Right to Services Act, a great step towards Citizen Empowerment

SAD – BJP (Shiromani Akali Dal- Bhartiya Janta Party), the state government of Punjab has been making its sincere efforts to fulfill the motive of Right to Service Act, which was implemented in the year 2011. The state government has always been focused on the agenda to put service beyond duty.

On 19th October, 2011, the state government of Punjab gave its agreement on the RTS Act (Right to Service Act). The primary motive of RTS Act is to make the delivery of government services to the people of Punjab in the easiest and smooth manner. Also, it was enacted to make sure that the services are delivered within specified set of time span to Punjab’s people. The Punjab RTS Act also ensures the proper and better execution of the services.

Following are the steps/procedure that is followed in the Punjab RTS Act, (as stated in the Information Handbook, under the RTS Act)–

  • Commission will arrange meetings after specified intervals of time to take important decisions.
  • The functioning of Commission will be monitored/supervised by the directions of the Chief Commissioner.
  • Any revision or complaint can be considered or decided by the commission from time to time.
  • Though, the final decision making authority lies in the hands of the Chief Commissioner.

Efficiently providing the effective services within the specified time frame, this Punjab Right to Service Act has been proved to be highly beneficial for the promotion of transparency and accountability in the operation of the government departments, which provide the services to the people of Punjab.

To make sure the timely delivery of services and making suggestions to Punjab government, a Punjab Right to Service Commission has been set up. It also ensures the accurate execution of the Punjab Right to Service Act. Apart from being the leading state to implement this Act, 7.21 Crore people have been benefited from the same. As per the official spokesperson’s claim, around 28, 37,866 applicants have taken the advantage of the notified services during the month of February under the mentioned Act. Also, only 14,160 are the pending applications which are to be cleared as soon as possible.

In addition to this, we can say that the implementation of The Punjab Right to Service Act has been successful in gaining the trust of citizens and it has also empowered the people of Punjab in the most efficient manner possible.

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All set for AIIMS Bathinda

As the Union health ministry granted approval for setting up the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, 175 acres of land of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has been identified by the state government on the outskirts of Bathinda city on the Dabwali road, under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).

All set for AIIMS Bathinda.pngThe Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), was initiated in the year 2006 with the motive of putting a halt at the imbalances in the availability of affordable healthcare facilities in the different parts of the country in general, and accelerating the facilities for quality medical education in the under-served States in particular. This was done by setting up six institutions in the line of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, and upgradation of the 13 existing Government medical college institutions.

Under the proficient guidance of the Prime minister, Narendra Modi and the Union finance minister, Arun Jaitley and the Union minister of health and family welfare, JP Nadda the Union health ministry gave a nod for the setting up of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, in Bathinda city. The area of almost 175 acres of land, belonging to the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) along the Bathinda – Dabwali road shall be used for setting up AIIMS.

Captain Amarinder Singh opposed the idea of using the area under Punjab Agricultural University for setting up the AIIMS, Bathinda owing to the fact that the land of PAU was only meant for the agricultural research purpose. However, setting up of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, in Bathinda shall accelerate the economic growth and gross domestic product (GDP) in the cancer belt, of the Malwa region in Punjab.

While approving the coming up of AIIMS, Bathinda, the Union minister for food processing industry and a Member of Parliament (MP), Harsimrat Kaur Badal stated “The Union government has also asked the Punjab government about required infrastructure, roads, water and electricity supply at the identified site. There is no health institution where people can get affordable and quality treatment in the region. The institute will also benefit the neighboring Haryana and Rajasthan.”

It would not be incorrect to claim that, the setting up of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, in Bathinda talks of a resounding recovery in the healthcare sector of the Punjab state, in terms of providing easily accessible, affordable, prompt and hassle free services to the patients in the state.

The healthcare sector of Punjab roared past estimates to post a whooping growth rate. The Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led state government’s role as a stimulator, which is expected to strengthen the economy has seen to be fulfilled to a large extent. The long standing policies, structural impediments and research techniques of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bathinda shall definitely contribute to the growth of the healthcare sector of Punjab towards achieving its full potential.

Indian Institute of Management commences in Amritsar

Punjab government succeeds in setting up an IIM in Punjab

The much awaited IIM Amritsar was given a nod by the Government of India in 2015 after the relentless efforts by the Punjab Government to establish this prestigious management institute in Punjab. IIM Amritsar is the fifteenth Indian institute of management to be established and is under the guidance of the fifth oldest IIM Kozhikode, Kerala. IIMs are public business institutions of higher learning which provide world class education, training and placements. The Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) has set up the institute with support from Punjab government that had been vying for the actualisation of an IIM on Punjab soil for a long time.

Indian Institute of Management commences in Amritsar.png

The campus for the IIM Amritsar has been approved to be developed on a 60 acres site which is at Manawala on the Amritsar-Jalandhar GT Road, that has been allocated by the district administration. The core team that gave final approval for this site comprised of Mr. Shailender Kumar from HRD Ministry, IIM Kozhikode Director Mr. Kulbhushan Balooni, Mr. C Raul from Punjab government, and Mr. PL Gupta as a representative from Central Public Works Department.

It was a crucial moment when this team gave the final go ahead for the Manawala site, as earlier rejection of prospective sites had delayed the project. After the clearance for the site, the Punjab government bought the land at the rate of 1.25 crore per acre from its owner. The Punjab government then transferred this land to the IIM society without delay so that the 900 crore project of building the IIM campus could begin post-haste.

The IIM Amritsar campus was inaugurated by Minister for Higher Education and Languages of Punjab, Sardar Surjit Singh Rakhra in August 2015. During his inaugural speech he commended the meritorious endeavour of the Punjab government for bringing an institution of such repute in the state, and lauded the Punjab government for setting an example for other states in its approach. Also present during the ceremony were Prof. Kulbhushan Balooni, director of IIM Kozhikode and mentor director IIM Amritsar, Deans, Faculties and Senior Administrative staff of IIM Kozhikode.

IIM Amritsar began its journey from a temporary campus allotted to it inside the Punjab Institute of Technology, Government Polytechnic Compound. The first batch consisted of sixty five students who enrolled in the flagship programme offered by IIM Amritsar, that is Postgraduate Programme for Management. The aim of this program is to prepare the qualifying graduates for high placements in the industry where they may lead from senior level positions. It is considered equivalent to a MBA and despite IIM Amritsar being located in a transit campus, it is much sought after. While the IIM Amritsar permanent campus and its infrastructure is under development, the government has striven to give the students at the temporary campus most of the basic necessities. The permanent campus is expected to finish within two- three years with the full backing of the Punjab government.

Punjab Supports a Sporting Look

In an effort to encourage sports in the state a 100 crore project of State Institute of Sports (PIS) at Mohali promises to produce national and international players from Punjab.

The institute has been set up with an objective to provide specialised training to sportspersons and is unique since it offers hostel facilities to those promising players who can make it to prominent sporting events like Asian, Commonwealth and Olympic games.

Punjab Supports a Sporting Look

Youth being encouraged to participate in Sporting Activities

The effort has paid its dividends and this is creating a large number of sportsmen from the state, who are further making the state proud by participating in several national and international players. Officials say the purpose of setting up sports institute is to groom those who are seriously into sports and have the will to compete for all kinds of events.

The best part of the institute is that those undergoing training are being trained by some famous coaches, both international and Indian. Those availing services at PIS are ensured the best and nutritional diet besides accommodation in the best quality hostels. This kind of exposure is important for getting the right kind training which goes a long way in getting the push to compete at international sporting events.

The facility is provided free of cost and this further makes it more exciting, but we also introspect how sports budget of the state has also been going up. Further, besides ongoing construction of different stadiums across the state, there are 6 hockey stadiums spread all over Punjab.

The state government has also kept a provision for encouraging upcoming players in the state by earmarking Rs 16.5 crore budget for sports scholarships while another scheme promises to pay Rs 10,000 per annum per player to 1100 sportspersons excelling in recognized sports while Rs 5000 per annum player.

The government in an effort to assist sportsmen in getting employment has a provision of keeping some posts reserved for sportspersons.

Meanwhile the government is focusing on encouraging sports in the state and has even made an allocation of Rs 200 crore besides creating jobs to 125 persons. Kabaddi is also being promoted by the state through Kabaddi world cups.

Youth is being encouraged to come forward and form youth clubs and over 3000 sportspersons in several sporting activities.

The state government had last month organised games in seven cities across the state which got a tremendous response especially in Ludhiana where 1850 sportspersons participated. The government gave away prizes to the tune of Rs 3 crore to winners while a sum of Rs 7.5 crore was spent on organizing the event.

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Punjab government set to develop Ludhiana and Amritsar as Safe cities

Punjab government has embarked up on the ambitious plan to develop Ludhiana and Amritsar as safe cities under Safe City Project. The project for which a substantial work has already been done, is likely to get a final shape by the end of 2016.

A multinational firm, Pride and Water Cooper, was roped in for completing the survey regarding installing CCTV cameras last year. The most effective points have been identified with the help of city police. The cameras are to be installed in three phases. For Amritsar, in the first phase, around 450 cameras would be installed at 180 points. A total of 1,577 cameras would be installed at 432 points in the city.

According to Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal Amritsar and Ludhiana would be Punjab’s first two cities to come under “Safe City project”.

Punjab government set to develop Ludhiana and Amritsar as Safe cities
Under the project these cities are being equipped with ultra-modern security devices which would ensure safety and smooth flow of traffic. A survey has also been completed for Ludhiana for installation of cameras.The project would not only help keeping a check on rising crime in the cities, but also in regulating traffic and identifying traffic violations.

Special main control rooms are being set up for keeping and scrutinizing the recordings of the cameras by the designated staff. Besides maintaining the data this staff would give regular reports to the officials about the violations. Senior officials involved with the project maintain that it has also been decided to coordinate and connect with the CCTV cameras installed outside various banks, shopping malls and  jewellery houses, which will not only increase the vigilance would also help in keeping a check on crime and traffic violations ensuring most parts of the cities are covered.

Through safe city project, the government also plans to implement the Automated Traffic Monitoring System. The hi tech system helps detecting traffic violations. After identifying the violation challans can be issued to the violators by identifying the owners of vehicle through the records in the District Transport Department. For Ludhiana under the Safe City project, 1200 high resolution CCTV cameras are being installed in 160 different places.

According to Commissioner of police Paramraj Singh Umranangal, “The CCTV cameras would be useful for police to monitor the entire city. And it would set an example for other cities in the state.

In fact it was in a bid to give a fillip to the Safe city project that the Punjab government has sought funds to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore for Ludhiana alone from the centre government. “The Centre should allot at least Rs 2,500 crore for Ludhiana as the amount of Rs 500 crore was not enough for overall development of the city,” recently Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal has stated, while raising the demand from centre. Badal also claimed that the state government was keen to invest Rs 500 crore in Ludhiana alone.

The government plans to make the roads in and around cities too safe and less vulnerable to accidents. The government has planned construction of elevated roads at the cost of Rs 1,100 crore in Amritsar. Besides all national highways and state highways of Punjab are being upgraded by spending Rs. 5,000 crore. NHAI has also begun the six-laning with alignment starting from Sector-39 junction Chandigarh following NH-21 and NH-95 upto Samrala Chowk in Ludhiana under Build-operate- transfer model.Besides there is a plan to construct elevated road in Ludhiana, with a purpose to ease traffic in the city. It would start from Samrala Chowk to Octroi Post on Ferozepur Road at a cost of Rs 1,100 crore.

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AFPI: Making Journey to NDA Easier

Maharaja Ranjit Singh armed forces preparatory institute in Mohali is a jewel in the crown of the Punjab government. To combat the issue of unemployed youth, the Punjab government implemented a unique institution that would benefit not only the people of Punjab, but would serve the entire nation. As the name suggests, AFPI aims at moulding young able bodied boys of Punjab and prepare them for the journey towards National Defence Academy, where soldiers are born.

AFPI -  Making Journey to NDA Easier

MAHARAJA RANJIT SINGH ARMED FORCES PREPARATORY INSTITUTE

Maharaja Ranjit Singh AFPI is bestowed with the guardianship of Major General Baljit Singh Grewal, a retired officer with impeccable service record and achievements. He’s the first Director of the institution since its inception in 2010. In his vigilant custody, the institution has flourished and rolled out many brilliant candidates who have successfully cleared the entrance for NDA. Each year cadets of AFPI add to the triumph of the institute, to the utmost pride of the Punjab government and the state.

The Punjab government fully realises the potential of its youth. No expense has been spared to give AFPI every facility to train its pupils. These boys are trained with vigour in many disciplines to produce future leaders of the Indian army. The training is intense and focuses on many aspects of development. Academics is heavily stressed upon where science subjects pertaining to the non-medical field, which are Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Computer Science/Physical Education, are provided so that future of the cadets is secure even if they decide to not pursue the path towards NDA.

With the intellectual skills covered, the physical skills are also nurtured with discipline. Outdoor training regime is constructed in a way so as to develop the fitness level of the boys as per NDA standards. Physical training, swimming, drills, Equitation training, sports, firing are encouraged to settle the cadets in the state of mind of army men.

An army officer is not just a soldier. He is a hero and pride of his nation. In lieu with that, the government has insisted that the curriculum should aim to develop officer like qualities in all the cadets. Training programmes include special lectures by veteran soldiers, training films, occasional visits to military establishments, soft skills and even extra effort has been made to inculcate good grasp of English language for adequate communication.

AFPI was introduced to pave an easier way for the young boys of Punjab to fulfil their dream of serving in the Indian army. Ambitious young men are guided thoroughly so that directly after their 10th standard, they can focus on striving for their aim.

This initiative by the Punjab government has not only served its purpose with exceptional results but also boosted the morale of the aspiring youth so that they can walk a more productive path of building up the nation. It has always been the aim of the government to ensure that the full potential of the youth of Punjab is realised. AFPI is yet another milestone achieved with success to guide the young impressionable boys of Punjab towards a bright future.

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Water and Sanitation projects based on Punjab’s effective policy proving a boon for rural areas

The success of various projects and initiatives in providing water and sanitation in different areas of Punjab can be attributed to the holistic approach of state government which finds reflection in its policy on Water and Sanitation.

With its Water and Sanitation policy, the government has set up an agenda to provide optimum quantity and acceptable quality of water and sanitation for all on sustainable basis. The Punjab Drinking Water Policy was approved in May 2011 and certain modifications were made to evolve to the growing needs. The policy has been drafted keeping in view the significance of sanitation, with uniformity in providing the facilities, remaining the key area of focus.

The policy aims at providing a broad framework and guidelines to provincial institutions, district administration and Tehsil Municipal Administration for improving sanitation coverage and services in the areas. A holistic approach ensuring fair distribution of resources is the basic objective of the policy, which revolves around improving the sanitation coverage and disparities in the rural areas.

Water and Sanitation projects based on Punjab's effective policy proving a boon for rural areas

On a larger scale the primary focus of water supply and sanitation policy is to improve socio economic condition and to raise living standard of the community by providing quality drinking water and improved sanitation services all over the state.

The long term strategy of Punjab government has a vision to reform water and sanitation in all the 12248 villages with 11,930 gram panchayats in 20 districts of state. The objective is to improve the living conditions of its 166 million population by 100% water supply coverage with better service standards and private service connections to most households.

With a purpose to improve environmental sanitation a provision has been made in the policy to encourage projects which initiate work on pilot basis in about 100 villages for providing modern underground waste water collection and disposal systems. The government has also chosen a sector wide approach to implement medium term sector programme for all new investments, irrespective of the source of funding.

Punjab Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (PRWSS) Project

The project is a remarkable initiative of state government in collaboration with the union government and IDA(world Bank) which is aimed at reforming the Water supply and sanitation sector in the rural areas of Punjab.

In fact the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation (DWSS) has developed certain key features in its policy draft which work as a guideline to carry forward the objectives of the project. As per it the rural local government along with the user groups have been made responsible for upgradation and management of intra-village Rural Water supply and Sanitation (RWSS) facilities and services. It also has introduced partial capital cost sharing by users.

Workable and low cost Sewerage and Sanitation

The government has taken fresh initiative for developing workable and low cost sewerage system in the form of small bore sewerage system and cost effective sewage treatment technologies. The prime reason for adopting small boring sewerage system was the high capital cost of conventional sewerage system and availability of less quantity of waste water in rural areas for effective functioning of conventional sewerage system.

Initially Punjab government executed small bore drainage system in three villages of state in 2004-05. Besides conventional sewerage system was also commissioned in four villages. The project has a provision to finance on pilot basis construction of small bore sewers and sewerage schemes in about 100 villages which already have good house hold sanitation coverage.

More projects in offing

Besides a number of other development initiatives are being taken by the government in the current financial year of 2015-16. For instance under Saaf Pani initiative a sum  of Rs 11,000 million was allocated by the government.

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