Connecting over 25 millions NRIs worldwide
Most trusted Name in the NRI media
July, 2008

International Boxing Association (AIBA)

Sukhbir request PM to intervene AIBA's rules
that prohibit Sikhs from taking part in boxing competitions

Rule of the AIBA which states," to ensure that no discrimination is allowed against any country or person on grounds of race, religion or political affiliation."

Chandigarh, July 15, 2008

The Shiromani Akali Dal President and Member of Parliament Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal today asked the Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh to intervene with the International Olympic Association and the International Boxing Association (AIBA) against rules that prohibit a prectising Sikh from taking part in boxing competitions.

Mr.Badal has also sent a copies of this letter to the Indian Olympic Association and the India Ameteur Boxing Federation.

Mr.Badal's letter follows the denial of right to compete twice to the India Junior National Gold Medallists (Super Heavy Weight) Pushpinder Singh in International meets. He had been refused selection as he did not qualify to take part in the trials because of the IABA regulations.

It may be mentioned here that the competition Rule IV, Dress-B states that, "A boxer shall be clean shaven at the medical examination before the weigh-in. Beards are not allowed a thin moustache is allowed not to exceed the length of the upper lip."

Mr. Badal has pointed out that this rule violates the Article 'A' of the AIBA which states," to ensure that no discrimination is allowed against any country or person on grounds of race, religion or political affiliation."

Mr. Badal said that the rule prohibiting practicing Sikhs from participation goes against the basic tenet freedom of conscience and religious equality. He said that the rule is clear case of discrimination on religious grounds. It violates the basic tenet of Sikh Religion whose followers number more than 20 million and they reside as lawful citizens in almost all countries like India, UK, USA, Canada, Australia and all over Europe. Sikhs who follow Sikh Religion have to keep five Ks which include " keshas" or hair. Sikhs never shave the hair. Uncut hair, right from birth till death, are part and parcel of their physical being. They are not just symbols which may or may not be worn.

Mr. Badal has also referred to Article 3 of the objectives of the AIBA which states," discrimination on any ground such as gender, race, color, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.

In the light of the above, said Mr.Badal, the Govt.of India and the IOA must immediately move the world body to get the offending clause deleted from its rules. He said that, Pushpinder, who is one of the most promising boxers from the country, must be allowed to pursue his sport without any discrimination on the basis of the symbols of his religion, he said.


Chandigarh July 15, 2008

The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal said here today that Punjab was poised to make a generational leap into a new age of all round development and economic prosperity. Show-casing his government's concrete socio-economic initiatives to lead what he described as "Punjab's transformation into a global destination as a developed state," Mr. Badal declared that the state would soon outstrip national goals in inclusive growth, fiscal management, education, power and infrastructure development. Punjab is set to touch global standards in almost all the key area.

"All this was being achieved while preserving the atmosphere of peace, communal harmony and Punjabi unity and by strengthening democracy at the grass roots. We have also worked consciously towards eliminating confrontation from the polity of the state and to replace it with conciliation and consensus for the greater good of our people," said Mr. Badal.

He listed the revival of the 19000 crore Bathinda Oil Refinery and the setting up of the Mohali International Airport among the major achievements of his government during its first year.

The Chief Minister was addressing media persons at a Meet the Press function at the Chandigarh Press Club.

Giving details of the strides made by the state in various fields, Mr. Badal said that the government was focused on kick-starting a dormant economy it had inherited. "Already, the VAT collections have gone up by an unprecedented 42 per cent, netting in an additional Rs. 600 crore. And this has been achieved without any recourse to harsh measures. This trend will be kept up in all other spheres, putting the state's economic health on a sound foundation," he declared.

The Chief Minster said that the his government was all set to take Punjab into the era of world class aviation infrastructure path breaking measures such as the setting up of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport at Mohali. Similarly, a Civil Terminal was being set up at Bathinda. In addition, Flying Clubs are being started at Ludhiana, Bathinda and Patiala. "

The road infra structure in the state is also set to undergo a major transformation with Eight Lane Expressways connecting Mohali and Chandigarh with Phagwara, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Bathinda and Ferozepur and four-lane access to all the other major destinations in the state. The holy city of Sri Anandpur Sahib was being linked with the Mohali airport with four-lanes expressway up to Kiratpur Sahib. The National Highway from Shambhu to Jalandhar was being six-laned while the state government had approached the centre to for getting it extended up to Amritsar and Attari.

The rural road network was also being strengthened with 7200 KMs of link roads being repaired and 2200 new link roads being laid. "In the transport sector, Punjab will become the first state in the country to introduce air-conditioned bus service at nearly normal fares. We are on the threshold of a quantum leap on almost every sphere of development," said Mr. Badal.

He disclosed that a super expressway linking Pathankot with Ajmer would be built at a cost of Rs. 8600 crore in technical and financial tie-up with Reliance.

The Chief Minister said that bench marks set by the state in agriculture and soldiery would soon be matched and even excelled in other sectors such as urban and rural development, aviation, road infrastructure, irrigation and power, education and technology.

Mr. Badal paid rich tributes to the "hard-working, selfless and patriotic farmers of Punjab" who, he said, had "surprised the nation by turning out a record wheat yield of 156 Metric tones and saving the country from thousand of crores worth of food imports. Punjab was asked to contribute just 78 MTs of wheat to the national pool to the country from starvation. The Punjabi farmer responded by contributing 99 MTs. Once again, the Punjabi farmer had risen to save the life and honour of the country. He said that this had been made possible by the timely supply of inputs like DAP, quality seed and regular power supply.

Mr. Badal said that as a result of his vigorous efforts on equitable farm prices with the centre, the Punjab farmers got Rs. 3500 crore additional benefit as a result of enhanced wheat MSP."

He said that his government accorded a high priority to power generation and distribution as this was the prerequisite for development in every sphere. He regretted that the total generation in the state had stood at 6200 MWs till the beginning of 2007 and not a single unit had been added between 2002 and 2007. "We have already added 500 MWs through the commissioning of two units at Lehra Mohabbat . Major initiatives have now been launched to increase this capacity by at least 5000 MWs by 2012. We have completed the ground work for four new thermal plants in the state at Gidderbaha ( 2640 MWs)Talwandi Sabo (1980 MWs) , Rajpura (1320 MWS) and Goindwal Sahib (600 MWs) . In addition, Punjab will get 2539 MWs from Long Term Power Purchase agreements with the centre and another 2225 MWs from Ultra Mega Projects in the 11th Plan.

The state had launched a major drive for rural electrification under which four lac new connections would be given. Similarly, all Deras and Dhanis, with five or more houses would be given power connection. The government ahs also undertaken a comprehensive Rs 5600 crore exercise to improve transmission. " We will make Punjab not only self-sufficient but even a surplus state in power generation," said Mr. Badal.

Mr. Badal said that his government accorded the highest priority education, especially school education for the rural and urban poor. He said that under the Adarsh School scheme started by his government, 108 model schools were being opened in which poor meritorious students would be given free quality education. Similarly, three schools in each constituency were being upgraded.

Similarly, higher education in the state was also set for a make-over with a world Calss University ebing set up at Amritsar and a central university granted to the state. Punjab's first I.I.T. would be coming at Ropar while an Indian School of Business will start at Mohali.

Other Institutes sanctioned include Knowledge City Mohali, the Institute of Nano Science and technology, the Indian Institute of Science education and Research (Classes started), National Agri Food Bio-Technology Institute and a Biotechnology Park

Mr. Badal disclosed that to give a boost to trade and industry, the Eastern Route Freight Corridor will link Kolkatta with Ludhiana. Similarly, the Western Route Freight Corridor would link Mumbai with Ludhiana. while the govt. of India has been requested to extend both the corridors up to Amritsar in view of the enhanced expected trade activity between India and Pakistan. The centre had also agreed to extend the Mumbai-Delhi industrial corridor to Ludhiana.

Mr. Badal also spoke about the Gas Pipeline from Dadri to Nangal which will pass through major industrial towns like Rajpura, Mandi Gobindgarh, Khanna, Ludhiana and Bathinda.

Referring to urban development, Mr. Badal said that never in history had the cities and towns of Punjab been given the sweeping revamp that they were set to undergo now. Over Rs 4212 crore were being spent on improving water supply and sewerage system in urban areas. Master Plans were being prepared for 30 Major towns in the state for stream lining and regulating growth and development. The task for preparing the Master Plan for Mohali had been assigned to the world famous Jurong International Company.

The Chief Minister also unfolded a major initiative to "completely revamp and rejuvenate the out-dated and dying canal irrigation infra-structure in Punjab at a cost s 4712 crore. This would include rejuvenation and sheet-lining of major water arteries and measures for flood control and for fighting the menace of water-logging.

Mr. Badal complimented the police and the people of the state for preserving peace and communal harmony. The police, he said, had to work under conditions of great physical and mental stress and the state government was alive to the need to improve their lot. He said that some steps had been taken to lessen their stress, like allowing them a weekly off-day. At the request of the force, the government had decided to give the police personnel an allowance in lieu of the uniform.

The Chief Minister thanked the people of the state for the trust repeatedly reposed by them in the SAD-BJP alliance in the Corporation, Panchayat Samitis, Zila Parishad and Municipal and Panchayat elections. He reiterated his government's commitment to work for the poorest of the poor with humility and commitment.

Schedule for RIMC Entrance Test announced

Chandigarh, July 15, 2008

The entrance examination for admission to the Rashtriya Indian Military College ( RIMC ), Dehradun for July 2009 term would be conducted here at Lala Lajpat Rai Bhawan (Sector-15) on 1st & 2nd December, 2008.

Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the Directorate Sainik Welfare, Punjab informed that only boys were eligible to apply for the admission. Candidates appearing for the test should not be born earlier than 1st July, 1996 and not later than 1st January, 1998 . They should either be studying in Class VII or passed Class VII from any recognized school at the time of admission to the RIMC. Selected candidates will be given admission in Class-VIII. The written part of the examination would consist of three papers namely, English, Mathematics & General Knowledge and the viva-voce test would be held for only those candidates who qualify in the written exam and the date for the viva voce test has been fixed as on 3 April 2009 (Friday).

He informed that the copies of application forms, prospectus and set of old question papers could be obtained from the Commandant, RIMC, Dehradun on payment of Rs.250/- through demand draft in favour of Commandant, RIMC, Dehradun payable at SBI Tel Bhavan (Code No.1576) Dehradun. Applications in duplicate in prescribed form should be accompanied by a bank draft for Rs.50/-(Rs.5/- in case of Scheduled Caste and scheduled tribe) in favour of Commandant, RIMC, Dehradun payable at SBI Tel Bhavan (Code No.1576) Dehradun alongwith three passport size photographs of the candidate. Besides this, the candidate should furnish a certificate of age in duplicate from municipal birth register.

He further said that the applications in duplicate duly completed must reach here at Directorate Sainik Welfare, Punjab before 30th September 2008. Application received after 30-9-2008 will not be entertained.


Chandigarh, July 15, 2008

The Punjab Government has started a flagship programme in collaboration with Indian Space research Organisation (ISRO) to provide quality education to the remotest student of the State through Satellite.

Disclosing this her today Dr. Upinderjit Kaur, Education Minister Punjab said that the ISRO had supplied 300 SITs (Satellite Interactive Terminals) to the Punjab EDUSAT Society for this purpose which have been installed in various senior secondary schools, I.T.I.s., polytechnics, degree colleges and engineering colleges all over the State. The central EDUSAT network HUB and the broadcast studios have already been installed in the premises of Punjab School Education Board, Mohali. The state Govt. has provided Rs. 10.00 crore for this project during the year 2008-09.

The Minister added that as a trial broadcast on the EDUSAT network, a crash course programme for AIEEE, IIT/JEE, CET/PMT was held in the last months, which was highly successful and many of the students could get admission in prestigious professional institutions. In the sequence of its success, the society has worked out the much liked coaching programme to be relayed on EDUSAT platform from for 2 hrs daily immediately after the school was over. However, presently the timings have been fixed from 2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. "The best of the faculty available in India have been roped in to deliver the best of the competitive educational content for the usage of the aspiring students", she said.

Education Minister further said that this programme is free for the students of the Govt. schools in 10+1 and 10+2 classes. However, under this programme, those students who have already passed 10+2 examination, as well as the students studying in the private institutions, would also be eligible for enrolment. However, such students would have to pay Rs. 1000/- lump sum as an enrolment fee to the society.

She requested the parents and the students to take the full benefit of the programme. The head of the institutions and subject teachers would be present at the time of broadcast in their EDUSAT classroom.

The Minister added that 173 SIT are fully operational in all Senior Secondary Schools with Science stream. The Punjab EDUSAT Society would purchase another 210 SITs at the earliest. "The society would also start a project on soft skills which would enhance the employment opportunities to the student after passing out the school. In schools, lectures on every Saturday would also be delivered inviting professional on employment opportunities" she said.


Chandigarh July 15:-The Punjab Government today enhanced Dearness Allowance payable to Punjab Government employees and pensioners from the existing rate of 41% to 47 % of Basic Pay plus Dearness Pay w.e.f. 1st January 2008 .

According to an official spokesman the whole amount on account of enhanced Dearness Allowance due for the period from 1-1-2008 to 31-7-2008 will be credited to the General Provident fund Accounts of the employees. For the period from 1-08-2008 enhanced dearness allowance would be paid in cash.

However, in the case of pensioners entire amount on account of enhanced Dearness Allowance would be paid in cash w.e.f. 1-1-2008.

The Spokesman added that in the case of such employees who have been appointed on or after 1-1-2004 under the new restructured defined Contributory Pension Scheme and have not yet opened their accounts under Tier-II of the scheme, the Department would purchase National Saving Certificate/Kissan Vikas Patras from Post Offices in the State of Punjab with the amount of arrears on account of enhanced Dearness Allowance in the names of such employees.

Instructions to this effect were today issued to all Head of Departments, Registrar, High Court of Punjab & Haryana, District and Session Judges and Deputy Commissioners in the State.


Patiala, July 15, 2008

The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal here today dedicated the Railway Over Bridge (ROB) over Railway Crossing (21 No.) on Ambla-Bhatinda Railway line to the people of Punjab.

Addressing the media persons on this occasion, Mr. Badal informed that this 614.06 mt. long ROB was completed in a record time of less than two years at a cost of Rs. 27.14 cr. to enable the residents of Patiala City as well as outsiders passing from this city a smooth and hassle free movement of vehicular traffic.

Reiterating the firm commitment of SAD-BJP Government to upgrade the existing infrastructure of roads, over bridges and flyovers to decongest the vehicular traffic, Mr. Badal said as it was the need of the hour and the Government was implementing all the development programmes with an innovative-planed approach. He further said that a Statewide programme to widen 2000 km link roads on periphery of all urban settlements had also been launched besides, work on construction of 23 ROBs at a cost of Rs.418 crore was also in progress and was likely to be completed during current financial year.

Replying to a question regarding SAD's stand on Nuclear Deal, Mr. Badal categorically said that his party was not habitual of changing its stands every day, in future also it would always toe the line of NDA and there was no difference of opinion at any level within the party for supporting NDA on the issue of nuclear deal.

Replying to another question regarding the present power crisis in the state the Chief Minister blamed the previous Congress government for not setting any new Power plant and deliberately ignoring the power sector for the reasons best known to them. Realising the importance of power as a core section, Mr. Badal said the SAD-BJP government had undertaken meticulous planning from the day one to set up four new thermal plants at Rajpura, Bathinda, Giddarbaha and Goindwal Sahib in the state within next four years with an additional generation capacity of 7500 MW, besides existing capacity of 6200 MW. Punjab government had also planed to complete 100% coverage of water supply and sewerage works in all the small and big towns of the state with in next three years, Mr. Badal informed.

Replying to another question Mr. Badal said that there was no move to change the Vice Chancellor of Baba Farid Medical University of Health sciences.

Later, Mr. Badal visited the house of Bibi Gurchran Kaur, the daughter of renowned Parja Mandal Leader Late Sardar Sewa Singh Thikriwala and inquired about her health.

Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included PWD Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Raj Khurana, Senior Akali Leader Surjit Singh Rakhra, General Secretary SAD Prof. Prem Singh Chandumajra, Mr.Harmail Singh Tohra, Mr.Surjit Singh Kohli, Mr.Ajaib Singh Mukhmailpur, Mr. Hamir Singh Ghagha (all ex-Ministers), Mr. Ajitpal Singh, Mayor, Municipal Corporation and Jathedar Kirpal Singh Bandugar, Former President, SGPC, beside, many other SAD and BJP leaders.





NRI News

Daily Punjab press release: Go to and click Punjab press release