Monthly Archives: APRIL 2017


Amarinder on 3Day visit to Mumbai from Monday to meet with Ambanis, Mahindra among others
09.04.17 - team pt
Amarinder on 3Day visit to Mumbai from Monday to meet with Ambanis, Mahindra among others



Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh will on Monday kick-start a three-day trip to Mumbai as part of his `Invest Punjab’ initiative, with a series of meetings scheduled with some of the leading captains of industry and business in the country. 

The CM will be accompanied by a high-profile official delegation to meet the who’s who of the Indian industry, beginning with Tata Sons chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran on Monday evening. 

The delegation will comprise State Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Irrigation & Power Minister Rana Gurjeet Singh, Senior Advisor to CM Lt Gen (Retd) Tejinder Singh Shergill, Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral and Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar. Others accompanying the Chief Minister include Secretary (Political III) Karanpal Singh Sekhon, PSIC & IP Anirudh Tewari, PBIP CEO D.K. Tiwari and PBIP ACEO Shruti Singh. 

An official spokesperson said the delegation will explore avenues of investment in the state, along with possible collaborations to revive its ailing economy and industry. 

ICICI Bank Ltd CEO & MD Chanda Kochhar, Goldman Sachs Chairman Sonjoy Chatterjee and Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej are the other top business leaders whom the Chief Minister is expected to meet on Monday evening, culminating in a dinner meeting with Arun K Kumar, Chairman & CEO, KPMG India, which is the state’s knowledge partner for the Progressive Punjab Campaign since 2013. 

The highlights of Tuesday’s programme include a breakfast meeting with Reliance ADAG Chairman Anil Ambai, besides a post-lunch meeting with Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman & MD Mukesh Ambani. 

The Chief Minister is also slated to hold intensive discussions with RPG Group Chairman Harsh Goenka, Hindustan Unilever Ltd CEO & MD Sanjiv Mehta and Mahinder & Mahindra Ltd Chairman Anand Mahindra during separate meetings in the pre-lunch session on Tuesday. 

Other business leaders who are scheduled to call upon the Chief Minister in the course of the day include L&T Director & Executive Vice President (Power and Heavy Engg. & Defence) Shailendra N. Roy and Hinduja Group Chairman Ashok P Hinduja. 

The programme agenda also includes meetings with the Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of India and an Ashoka University delegation, besides a round-table with industry leaders. 

According to the official spokesperson, the Punjab Government, led by Captain Amarinder, is committed to streamlining the systems in the state to facilitate hassle-free industrial development, while wooing investors, in an industry-friendly environment.




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Capt Amarinder unveils his much-awaited book on historic battle of Saragarhi
08.04.17 - team pt
Capt Amarinder unveils his much-awaited book on historic battle of Saragarhi



Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh unveiled his latest, and perhaps the most iconic book - `The 36th Sikhs in the Tirah Campaign 1897-98 – Saragarhi and the defence of the Samana forts’ – amid a distinguished gathering of political and media luminaries, as well as several senior Army officers, with Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore as the guest of honour.

Captain Amarinder presented a copy of his book to the Governor at the event, which also witnessed a panel discussion with senior journalists Shekhar Gupta and Vir Sanghvi, and Brigadier Inderjeet Singh Gakhal of the Sikh Regiment. Actor Randeep Hooda, who is the star of the upcoming movie based on Saragarhi, joined the lively interaction.

Speaking on the occasion, Governor Badnore suggested that the state government start a literary festival in Chandigarh, to be focused only on defence and war. Captain Amarinder immediately accepted the suggestion and announced October 27 as the tentative date for holding the maiden fest.
 
The Governor later presented a copy of the book, along with a picture, to the General Office Commanding-in-Chief Lt Gen Surinder Singh of the Sikh Regiment, and to the Deputy Chief of the Army Staff Lt. Gen JS Cheema, also of the Sikh Regiment, besides other senior army officers and also the eminent panelists. He also presented two paintings related to Saragarhi to the Colonel of the Sikh Regiment.

The battle of Saragarhi stands out as an iconic moment in India’s military history, made more epic by the narrative woven around it by Captain Amarinder Singh, an ex-Army officer turned military historian who has the honour of belonging to the celebrated 36th Sikhs, of which the book talks.

The book is a homage to the 21 men of the 36th Sikhs, who, led by Havaldar Ishar Singh, laid their lives fighting in what was, perhaps, the greatest last stands of all times. It is in particular dedicated to the lone NCE - the 22nd man, generally known as Dad, who also died fightingduring the battle, having picked up a weapon and killed a few tribals before falling in the last moments of the battle. Hooda essays the role of Hav Ishar Singh in the movie on the Saragarhi battle.
 
As an emotional Captain Amarinder put it, "In many ways, it was an untold story, waiting to be told. While there are many books and articles on the Battle of Saragarhi, the Tirah Campaign, in its entirety, had remained somewhat obscured. I wanted to share the story of Tirah, and in particular the story of Dad – the 22nd man, whose name or religion remains unknown till date and about whom even the source of his origin remains unclear except that he came somewhere from Naushera.”

With some lopsided rules preventing Dad from being honoured like the other 21 who died fighting the Afghan tribals in the battle, he continues to remain lost in the sands of time, says Captain Amarinder, pointing out that his book was a small effort to put things in perspective.

In response to a request from the audience, the Chief Minister promised a suitable memorial for Hav Ishar Singh in his village, as well as for some other soldiers who had laid their lives for their country.
During the panel discussion, the panelists discussed the various facets of the battle which, till date, remains etched as a story of inspiration and a reminder of how, when pushed to the brink, men can rise beyond their human capacities. 
 
The panelists lamented the fact that tribal warfare in the neighbouring Pakistan continues to remain as brutal as it was during the Tirah Campaign. Tribals live in their own isolated world, said Captain Amarinder, terming it as a tragedy that atrocious treatment is still meted out to prisoners by such tribals, such as the Taliban, even now.

It was unfortunate, said Shekhar Gupta, that people enjoy glorifying such atrocities when it suits them. The problem, he said, was the history of kinship and blood feuds which tribals continue to have while living under autonomous governance, which needed to be eliminated. He also stressed the need to end the prevalent gun culture, pointing out that the Aghanistan and Pakistani civilians have more guns than the defence forces of many countries, including India.

The proceeds of the book, launched in the 120th year of the battle, will go the Ludhiana Welfare Association for decapitated soldiers, orphans and widows.

The Chief Minister, who completed the book during the peak of his election campaign, earlier took the audience through some of the most exciting and emotional moments of the Tirah Campaign through a presentation that brought the battle alive for them on the sprawling lawns of Hotel Lalit here.

This story of valour, to quote Captain Amarinder, "remains the 36th Sikhs’ greatest achievement.” "It set the benchmark for the battalion to follow.” For the uninitiated, Saragarhi was a post that connected British India forts of Lockhart and Gulistan on the border areas of Afghanistan. 

As Captain Amarinder further recalled, the battle, which took place on 12th September 1897, was fought by a "small platoon minus of the 36th Sikhs which battled against 8,000 tribals.” "These valiant men fought for 6 hours and 45 minutes before all 22 fell. They chose death rather than surrender,” he writes in his book. As he told the gathering, these men knew it was their last day on earth but refused to give up.
With several original and recreated photographs to add a visual appeal to the story, the book takes the reader, through an exciting mix of description and narration, along some of the most epoch moments in the Tirah Campaign. From exhaustive descriptions of the weapons used, to detailed maps, it brings the campaign, culminating in the historic battle of Saragarhi, alive, making the reader feel a part of the exceptional journey.

With some lopsided rules preventing Dad from being honoured like the other 21 who died fighting the Afghan tribals in the battle, he continues to remain lost in the sands of time, says Captain Amarinder, pointing out that his book was a small effort to put things in perspective. He plans to follow up this book with another on Bangladesh war and finally, one on Punjab over the past 50 years, Captain Amarinder said in response to a question during the panel discussion.

The event concluded with the 10th Guru Recitation and Jaikara by the troops of the 8th Battalion of the Sikh Regiment, giving way to the Last Post/Rouse.

Major General Tarlochan Singh who looks after the Saragarhi Memorial also spoke on the occasion, congratulating the Chief Minister for his brave description of the Saragarhi Battle.




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CM Amarinder reiterates promise to waive off farmers' debt soon
08.04.17 - team pt
CM Amarinder reiterates promise to waive off farmers' debt soon



Punjab CM Amarinder Singh on Saturday reiterated his commitment to the waiver of farm debts, saying his government would soon find ways and means to bail out the debt-ridden farmers, with or without the help of the central government. 
 
The Chief Minister was interacting with the media after inaugurating D-Mart’ first post-IPO store in Punjab in Zirakpur. 
 
Assuring that his government was duty-bound to fulfill every promise made to the people in its election manifesto, Captain Amarinder said the state government had approached the Union Government for waiver of farmers’ loans but even if it failed to get any support from the Centre, it would ensure that the farmers are freed of their mounting debts, for which the state machinery had already been set into motion. 
 
Referring to the Congress poll promise of eliminating the drugs menace from the state, the Chief Minister said the Special Task Force (STF) constituted by the state government was firmly dealing with the scourge and would ensure that drugs are wiped out from the land of Punjab. Captain Amarinder Singh said the STF headed by senior IPS officer Harpreet Singh Sidhu was working diligently and the day was not far when this problem would be wiped out from the state. 
 
On the issue of eradication of corruption, the Chief Minister said necessary steps were being taken for the same, with his government working hard to put things in order in the state, which had been pushed backward by the misdeeds of the Akalis and the BJP, who ruled Punjab for 10 years. He further said the state government would soon bring out a ‘White Paper’ on the state’s economy, to expose the financial havoc wreaked by the Akalis on Punjab. 
 
Replying to another query, the Amarinder said that his government had also initiated the process of curbing illegal mining, which had become rampant during the SAD-BJP misrule, in the state. He said a number of mines would be auctioned in the coming days, after which the price of sand and gravel in Punjab would normalize. 
 
Captain Amarinder Singh said that welfare of the public and the development of the state was the top priority of his government, which has taken a number of path-breaking initiatives in this direction. 
 
Earlier, inaugurating the sprawling D-Mart store, set up in Dhillon Silicon Square, Zirakpur, the Chief Minister welcomed the company’s plans to set up 10 stores initially in the state with an investment of approximately Rs. 500 crores, providing direct employment to about 1000 youth. The key focus of his government, he said, would be on getting Punjab back on the track with a highly investor-friendly climate, generating employment for the youth and restoring investor confidence in the state. Captain Amarinder said a new industrial policy, aimed at wooing investors and concurrently generating employment for the local youth, would soon be unveiled by his government.




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Parliamentary delegation of Uganda calls on Punjab Vidhan Speaker
07.04.17 - team pt
Parliamentary delegation of Uganda calls on Punjab Vidhan Speaker



An eight Members Parliamentary Delegation from Uganda was warmly welcomed by the Hon'ble Speaker of Punjab Legislative Assembly, Rana Kunwar Pal Singh, at his office here today.

The delegation discussed various Constitutional and Political aspects pertaining to the Parliamentary and Legislative working, before deliberating on the avenues to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries. 
       
The delegation was full of praise over the hospitality tendered by the Hon'ble Speaker and also conveyed their satisfaction as to the outcome of the meeting that assured mutual efforts pertaining to socio-economic and political developments between the two countries.

Delegation Members have invitation to Rana Kunwar Pal Singh for Uganda visit, which was warmly accepted by the worthy Speaker.




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Brahm Mohindra declares War against Dengue, Chikungunya and Malaria
07.04.17 - TEAM PT
Brahm Mohindra declares War against Dengue, Chikungunya and Malaria



Brahm Mohindra, Health and family welfare minister Punjab, today declared war against the vector borne diseases and instructed the health officials and the officials from 11 departments to tackle these on priority. "There should be no laxity given in dealing with the outbreak of these diseases. All the concerned departments should focus on prevention and awareness about these diseases” said Mohindra. He asked the department to launch massive awareness drive through various mediums to educate the people so that these diseases do not start developing. Consistent campaigns should be conducted on the radio, mass media, bulk SMS, Cinemas, hand out, pamphlets to make people aware.

Chairing the meeting of state task force today for the vector borne diseases, Mohindra also said that he would personally take up the matter with local bodies Minister for ensuring smooth operations especially in the cities. The local bodies should also stress on the spraying in collaboration with the health department before the season starts.  He also asked the education department to generate awareness among the general public through the school children by way of quiz competitions, lectures during the morning assemblies and giving the children a questionnaire regarding these diseases. Even the school children of classes 9th and 10th should be having special curriculum for these vector borne diseases. He also instructed the transport department to arrange for proper covers where ever the stores of condemned tyres are there in Punjab because these are main places of the breeding of Aedes mosquito, which is responsible for the dengue fever. These waste tyres should be immediately discarded and proper spray should be done to prevent the growth of the vector. He also instructed department of  rural development and panchayats to use the Gambusia fish in the ponds, spraying and sanitizing in the rural areas, and reporting by the medical officers in the rural areas. Even the IMA should report the cases to the health department immediately so that the outbreak could be avoided by plugging the breeding place.

Mohindra also asked the department of water supply and sanitation, roadways, fisheries, animal husbandry, medical education and research, labour and Indian medical association to deal with the diseases in strict manner. 

Mohindra said that in case of malaria mostly cases are from the rural areas rather than urban while dengue is reported more in urban. There are 26 sentinel surveillance hospitals in the state providing free diagnostic facility for dengue and chikunguniya where tests for these diseases are also done free. Supportive treatment for dengue is also given free in all the district level and sub division level hospitals. Dengue wards with mosquito nets have been established at each district, sub division, CHC, ESI hospital and medical colleges. Even blood component separators are also available in all the districts. Spray with insecticides and larvicides is done in the houses where a case of dengue or chikunguniya is reported. Punjab is the first state to introduce Malaria treatment cards. The mosquito of dengue (aedes) matures from egg to adult in 7-10 days so all the containers, tanks, refrigerator trays etc should be emptied and cleaned once in a week in order to prevent dengue and chikungunya. It is also the first state to launch an android mobile app "dengue free Punjab”.




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