned about the education plans in the state, which focused on the issues of excellence in education in all parts of Punjab and equality as well as access to education in all parts of the state.

The hostel was very much required at the university, as more and more students from different parts of the country are coming for their higher studies to various universities of Punjab, specifically the Guru Nanak Dev University. It will help the university in providing better facilities to students coming from other states for their education. The government should take up such steps of up-gradation and providing better facilities regularly, to offer better education to the students.

Taking Science to a new Dimension

Science has revolutionized the human existence. Nanotechnology, which deals with dimensions and tolerances of less than 100 nanometers, especially the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules is one of the greatest wonders of the modern science. The efficient use of science and technology in the Punjab state, has been contributing towards its transformation into a global village.

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The Indian Institute of Nanoscience and Technology was established on 3rd January, 2013 in contrast to the National mission on Nano science and Technology, which visions development and growth in the country with the outreach of Nano science and technology. It is an autonomous institute supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. Adjacent to Indian Institute of Science and Education (IISER), The Indian Institute of Nanoscience and Technology (INST) has a campus at the Habitat Centre in Sector – 64, Phase 10, Mohali, Punjab which shall be moved to a permanent campus for the state of art laboratories in the next 3- 4 years under the responsiveness of the Punjab government. The institute has been operating efficiently under the proficient guidance of Professor Ashok K Ganguli, the first director of INST.

The Indian Institute of Nanoscience and Technology provides a platform to various biologists, chemists, physicists, materials scientists and engineers to canvass about the diverse and rapidly accelerating areas of Nanoscience and technology with precise emphasis on the areas of agricultural nanotechnology, sensors, medical nanotechnology, and microfluidics based technologies. INST even inculcates nanotechnology based solutions for energy and environment of Nano biotechnology.

Being managed by a proficient Board of Governors, academicians, researchers and administrators, The Indian Institute of Nanoscience and Technology is headed by Professor CNR Rao of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Jakkur, Bangalore. INST has been contributing evidently towards various National Societal Programmes such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Smart cities, Swasth Bharat, Smart villages, Make in India, supporting the strategic sector and Clean and renewable energy through scientific and technological support in contrast to the requirements of these programmes.

The vision of The Indian Institute of Nanoscience and Technology is, “To emerge as a globally competitive India’s foremost research institution in Nano science and Technology and to contribute to the society through application of Nanoscience and nanotechnology in the field of agriculture, medicine, energy and environment.”

Needless to say, with the establishment of Indian Institute of Nanoscience and Technology the research activity in Nano Science and Technology has been enhanced. Advanced training programmes, courses and laboratory techniques has contributed in resource building and fostering interactions between the learners and the leading scientists of Nano Science and Technology from all over the globe. Transforming into a world class research institute, INST has been successful in sensitizing the public and media regarding the advantages, and the need to safeguard the science and technology to a large extent. The visionary research institute has provided a considerable shift in the Nanoscience and technology paradigm.

Scholarship Schemes bring Smile on the faces of Punjabis

In the present world, education plays a part and parcel role in the efficient functioning of an economy. India being a country which is bogged down by various maladies, education turns out to be the medicine for putting a halt to such maladies. Keeping in view the same, the Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led state government is creating the path which leads the masses from darkness to light, with the help of benignant Ashirwad scholarship schemes for the people of Punjab.

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The Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led, government of Punjab has initiated various scholarship schemes for the development of the society, which includes schemes for the students as well as the institutions. There are two apex schemes for institutions such as –

1. Construction of hostel for Other Backward Class (OBC) boys and girls – The Construction of hostel for OBC boys and girls, is a centrally sponsored scheme with the motive of cost sharing between the state and central government in 50:50 ratio with 100% funding to Union Territories and Central Government Institutions.

2. Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatravas Yojana – The Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatravas Yojana, has been successful in catering to the accommodation needs of the students belonging to scheduled castes. The scheme looks after the provision of expansion of the pertaining hostel buildings.

In contrast to the schemes for the institutions, various scholarship schemes have been initiated by the state government for the economically weaker sections, such as –

  1. Post matric scholarship scheme for the Scheduled caste students.
  2. Post matric scholarship scheme for the Other Backward Class students.
  3. Full financial support to Scheduled Caste students pursuing top class education beyond class 12th.
  4. University Grants commission’s Central Sector Scheme of ‘Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship’ which provided Scholarships to the Scheduled Caste students for pursuing programmes in Higher Education such as M.Phil., Ph.D. etc.
  5. Post Matric scholarship scheme for the meritorious students belonging to economically weaker sections of some minority community.
  6. Scheme of National Scholarship for the students who have at least 40% disabilities. They are given scholarship for pursuing post matric /post – secondary technical and professional courses which also include Ph.D. and M.Phil. from recognized institutions.

Numbers sourced that the Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led state government, disbursed approximately Rs 200 crore amongst more than 3.14 lakh students in the years 2007-2015, under post matric scholarships scheme which are being given to the students belonging to minority communities. An official spokesman of the Welfare department, government of Punjab said that, the scholarship will be awarded to those students who have secured not less than 50 per cent marks and the annual income of whose parents/guardian from all sources does not exceed Rs 2 lakh. 30 percent of the scholarships are allocated for the girl students.

Needless to say, the government of Punjab is radical in its approach, to provide scholarship to the students belonging to economically weaker sections. A positive contribution to the social good is made by the government, which has helped in transforming Punjab from ignorance to knowledge.

Punjab takes big leap in improving literacy

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Punjab has taken big strides in the field of education as hitherto known agrararian state has witnessed a considerable rise in its literacy rate in last few years. From a meagre 57 % in 1998, the literacy rate has risen to 76.8% in 2012 according to the census report of 2012-13. This has been possible due to a number of initiatives and programmes launched by the Punjab government in the last few years, keeping in mind every section of the society thus making overall impact. Even after rise in the rate, the SAD-BJP government led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has not given up and is continuing with its multi-pronged strategy to ensure education for girls and for children below poverty line to achieve 100% literacy in Punjab.

 Multi-pronged action plan and schemes

Taking a cue from the National Policy on Education (1986), the Punjab government has prepared an action plan to raise the number of schools for girls and BPL (below poverty line) students. The government has also augmented scholarship schemes for SC/ST and meritorious students to facilitate their studies.

Dr. Hargobind Khurana Scholarship scheme is one such initiative which aims at helping meritorious students with a scholarship of Rs. 2500 per month. Introduced in August 2013, the scheme covers  students of class 10th,  scoring more than 80% marks. Till 2013-14, the Punjab Government incurred an expenditure of Rs. 499.12 lakh giving benefits to total of 3293 eligible students under the scheme. Besides the government has also given a boost to the Union government’s efforts to promot girl education under “Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao’ initiative.

Schemes for SC/ST students

Promoting the spirit of “Sabka Saath Sabkaa Vikas” which aims at empowerment and development of every section of the society, the state government has launched a scheme under which Post Metric Scholarship is being given to SC and OBC students, along with a special grant for girl child. The scheme has provided benefit to more than 27,500 SC students and 8500 OBC students with the scholarship in 2012-13.  In 2013-14 a sum of Rs. 88,77,06,278  and Rs. 26,59,14,356 has been spent giving benefits to students under this scheme.

Residential School project

The project was launched in 2014-15 in the districts of Bathinda, Mohali, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jalandhar and Patiala, where residential schools are being constructed. Along with the project, the government also opened 15 primary schools and 23 secondary schools for which the Project Approval Board (PAB) sanctioned Rs. 776.1 crore in 2013-14.

Stress on quality

Apart from providing good infrastructure, emphasise is being laid on quality of teachers during recruitment, their trainings and for providing quality text books for schools. A sum of Rs. 7.96 lakh was spent for providing free books to the poor students. Besides the government has spent Rs. 50.31 crore for construction of toilets and providing clean water in the schools.

Special focus on rural and border areas

For the rural and border areas the government now envisages to set up well equipped practical training centers which have latest instruments and technology. There is also a plan to have well trained and educated staff for  primary and secondary educational institutes all over the state.

In fact it’s the comprehensive and multi pronged strategy of Parkash Singh Badal government which has made Punjab witness a significant rise in the literacy rate.

Tech University lays Foundation Stone for Tech Education in Punjab

To contribute towards the state, the nation and the world through advancement for attaining excellence in technical education and research, and to provide quality human resource having high professional and ethical conduct to serve the needs of the industry and society, is the vision of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University, Bathinda.

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The Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University, Bathinda was established in the year of 2014 with a view to accelerate the technical, management, and pharmaceutical education in the Punjab state. With jurisdiction of the university with 11 districts, which include Bathinda, Ferozepur, Moga, Faridkot, Sri Muktsar Sahib, Barnala, Mansa, Sangrur, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib and Fazilka, the State Technical University shall operate from the upgraded Giani Zail Singh Punjab Technical University Campus.

The main mission of the university, is to create a conducive environment for promoting advancement in technology and research by incubating freedom, empowerment, commitment, creativity and innovation under the proficient guidance of highly skilled professionals and entrepreneurs. With a view to implant moral, ethical, social and professional standards in the students, the state technical university has been the cornerstone of the society and industry, for innovation and dissemination of information. The Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University, Bathinda is affiliated to University Grant Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

“The horizons of professional activities are expanding and providing immense scope for younger generation to uncap their talent to touch greater heights of achievements. The university offers a wide array of Technical, Scientific and Management courses through its affiliated colleges and campuses. The Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University, Bathinda with the introduction of new courses of study, new disciplines and highly qualified faculty is well poised to embark on road to achieve greater heights and make its mark international level.”, stated Prof. Mohan Paul Singh Ishar, the Vice Chancellor of The Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University, Bathinda.
In order to curb the menace of Sexual Harassment, the State Technical University constituted a Committee against Sexual Harassment (CASH), which follows stringent laws and punishments against discrimination and sexual harassment. In contrast to CASH, installation of CCTV cameras in the campus has helped in keeping a hawk eye, for avoiding ragging.

The main departments of the State Technical University include Engineering, Architecture, Sports and the Post-Graduation department for computer application, humanities & management, applied physics, applied chemistry and applied mathematics. The Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University, Bathinda has been a foundation stone of the technical, management and pharmaceutical education in the state of Punjab.

Free Books, Uniforms and Scholarships for students in Punjab

Punjab government has worked towards better education and they have tried to do so not just through text books even the appearance of the students has been looked after. Financially each poor student or disabled student has been a beneficiary under the government run schemes.

Free Books, Uniforms and Scholarships for students in Punjab

Marking 2012 as the ‘Education year’ for Punjab, its state government led by the alliance of SAD-BJP made providing quality education as it aim. Punjab which stood at number 3 if we checked all the state wise ranking in terms of education wanted to improve its ranking and become the number one state in terms of education in the country and hence the government came up with a brilliant idea. The idea was to provide free text books to students belonging to the Schedule caste and schedule tribe segment of the society.

The state decided to spend Rs. 30 crore to provide free text books to Sc and ST students. Punjab Education Minister Sikander Singh Maluka made the announcement of the much appreciated scheme and said that students from class 1 to 8 belonging to Schedule caste and schedule tribe community will get free text books.

It was also made clear by the minister that the infrastructure in schools will also be taken care of.

The state government in the year 2013 took a major step which made clear their intentions to help their students not just in developing but also saving them every coin which can be possible. CM and the Education minister knocked on the door of UPA government and asked them for a grant of Rs. 196 crore. The state government intended to provide every student in 18,000 government run primary and upper primary schools with free of cost uniform.

HRD ministry already granted Rs. 400 for each child under elementary education who is either Scheduled cast or below poverty line for uniform. The state however wished Rs. 1,000 and that too for every student not just the BPL and SC students.

The SAD-BJP led government asked Rs. 500 per boy/ girl for Salwar suit or Trousers and shirt. Rs. 50 for turban or dupatta. Rs.200 for shoes and socks and Rs. 250 for a sweater for each student.

The centre government allows Rs. 400 per child for allocation of uniforms and the Punjab government asked for Rs. 1000. In such a case the government of Punjab was ready to utilise its own funds. The money might be transferred into a joint saving account of the mother and child.

The schemes for Post-matric scholarships for Scheduled Castes given by the Punjab government focuses on enabling poor SC students in completing their Post matriculate stage of education. Any Scheduled cast student with a family income of below Rs. 2, 50,000 per annum is eligible for this. Under the scheme student get study tour charges, maintenance allowance, reimbursement of compulsory non-refundable schemes.

Other scholarship schemes that are given under Punjab government are:

  • Post Matric scholarship scheme for OBC classes
  • Central sector scholarship of top class education for SC students
  • Scheme of national scholarships for persons with disabilities
  • Post matric scholarship scheme for minority students

Scholarship schemes under the Punjab government help the poor and the backward class. The aim of the government is to provide the needy with sufficient sums of money that would enable them to complete their education and help the state in rising through their knowledge gained.

Punjab gets a fashion boost!

National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) comes to Ludhiana and Mohali

Punjab gets a fashion boost - Progressive Punjab, Developing Punjab

Fashion is a demand of every generation. Despite facing critical analysis on the point of such emphasis and command that fashion retains in our lives, it remains an integral part of not only our expression as an individual but also becomes a core representation of our cultures and value system. Fashion is not a shallow instinct being catered for the vain, but rather a bold form of expression that derives it meaning from the creative and artistic nature of the designer. With the growth of fashion industry with a boom in demand for different varieties by the fashion conscious citizens of India, a niche has been created for fashion designers who are not afraid to challenge the traditions and explore the boundaries of creativity. With the goal of helping the budding fashion designers of Punjab achieve their potential, the government of Punjab has set up two National Institutes of Fashion Technology at Ludhiana and Mohali.

The establishment of NIFT was first proposed by the Ministry of Textiles, under the aegis of the Government of India. With the set up in 1986, the objective of NIFT was to educate the youth in the various sectors of the fashion world, mainly the design, management and technical knowledge to stand at par with the leading international fashion communities, and also to develop the fashion industry of India.

With its head office in New Delhi, NIFT has emerged as the premier institution for fashion design, management and technology. The Punjab government strives to bring to the state the national institutes of repute which will not only strength the education sector of Punjab, but also provide excellent educational facilities and industrial skills without having to bear the burden of going out of state. Realising that there is a great need for the presence of highly reputed national fashion institutes for the young fashion conscious students, the government of Punjab has worked for the actualisation of not one but two NIFTs in the state!

The NIFT Ludhiana has been recently put forward by the Ministry of Textiles, after repeated demands and vying by the Punjab government and the prospering textiles industry in Ludhiana. The state government of Punjab has agreed to bear the responsibility of providing the land for the NIFT Ludhiana campus and also to bear the capital cost. With a flourishing textiles industry, the presence of NIFT will definitely put Ludhiana at the frontiers of the fashion designing and development in India.

The Punjab government came up with the innovative idea of turning the Northern Indian Institute of Fashion technology (NIIFT) Mohali campus into NIFT campus by handing over the reins to the NIFT Delhi through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two.

The presence of two NIFTs in Punjab will help in fashion skill development of the youth which will provide job opportunities with credible degrees for their prosperous future, not only in Punjab but wherever the demand arises.