Bakhtwar launches his second poetic compilations

Known as the promoter of Punjabi culture, folk and one of the most-loved poets of the state, Bakhtwar Singh is lovingly called as Bakhtwar Mian by the literary society and the preservers and lovers of culture of Punjab. With a spiritual touch, he has recently launched his second book consisting of a compilation of his poetry. The book is titled as ‘Jogi Raavi Kinare Rehnda’, it was launched at the Punjab Naatshala.

This poet has a huge fan following, not only in Punjab, but all around the world. It is the kind of ease he has in his poetry that people can relate themselves to the same. Also, his efforts in promoting Punjab around the world are in itself commendable. He has even been giving platforms to various young artists and talented enthusiasts. Yakoob and Nooran Sisters are also one of those who have been selected by Bakhtwar Mian to be given a national-level platform.

The evening of the book launch also included the performances of the immensely talented sufi artists, Yakoob and Nooran Sisters. They performed different versions of the poetry of Bakhtwar, which further became a great attraction and the highlight of the evening for the guests. Bakhtwar is a believer of Sufi, so the 70 poetic verses of this book, which have been inspired by his present as well as the past, are very well put together with a theme of Sufism.

He says that his journey of writing and poetry has changed him in and out. His mystic nature and his love for Sufism has come up with time and his inclination has been increasing manifold since then. He has learnt the art of meditation and with the help of the same he gets closer to his thoughts and inner self but in this process he gets away from his family, friends and everyone around him. His first book with compilations of his poetry was titled as, ‘Paar Chenab De UsdaDera’. The names of both the books tell us very firmly that he tries to keep Punjab a part of his compilations and promote his state, his land. He was given the title, ‘Mian’ by the famous singer Barkat Sidhu, who is an inspiration as well for all his poetic compilations.

He says that the poets and writers should understand that they need to connect with the audience, and that too connect strongly. If they start building the connection of their verse with the audience, people will start picking up Punjabi literature and appreciate the same once again.


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.

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 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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Punjab Industry gets a fresh doze of incentives from Government

With an aim to give boost to the industrial sector in Punjab, the government is laying stress on formulating and evolving fresh industrial policy, with a central theme of Make in Punjab. The basic objective is to encourage local industry with growth incentives besides attracting new entrepreneurs for investment in Punjab.

New Measures for Industrialists

In order to avoid unnecessary hassles to the industrialists it has been decided that the excise department would scrutinize tax assessment cases for only last three years instead of five.The industrialists have been provided with the online facilities and query platform and have been asked to upload their email IDs on the department portal.

Punjab industry gets a fresh doze of incentives from government

Besides in order to help industrialists provide a level playing field, provisions of the VAT (value-added tax) retention and power incentives have been given even for the expansion of existing units.The government has also excluded steel industry from the negative list.

SPVs for focal points

It was with this purpose that the idea of having special purpose vehicles (SPVs) in each industrial area has been mooted. After collecting taxes from industrialists, the SPVs would spend this money on the development of industrial areas and help solving the problem of the requirement of basic amenities at the focal points.

Rahat scheme 

The small scale entrepreneurs have been given relief with the scheme in which they can pay lump-sum taxes,that have already implemented. Apart from helping small scale industrialists in getting their dues cleared, the scheme aims at ending ‘Inspector Raj’, by simplifying the procedure of trade and business.

Fiscal incentive to small and medium scale industries
Earlier the government has also approved fiscal incentives for those units which were located in industrial zones as per master plans with an investment of Rs 1 to 10 crore.
The move was aimed at giving fillip to small and medium scale industries.

Low power tariff   

In another major decision, the government has also approved supply power at the effective rate of Electricity per unit (with utilisation factor of 50% or more) @ less than Rs 5 per unit (FCA extra) to the entrepreneurs who had plans to set up their units during Invest Punjab or who have already installed their units to avail ‘Fiscal Incentives for Industrial Promotion (revised), 2013’. These prospective investors would be eligible to the incentive for five years from coming into commercial operations while those who have already begun such operations could avail this benefit for five years with effect from October 28, 2015.

New ordinance approved

The government has also approved the ‘The Punjab Development of Trade and Industries Ordinance, 2015’ for the creation of fund to be used for the purpose of development of trade, industrial estates, focal points and industrial clusters. For this government gave a go ahead to impose entry tax on the goods brought into the state.

Rehabilitation of units in MLU

The government has also made a plan to rehabilitate 47 industrial units operating in a mix land use zone/ residential area falling in villages of Balongi, Daon, Badmajra, Ballomajra, Landran and Saneta within the jurisdiction of GMADA.

Approvals under Right to Service Act 
In a bid to provide relief to the existing industrial units in various day to day approvals from various departments and offices, the government has decided to bring the important approvals under the Right to Service Act. These approvals would be time bound.

Plug and Play industrial park
The government has also proposed a plug and play industrial park adjoining the international airport, SAS Nagar with a purpose to facilitate prospective South Korean investors who are keen to set up their ventures in the something to say? Post your comment

Wood park
A 200-acre “Wood Park” at Anandpur Sahib has been proposed with a purpose to promote plywood and timber industry in the Kandi (sub-mountainous) area.

There is much hope for the industry sector in the coming days as Punjab Industries Minister Madan Mohan Mittal says that the state is witnessing rapid and phenomenal strides in industrial sectors. “The days are not far when Punjab will witness a massive industrial revolution since as it has sealed 374 MoUs worth Rs. 1.12 lakh crore investments,” he claimed.

In fact, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal’s views on elaborating the government’s plans to promote industries in the state sum up the policy well.

“Our aim is to provide entrepreneurs with congenial atmosphere, liberal policies, and online facilities for overall progress and job opportunities in Punjab,” he says.

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