Punjab Implements Food Security Act

food security punjabPunjab is a state that has always stood tall when it comes to farming capabilities. Figures assert that the state is presently the richest source of production nationwide and has been successful in implementing the Food Security Act. The National Food Security Act 2013 was implemented to provide subsidized food to needy people in the country so that the entire population has access to supply of food.

In a recent meeting of the State Food Ministers held at New Delhi, Punjab was praised by Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, for making food security a reality in the state and becoming the first state in the country to achieve the same. He said in the meeting that Punjab has truly understood the spirit of the Food Security Act. Further he asserted that Punjab is one state that can guide other states for systematic implementation of this act.

As a matter of fact, Punjab has been able to deliver food to the people in every corner of the state including those in the remote areas. What makes Punjab a torch-bearer state in this category is the fact that it has successfully implemented the online and systematic monitoring of the Act. This has been achieved by linking the beneficiaries with Aadhaar card and guaranteeing complete quality control. No other state in the country has been able to achieve this status yet.

History suggests that food security has always remained an issue. Evidence states that granaries existed even over 10,000 years ago. In World Food Conference 1974, Food Security was defined as “availability at all times of adequate world food supplies of basic foodstuffs to sustain a steady expansion of food consumption and to offset fluctuations in production and prices”. With time two other issues were added to it and these were demand and access.

In India several schemes including Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services Scheme and the Public Distribution System have been implemented with an idea of achieving food security. Punjab has proved to be one of the most successful states in achieving the target. In fact, Punjab was the first state in the country to issue e-ration cards to the beneficiaries, making the process extremely efficient and effective. E-ration card program was designed to ensure that only the deserving and genuine beneficiaries get access to subsidized ration.

Farmers of Punjab have access to fertilizer subsidy, improved irrigation facilities, agriculture tools at subsidized rates and agriculture development program. Punjab Agricultural University runs special programs and organizes annual get-together under the guidance of the State government  to help farmers by giving them training in use of new tools and provide them improved seeds. It is all due to relentless support of the government that the state is prosperous in its farming capabilities and has achieved one of a kind status by implementing Food Security Act completely.

Punjab To Generate Clean And Green Power

Driven by the success stories of solar power projects in the last three years, Punjab Government has decided to set-up Mega Solar PV Projects of 500 MW capacities. Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) has been assigned with the responsibility to invite bids from the developers. The bids will range from minimum 50 MW to maximum 150 MW, under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) of 25 years with the State Power Utility (PSPCL).

The New and Renewable Energy Minister, Sardar Bikram Singh Majithia has disclosed that the developers will be given an option to put up their allocated capacity at single location or maximum of 10 locations with minimum capacity being 5MW. In order to ensure a streamlined execution, PEDA has identified 6000 acres of land belonging to village Panchayat, private landowners who are open to lease their land to the developers.

The Government of Punjab has been actively working to increase the solar power generation capacity from 9 MW in 2012 to 206 MW in 2015. This giant leap is credited to the active participation from the private solar power developers. To add to this, in Phase-II, 282 MW capacity solar power projects have been allocated and power purchase agreements have been signed, which comprises of 229 MR ground mount and 53 MW rooftop projects. These projects will get commissioned in March, 2016.

Mr. Majithia gave credits to the facilitation and single point clearance given by PEDA and Punjab Bureau of Investment & Promotion, for the higher capacity addition in the solar power generation sector. PSPCL also provides a 25 year bankable power purchase agreement. Major players like Punj Lloyd, Welspun, Azure Power, Essel, Acme, Lanco, Luminous, and investors from USA, France, Israel and Slovakia are investing more than Rs.1400 crore in order to set up solar power projects in the state.

PSPCL is a B+ rating and is a profit making utility for the Government of Punjab. The power from these energy sources will be evacuated to the PSPCL/PSTCL sub-stations. The NRSE Policy 2012 will ensure that the applicable incentives/benefits are given to solar power project developers.

These initiatives will accelerate the rate and pace of development and growth in the state. Punjab Government plans to utilize the renewable source of energy in a manner that empowers and safeguards the interest of its people and their surroundings.

Punjab To Cover Entire State With 100% Basic Amenities

It is every citizen’s right to have access to basic amenities like pot hole free roads, street lights and sewerage system. Government of Punjab understands that very need of every citizen and is attempting to cover the entire state with 100% basic amenities.

Recently, Deputy CM of Punjab, Sukhbir Singh Badal finalized a blueprint to improve the quality of life in the state’s urban and rural areas. All major, small cities, towns and villages will see a facelift with the development of basic amenities on scientific lines. This initiative will also build world class infrastructure in Punjab and pave the  to its progress as well.

As per this plan, the state’s cities and villages will feature 100 percent sewerage, water supply, sewerage treatment plant, cemented streets, street lights and mechanised cleanliness system. The idea is to implement the state’s infrastructure to improve the quality of life and offer convenience to the citizens.

The state has dedicated Rs. 8,086 crores to execute these changes and advance its infrastructure on the whole. To make this vision a reality, the state government is working in coordination with various ministries to implement the crucial changes on expeditious mode. This infrastructural makeover is a part of a bigger government initiative that aims to bring convenience and comfort in the life of its citizens. With a proper blueprint, the state is all set to complete the works in time.

As per the government, no city, town and village of the state should be without adequate supply of potable water, sewerage and sewerage treatment plant (STP) facilities.

To begin with, zone wise clusters will be formed in the state for cleanliness and sanitation purpose. This visionary project features construction of roads and streets, installation of water supply and sewerage pipes and sewerage treatment plants.

The aim is to empower each household with a proper water and sewerage connection within one year. The next level would be to install water meter in all the state’s houses and bring the collection of bill cycle on track.

The government will also hire technical experts on contract basis to head two clusters each. These experts will act as quality analysts and oversee the quality and progress of all works. The focus this time is to bring third party audits in practice to oversee the ideal progress of the works. These will also keep a check on material quality and ensure uniformity of the project.

The project will not take years as the state is already in the advanced stage of completion for water supply and sewerage projects. In many towns the water supply set-ups are complete, whereas sewerage and STP works are still under progress. The timeline of September 2016 will give ample room to set-up STP infrastructure in tune with state’s progressive goals.

All these government initiatives will bring a new dawn for Punjab and its citizens. Till date, the state was known for its intense farming capabilities. But now, the state is leaving no stone unturned to become ‘Progressive Punjab’.

Punjab Gets Its Own IIM In Amritsar

Indian Institute of Management (IIM) holds a reputable spot among the best professional education institutions in the world. Over the years, the institute has established a name in producing large number of successful business leaders and marketing professionals. Such is the popularity that IIM’s success is already being replicated in different states of India. Many of these B-schools are branching out in such locations and delivering high quality management education to the local diaspora. 

With these developments, Punjab is also set to host its own IIM campus in Amritsar. The state government’s consistent efforts brought this highly prestigious institute into reality. After representing the proposal ahead of the Union Government along with constant follow-ups, Punjab Government finally succeeded in setting up this premier institute. 

In June 2015, IIM-Amritsar project received a great impetus from the encouragement and support of the Union Government. As per plans, the institute will be set-up on the 60 acres area pertaining to villages Nijjarpura and Rakh Jhita in Amritsar District.

The location has ample space to accommodate this world class institution. Even Floor Area Ratio (FAR) can be used to increase the space for future expansion.

The Amritsar Development Authority (ADA) has offered to construct approach road to the proposed campus. For this purpose, the authority will transfer the required land to IIM within two weeks.

Establishment of IIM in the holy city of Amritsar has generated a lot of enthusiasm among youngsters in Punjab. The academic sessions will start from the upcoming session from July, 2015 in a temporary campus.

Classes to the Post Graduate Program in Management for the session 2015-17 will be initially conducted at Punjab Institute of Technology (PIT) Amritsar. The admission procedure in this institute would be strictly as per CAT exam rankings. Only those who have cleared the CAT exam would be eligible to take admissions here.

The establishment of IIM in Punjab found its first mention in the budget speech of Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley in 2014-15. Within the year, the plans have brought benefit to Punjab’s youngsters. This asserts the government’s commitment towards the state and its future.

The establishment of this reputed institute would not just benefit the students of Punjab, but will also prove to be beneficial for the neighbouring states. Students from Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and other neighbouring states can take admissions on the basis of merit here and make a bright career in management. 

IIM Amritsar is being set-up under the mentorship of IIM Kozhikode, the 5th oldest IIM and one of the premier management institutes in the country. Their guidance during the founding years will surely stalwart the presence of Punjab’s first IIM. 

Touted as the breakthrough in the education sector of Punjab, this institute will train the youth to achieve better career prospects without moving out of their state. Also, it will give impetus to the youngsters to adopt new and promising career options. 

This is just a beginning of transforming Punjab with a better and brighter future. The state has started to move with the times and change its destiny.  The time is not too far when the state would lead the education sector with quality and expertise.

Three Month Training For Young Farmers

Farming in Punjab is changing with times. Quite contrary to earlier days, the state’s farmers are now ready to implement latest crop production technology on their fields and reap great returns. Government of Punjab is also supporting the farmers in using the technology in a better way through expert assistance. Agri scientists in the state are working on the fields and are facilitating farming innovations through their expert insights.

Department of Agriculture in the state is already playing a major role in educating the farmers about the latest technology. With this step they aim to increase state’s productivity. The major focus area of this drive is to conduct expert supervision on fields, soil analysis, seed checks and crop rotation programmes. Right from sowing to reaping, the department is working hand-in-hand with the farmers and empowering them with latest developments.

The idea is to utilize scientific methods and equip the farmers with the technical know-how. This will not only improve the farming produce, but will also contribute to the prosperity of Punjab.

As an extension to this idea, Punjab Government is also organizing a three month training course on ‘integrated crop production’ for its young farmers. The course will impart practical training to the farmers and increase the quality and productivity too.

This will also introduce the farmers to sustainable agriculture practices like soil management, crop rotation, crop nutrition, pest management, water management, etc.

Farmers can practically implement the takeaways of the workshop on their fields and reap the benefits of sustainable farming. This is a new way of cultivation where quality of the field is restored through the use of technical know-how.

The three month course is specially designed for young farmers of the state who are matriculate and come under the age bracket of 20-40 years. The three month workshop is scheduled to begin from 3rd August and will end on 2nd November, 2015.

The period of the workshop is favourable for the farmers. Scheduled right before the beginning of the Kharif season, the course will equip farmers with the best technology practices to be used on fields.

The state government is offering a golden opportunity for the young farmers to improve their crop production and agricultural practices. Even the farmers of the state are enthusiastic about the course. They are readily enrolling for this training and are participating in improving their productivity in a sustainable way.

Decades ago, the state implemented ahead of the times approach and brought the ‘Green Revolution’ to the country. In 2015, the state is scripting yet another success story to propel its farming capabilities with special training workshops.