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November, 2008


Punjabi divas celebrations in Punjab

Chandigarh November 16:

Mrs. Surinder Kaur Badal wife of Chief Minister Punjab Mr. Parkash Singh Badal said that it was a matter of pride that the Punjab government has determined to actively pursue the implement the use of mother tongue in other Punjabi speaking states as a second language and give it due status as a second language.

Presiding over a Punjabi Divas celebration day organised here at Shivalak Public School last night, she called upon the Punjabi diaspora settled in India and abroad to promote Punjabi language and culture in a big way. "It is our moral and social obligation to work together to glorify our rich cultural and heritage," she added.

Congratulating the Language department for organising week long Punjabi divas celebrations in Punjab, she emphasised the need to strengthen the bonds of Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiat through organising such seminars and conferences outside Punjab also.

Speaking on the occasion of Punjabi Divas celebrations here today, Dr Upinderjit Kaur, Education and Languages Minister, Punjab, said that for the preservation, promotion and optimum use of Punjabi language and to accord the mother tongue its due status in the state, the Punjab Government would act tough in the form of legal/departmental action with educational institutions, officials, bureaucrats, employees etc. if they fail to comply with the directives enshrined in the recently amended Punjabi Language Act.

The Minister categorically said that State Language and Education departments would initiate harsh steps against non-users of Punjabi language in their office work as well as in the schools, colleges and universities. The SAD-BJP government was committed to ensure the implementation of use of Punjabi language in the government offices at all levels, she added.

Presenting a thanks vote to the chief guest Mrs. Surinder Kaur Badal the Minister said that the motive of the week-long celebrations was to promote Punjabi language and culture as well as to create interest among the new generation in mother tongue and to acquaint them with rich Punjabi culture. She said that it was good to learn other languages but not at the cost of one's mother tongue.

The Languages Minister said that the bold steps had to be taken to implement the compulsory use of mother tongue as present generations were going away from their rich culture and tradition. "It is unfortunate that people settled abroad are keen to adopt and preserve the rich heritage of Punjab, while our own generations here feel inferior while using their mother-tongue. I am sure our future generations will be indebted to Chief Minister Punjab Mr. Parkash Singh Badal for initiating this step," she said.

Expressing concern at the falling standard of Punjabi language, art and culture, the Minister said that neighbouring states of Haryana, Himachal, U.T Chandigarh, Rajsthan, New Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir had turned a blind eye towards accepting Punjabi as a second language. She pointed out that undoubtedly English was universally accepted as a link language and Hindi was the national language and we should give due recognition to both these languages, but not at the cost and status of our mother tongue.

She lamented that the Punjabi language continued to be denied its due recognition as an official language of the UT Chandigarh which was settled on the 30,000 acres of land belonging to Punjab after uprooting 28 Punjabi speaking villages of the state but it is miserable that the 'babus' of Chandigarh had accorded the status of second language to English after Hindi.

On the occasion noted writer Dr. Ravinder Ravi attended the function as a special invitee. Bhai Baldeep Singh Delhi and Dr. Alankar Singh Uppal recited the shabads in ragas and Dr. Madan Gopal enthralled the audience with sufi gazals. Among others Mrs. Anjali Bhawra Secretay Higher Education and Languages, Mr. Rahul Bhandari DC, Mr. Jatinder Singh Aulakh SSP, Mrs. Raghbir Kaur Khaira SDM, Mrs. Balbir Kaur Director Languages and Dr. Gulzar Singh Sandhu were also present.

Guru Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji celebrated at Sukhbir Singh Badal's resident

Chandigarh . 15 November 2008

Celebration of Guru Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji was held here at the residence of Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, Shiromani Akali Dal President with full religious fervors enthusiasm and gaiety at New Delhi on Friday.

Hundreds of devotees from different walks of life attended the day long progrmme of Shabad Kirtan (Gurbani recitation) performed by the eminent Huzari Ragi Jathas of Sri Darbar Sahib Amritsar on the occasion. A community kitchen (Langar) was also organized on the occasion which was served by Mr.Sukhbir Singh Badal, alongwith his family members to the devotes.

Prominent among others who joined the commemoration of Guru Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji included Mrs.Kamla Advani,wife of Mr..L.K.Advani, leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Mr.Bhairon Singh Shekhawat,former Vice President of India, Mr.Om Parkash Singh Chautla, former Chief Minster of Haryana, former Union Law Minister Mr. Arun Jaitely, and Member Parliament and In charge Punjab BJP affairs Mr.Balbir Punj, Mr.Avtar Singh Makkar President SGPC, Mrs. Maneka Gandhi, former Union Minister, Mr.Bikram Singh Majithia Information and Public Relations Minister Punjab Mr. Tarlochan Singh M.P. Mr.Prem Singh Chandumajra, General Secretary SAD, Mr. Ajay Chautala, and Mr. Guljar Singh Ranike, Animal Husbandry Minister Punjab Mrs. Mohinder Kaur Josh, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Education, Mr.Avtar Singh Hit, former President DSGMC, Mr.Manjinder Singh Sirsa President Delhi Youth (SAD) Delhi.Mr.Maninderjit Singh Bitta, President Anti Terrorist Front. Besides the party leaders and workers of SAD-BJP and member of SGPC were also attended the function.

On the occasion Mr. Avtar Singh Makkar, President Shiromani Gurduwara Parbhandak Committee presented Siropas to Mr.Sukhbir Singh Badal, President SAD and Mr.Bikram Singh Majithia Information and Public Relations Minister Punjab.


Chandigarh November 15:

The Education and Languages Minister Punjab Dr. Upinderjit Kaur today expressed deep sorrow at the sad demise of Jathedar Amar Singh Naleeni who expired after brief illnesses.

In a condolence message the Education Minister described him as leader of masses who tirelessly worked hard for the upliftment of unprivileged sections of society. She said that with their death, the state has been devoid of the services of dedicated leader whose contribution for sikh panth would be remembered.

Expressing her heartfelt sympathy with the bereaved family Dr. Upinderjit Kaur prayed to God to give peace to the departed soul and strength in this difficult hour to bear this irreparable loss.



The Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Gen. (Retd.) S.F. Rodrigues, PVSM VSM administered the oath of office, secrecy and allegiance to the Constitution of India, to Mr. Dalbir Singh Mahal as a Member of the Punjab Public ServiceCommission, at a brief but impressive ceremony in the Banquet Hall ofPunjab Raj Bhavan, here today.

Earlier, the Chief Secretary, Mr. R.I. Singh sought the permission of the Governor to start the swearing-in-ceremony. Soon after being sworn in, Mr. Dalbir Singh Mahal, signed the oath, counter-signed by the Governor.
Punjab Chief Minister, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal along with his cabinet colleagues and Speaker Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr. Nirmal Singh Kahlon graced the occasion.

Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included Chairman, PPSC, Mr. S.K. Sinha, Revenue Minister, Mr. Ajit Singh Kohar, Mr. Sital Singh and Mr. Sher Singh Ghubaiya (both Chief Parliamentary Secretary), Mr. M.P. Singh, Secretary to Governor, Mr. Balwinder SinghBhundar and Mr. Surjit Singh Rakhra (both senior Akali leaders) besides many Legislators and senior civil and police officers. The family members, friends and well-wishers of Mr. Mahal also attended the ceremony.


Chandigarh, November 14

Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia , Patron Youth Akali Dal today said that the allegations of Senior Congress Leaders like Mrs. Margret Alva, Mr. Yogendra Makwana and Jallapa regarding big money changing hands for securing election tickets has exposed the murky and real face of Congress Party before the public.

In a statement issued here Mr. Majithia said that Senior leader incharge of many states like Mrs. Margret Alva and other host of leaders by stating the obvious regarding 'suitcase culture' prevalent in Congress Party, have paid a heavy price for speaking truth in a thorough corrupt Congress Party. Mr. Majithia said that people of India can well visualise the behaviour of such Congress Leaders in the Parliament who are securing tickets by paying hundreds of crores.

He said thick skinned Congress instead of being apologetic or ordering independent inquiry regarding allegations has tried to silence her by expelling her from party posts. Mr. Majithia said that Margret Alva 'S allegations have opened can of worms in Congress as more and more leaders like Yogendra Makwana and host of others have come out in open in accusing the party of taking big money for distributing tickets and this has exposed the real face of Congress party. He said that electorate is now crystal clear that if Congress MP is elected by paying money to the party, he would suck their blood for next five years.

Mr. Majithia said that right from Bofors, Jharkhand MP bribery case, cash for vote in parliament case recently, open auction of assembly ticket for Amritsar (South) seat has proved the fact that Congress Party has become a professional party as far as issue of corruption is concerned. He said that if things continued this way, Congress Party may opt for a stock exchange to quote daily rate of tickets during election season, making mockery of total electoral system.

The YAD leader said that Congress known for its slogan "Garibi Hatao" is focusing this slogan more on its leaders by alleviating their poverty and fulfilling their lust for money rather than of poor people by launching pro-poor programmes.

Giving a call to reject corrupt Congress Party Mr. Majithia said that time has come that electorate should exercise their right to vote by unseating Congress from Lok Sabha in ensuing Lok Sabha Election and decimating Congress party from the electoral scene in ongoing elections in six States.


Chandigarh, November 14

The Punjab Government has chalked out a comprehensive programme to credit over Rs. 650 crores paddy bonus to more than 10 million beneficiaries' farmers directly in their accounts by online banking system.

Disclosing this here today Food & Civil Supplies Minister Adesh Partap Singh Kairon said that he had observed that previously there was an inordinate delay in making payment of bonus and sometimes dispute also occurred and cases remained pending for years together. To improve this system and to make immediate payment, it has been decided to make bonus payment direct to the farmers account by online banking system, he added.

He said that he had called a meeting of General Managers of all leading banks of the State and advised them to open no-frill, zero-balance accounts free of cost for farmers. More over banks have also agreed to not to impose any condition of minimum balance in the accounts of farmers. The lead banks of various districts of Punjab have taken the responsibility for extending full co-operation for making bonus payment to the farmer's bank accounts. The District Food & Supplies Controllers would render necessary help to the banks.

Mr. Kairon said that Food Supplies Department would compile a data bank of account numbers of more than 10 million farmers in the state and directly credit bonus @ Rs. 50 per quintal paddy in the bank accounts of farmers.

He said that Union food Ministry has already approved the new pro-farmer, hassle free and high-tech system of payment systems evolved by the state Food & Civil Supplies Department.


Chandigarh, November 14

The Minimum Wages Board under the Chairmanship of Mr. Tikshan Sood, Labour Minister has proposed record 23% hike in Minimum Wages in respect of 60 scheduled employments in the State. The Board has proposed revision of minimum wage of unskilled workers to Rs. 123.12 against Rs. 100.51 being paid earlier.

Disclosing this here today Mr. Tikshan Sood, Labour Minister said that the Minimum Wages in the State were being revised after a long gap of 8 years as Congress government during its five years tenure refused to revise minimum wages to protect the interests of rich industrial lobby. He said that SAD-BJP government under the leadership of S. Parkash Singh Badal took the first step to constitute minimum wages board to revise minimum wages of poor labour class. The Minimum wages Board held deliberations with employers and employees and has now proposed minimum 23% hike in the Minimum Wages.

He said that notification has been issued to seek objections from the concerned public, as required by the law and Minimum Wages would be notified after processing the objections received, if any, after two months.

Mr. Sood said that he had proposed to Union Government in the recent meeting of Labour Ministers of States that it should be made mandatory for the States to revise Minimum Wages after every two years, so that interest of labour class could be protected.



Daily Punjab press release