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July, 2008


Chief Secretary reviews reports of Working Groups on BPR and Education


Chandigarh, July 8, 2008

Mr. Ramesh Inder Singh, Chief Secretary Punjab today laid stress on providing corruption-free governance to citizens through greater accountability and better delivery of public services in the Government sector. He stated that simplification of office procedures along with strengthening of infrastructure in Government offices with greater public interface was high on the priority of the State Government. The Chief Secretary expressed these views while going through the presentation made by Mr. Suresh Kumar, Secretary Irrigation and Power and the Chairman of a Working Group set up by the State Government on BPR (Business Process Re-engineering).

The State Government had set up two Working Groups last year, viz. on BPR in Government and Improving Access to Language and Higher Education. These were based upon the deliberations held with a team of the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) led by Sh. S. Reghunathan, Advisor that had visited Punjab in September 2007 and interacted with the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary.

While presenting the report prepared by the Working Group on BPR, Mr. Suresh Kumar stated that they had analyzed certain important functions with major citizen-interface in different Departments and had suggested new, simplified procedures. The entire approach was based upon the cornerstone of reducing redundant hierarchies and empowering lower levels of administration through capacity building and use of technology. The higher levels of decision-making must engage in improved supervision and monitoring and devote their time to more productive use, he stated. This could be achieved through codification of existing processes and their dissemination to the common man. The guiding principle was better output for the Government, reduction in processing time and higher satisfaction levels of the general public, he added.

Another brief presentation was made by Ms. Kusumjit Sidhu, Financial Commissioner Cooperation as the Chairperson of the second Working Group on Language and Access to Higher Education. The Group had examined the recommendations of the NKC on the teaching of English language in the State-run schools and at higher education levels. The Group had made certain concrete recommendations for the Departments of School and Higher Education taking into account the constraints as well. She emphasized that Graduates with high proficiency in English and good communication skills should be inducted into teaching along with retraining of existing teaching staff.. The Group suggested that SCERT must be strengthened and made nodal agency for textbook development. The Group also suggested that the Department of School Education should consider introduction of a semester system so that there was no academic burden on the students at the fag end of the academic session. The Chief Secretary advised the Education Department to consider utilizing the services of the British Council to impart exclusive English training to in-service teachers as well as new recruits.

The Chief Secretary appreciated the work done by both Working Groups and stated that the Government would work on preparing an action plan to implement their recommendations through specially constituted Task Forces. Other officers that were present in the meeting were Mrs. Tejinder Kaur, Principal Secretary Technical Education, Sh. Navreet Kang, Secretary Employment Generation and Education, Smt. Anjali Bhawra, Secretary, Higher Education, Sh. Ashok Goel, Secretary Coordination, Sh. RK Verma, Director IT, Sh. Tejveer Singh, Director PR, Smt. Jaspreet Talwar, Special Secretary, Finance and Sh. Krishan Kumar, DG, School Education.



The Punjab Government has decided to immediately clear the backlog of the posts reserved for the blind and partially blind persons in the state.

An assurance to this effect was given by Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal to a delegation of Naterheen Jagarities Sangh Punjab (visually challenged persons) led by General Secretary Prof. Rajnish Mahal which called on Mr. Badal and submitted a charter of demands to him here at his official residence this afternoon.

Mr. Badal asked the state Chief Secretary to direct all the Administrative Secretaries and Heads of the Departments to intimate the position of vacant posts in their concerned departments reserved for the blind and partially blind persons so that these posts could be filled on the top priority. The Chief Minister also asked the Secretary Social Security to undertake an exercise to identify the posts where such visually challenged persons could be adjusted as they had tremendous capabilities and capacities. Mr. Badal also asked the department of school education to utilize the services and skills of visually impaired persons for teaching the subjects like vocal & instrumental music and art & craft.

Likewise the Chief Minister also assured the members of the delegation that state government would soon seek an opinion of the Advocate General to ensure that the posts reserved for blind and partially blind persons should be strictly given to the eligible persons only under this category on the Haryana pattern and not to the other categories like hearing impaired and orthopedically challenged.

The Chief Minister also asked the Secretary Social Security to personally visit the state institute for blind at Jamalpur in Ludhiana district this week to have first hand information about the short comings in the institute in terms of infrastructure and staff besides the hardships faced by the blind students. He also promised to install a new in browsour machine for the printing of brail books and literature for the blind students at a cost of Rs.32 lakh for the Jamalpur Institute during the current financial year. The Chief Minister also assured that the state government would extent all possible help and financial assistance to the institute to make it as one of the best institutes in the region after Dheradun in Uttrakhand.

Prominent amongst who were present in the meeting included Social Security Minister Ch. Swarna Ram, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister to Chief Minister DS Guru, Principal Secretary Social Security NS Kang, Commissioner for Disabilities Harjit Singh, Director Social Security Ms.Rakhi Gupta Bhandari, Additional Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Parveen Kumar and DPI Schools Dr.JS Khatra.



Chandigarh, 8 July, 2008

The Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Punjab S. Ranjit Singh Brahampura today found about 60% officers and employees absent from their offices during surprised checking in the morning in the offices of the department situated at Chandigarh.

In a press release the Minister said that he had received complaints from the public about the routine absenteeism of employee of the department and he had conveyed the same to them to be punctual and do hard work for the removal of grievances of the public as well as elected representatives of Panchayati Raj institutions. He added that in recent meetings held at districts as well as state level, he had also conveyed his displeasure to the field officers to become proactive in dealing with the public issues and inspect the ongoing developmental works in the villages by visiting on the spot.

Mr. Brahmapura said that in order to personally check the routine working of the officers of the department, he visited the various offices situated at Chandigarh at 9.15 AM today. During inspections in the various branches in the Directorate offices situated at Sector 17 and Sector 22, he was astonished to see the empty chairs of senior officers as well as their subordinate employees. The Minister said that he has found about 60% officers and employees were absent from duty till 10.30 AM.

He added that to his surprise no body was present in the pensions cell of the directorate. An IAS officer was also found to be absent from the office. Mr. Brahampura summoned the absentee senior officers and cautioned them not to repeat the same in future and work with great zeal and full dedication so that the public grievances could be resolved at the earliest by disposing of the pending cases.

The Minister said that he would recommend disciplinary action against the absentees and would take hard measures against the habitual absentees in future.




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