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Punjab Govt
May 28, 2008


40 English teachers from Punjab selected for training in UK


The Punjab Government today signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding in school education with the University of Wolverhampton (U.K.). Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal presided over the function where the MoU was signed.

The MoU was signed by Secretary Education Punjab Mr. KBS Sidhu and Ms. Caroline Gipps, Vice-Chancellor of Wolverhampton University on behalf of the Punjab Government and the UK based University respectively.
Separately, two more agreements were signed, one between Wolverhampton Football Club and the JCT Football Academy, Hoshiarpur and another between Wolverhampton Chamber of Commerce and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) to develop bilateral trade and Commerce activities and strengthening trade links through new marketing opportunities. The U K delegation comprised Mr. Terry Wood, Head of International Trade for the UK and Mr. Steven Catchpole, Chief Executive Wolverhampton Development Company.

Giving details, CM's Media Advisor, Mr. Harcharan Bains said that the main aim of the MoU on education was to increase the interflow of educational skills between Punjab and the UK through a teacher-training programme. Under this arrangement, the government school teachers in Punjab would be imparted special academic training by the UK teachers for raising their teaching skills in general and in English language in particular. In the first phase of this programme, 40 teachers of English from Punjab had been selected for training. These teachers, in turn, would further impart training to other teachers in the state, said Mr. Bains.

Taking part in the deliberations, Mr. Badal said that the English language had emerged as the International language, in academic as well as in business arenas. Without appropriate skills to read, write and speak good English, students and youth from Punjab may not be competitive on a global basis, irrespective of their professional and technical knowledge, talent and training, said Mr. Badal, adding that this however would not be done at the expense of our mother tongue, Punjabi. "There is no contradiction between being rooted in our local culture and language on the one hand and improving our proficiency in a widely used international languages like English on the other. In fact, the two are complementary," said the Chief Minister.

The Chief Minister further said that the state had already implemented the teaching of English as a compulsory subject right from Class 1 to 10th in all the Government Schools. The private schools too had followed suit, "We have already finalized the recruitment of 1000 trained teachers of English for the first time. Earlier, English to the students was being taught by Social Study teachers. The newly appointed teachers would be in position before the Schools re-open after the summer vacation in July," said the Chief Minister.

Mr. Badal urged both Mr. Mac Fadden and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton to strengthen this project so that such training courses could be run at other regional centers in Punjab. He said that approximately 30% of the Indian students in the British Universities and Colleges hail from Punjab and the conduct of such programmes would also provide the University of Wolverhampton an opportunity to reach out to its prospective students from Punjab, who might be exploring the possibilities of higher studies abroad.


Chandigarh, May 28,2008

The Chief Secretary Punjab, Mr. R.I. Singh has asked the deputy commissioners of the state to take adequate flood protection measures during the ensuing south-west monsoons so that the loss incurred by floods could be minimized due to the timely preventive steps taken at the part of the administration.

While presiding over a video conference with the deputy commissioners to review the status of flood protection measures to be taken all over the state here today, Mr. Singh said that out of the twenty districts of the state, six districts namely Ferozpur, Gurdaspur, Patiala, Sangrur, Mansa and Ropar were prone to floods for which we need to take necessary preparedness measures to mitigate the impact of natural calamities.

Speaking on the occasion, he identified the list of priority flood protection works like erection of bunds, studs, spurs and strengthening of banks of river beds, canals and desilting of river beds / drains etc. He said that the state government would provide necessary funds as per the requirement of the district administration at the earliest and on priority. He has asked the deputy commissioners to immediately identify flood prone districts and villages and take stock of the expected emergent situations during monsoons. There should not be any shortage of rescue and evacuation equipment, said Mr. Singh. District control rooms should be activated and equipped properly to disseminate timely warning and to supply necessary information to the high-ups, he added. Mr. Singh has asked the Deputy Commissioners of Patiala, Barnala, and Sangrur to take special care of the villages around ghaggar which were flood prone and could cause considerable damage during the monsoons.

Mrs. Romila Dubey Financial Commissioner Revenue, Mr. Suresh Kumar, Principal Secretary Irrigation and Power, Mr. Subodh Aggarwal, Financial Commissioner Animal Husbandry, Mr. D.S Jaspal, Principal Secretary Transport and Information & Public Relations, Mr. P.S Aujla, Secretary, Water Supply and Sanitation, Mr. Tejvir Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar and Mr. Dharamjit Singh Grewal, Deputy Commissioner, Patiala, were present along with the Chief Secretary in the conference while the deputy commissioners of Barnala, Mansa, Faridkot, Ferozpur, Gurdaspur and Ropar were present at the other end during the video conference.




The Punjab Government's Empowered Committee on Mega Projects today cleared 11 new projects worth Rs.11170 crore. These include six projects in the industrial and five in the agro-industrial sectors.

While the projects in the industrial sector would have a capital outlay of Rs.9920 crore, those in the agro sector would entail an investment of Rs. 1250 crore. Some of the projects in the industrial sector also cover housing and multiplexes projects.

Clearances to these projects come close on the heels of infrastructure development projects worth Rs 20, 000 crore cleared by the state government last week.

Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal presided over the meeting.

Chief Minister's Media Advisor Harcharan Bains said that the Empowered Committee also decided to stipulate that, other things being equal, preference would be given to Punjabi youth in matters of employment in these projects. He said that most of these projects have significant employment potential with economic multiplier effect.

Mr. Bains said that in keeping with the government policy, the Committee also decided to extend special incentives to investors.
Accordingly, 50% concession in the rates of External Development Charges (EDC) and 75% in license fee would be admissible to Mega Projects in category 'A'. However, 5% of the total amount payable by the developer on account of EDC, CLU and other license fee would be levied as Health & Social Security fund and recovered in addition to
the EDC, CLU and License Fees. This amount, said Mr. Bains, would be
deposited in separate corpus to be established by the state government under health and social security schemes for the welfare of the poor.
The rates of EDC, license fee and CLU charges would be as per the different components in the industrial park and depending upon the potential zone in which the park falls. Where a piece of land falls in more than one potential category, the proportionate rate of fiscal charges for each category would apply, he said.

The Committee also decided that the project land, where Change of Land Use (CLU) had already been granted as part or whole of a project would not be included in the future Super Mega Industrial Park Projects.

The projects approved included 6 Multiplexes-cum-Hotel projects namely M/s Chakrita Real Estate Developers Private Ltd. (Rs.886.55 crore) in Ludhiana, M/s Hamir Real Estate Pvt. Ltd (Rs.200 crore) in Mohali, M/s Ambreen Projects & Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd., (Rs.303 crore) in Mohali, M/s Cargo Motors Pvt. Ltd., (Rs.30 crore) in Jalandhar. Besides two Super Mega mixed use Integrated Industrial Parks would be developed, one by M/s Emaar MGF Land Ltd at Mohali, Ludhiana and Jalandhar over an area of 2750 acre with a capital investment of Rs.5000 crore, another by M/s Chandigarh Infotech would develop an IT park over an area of 1170 acre in Mohali district with a capital investment of Rs.3500 crore.

The Empowered Committee also approved five Agro projects including a Biomass based project of 147 MW to be set up by M/s Green Planet Energy Pvt. Ltd. of Mumbai at a cost of Rs.955 crore.
This project would have power plants at 14 locations in the state at Barnala (10 MW), Nihalsinghwala (6 MW), Jaito (13 MW), Faridkot (9 MW), Bathinda (14 MW) Fatehgarh Sahib (11 MW), Amloh (6 MW), Sultanpur Lodhi (9 MW), Garhshankar (10 MW), Nakodar (10 MW), Phillaur (10 MW), Shahkot (10 MW), Ludhiana (15 MW) and Raikot (14 MW). Besides this project, M/s Century Plyboard India Ltd. of Kolkata would set up a plywood and Medium Density Fiber Board (MDFB) in Hoshiarpur district with the capacity of 40000 Cu. Mtr. and 90000 Cu Mtr. respectively at a cost of Rs.189 crore. The other agro based projects included M/s Tara Feed Ltd. near Malerkotla (Rs.35.90 crore), M/s Oasis Beverages Pvt. Ltd. in Ludhiana district (Rs.28 crore) and M/s Kissan Fats Ltd.
in Ferozepur district (Rs.42.50 crore).

Prominent amongst others who were present in the meeting included Local Govt. & Industries Minister Manoranjan Kalia, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Tourism Minister Hira Singh Gabria, Medical & Research Education Minister Tikshan Sood, Transport Minister Master Mohan Lal, PWD (B&R) Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Agriculture Minister Sucha Singh Langha, Education Minister Dr.Upinder Jit Kaur, Chief Secretary RI Singh, Financial Commissioner Revenue Romilla Dubey, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister DS Guru, Principal Secretary Finance DS Kalha, Secretary Housing & Urban Development Arun Goyal, Director Industries VK Janjua, MD Punjab Agro Corporation SK Sandhu, Chairman PSEB YS Ratra and Additional Principal Secretary AK Mahajan.



Chandigarh, 28 May, 2008

The Punjab Government today secured a major relief from the Supreme Court of India as Court exempted scheduled developments works being carried out by diversion of forest land from the payment of Net Present Value (NPV).

Disclosing this here today Mr. Tikshan Sud, Forest Minister said that Punjab along with other states was pleading the Apex Court that the payment of Net Present Value be exempted for community development works to be carried out by diversion of forest land. The State government had forcefully pleaded that user agency that is mostly government, should be exempted from the payment of NPV as these works were carried out for the providing facilities to the public at large.

The Minister informed that accepting the plea of the government Supreme Court has exempted public works such as schools, hospitals, children play grounds of non- commercial nature and the public welfare projects such as community Centres in rural areas that require forest land upto two hectares from the payment of NPV. The Minister said that rural infrastructure and basic services such as the construction of the overhead tanks, village roads, the minor irrigation projects upto 10 hectares of storage area, municipal water supply projects, drinking water supply pipelines, housing for the rehabilitation of tribal, laying of the underground optical fiber cables, laying on pipelines for the underground transportation, district and rural roads, roads constructed by Defence in border areas, construction of the transmission lines have been also exempted from the payment of NPV. He said that Supreme Court has also exempted activities necessary for the ecological management, relocation of the villages from the sanctuaries and national park, regularization of pre-1980 eligible encroachers and shifting cultivation from the payment of NPV.

It may be added that user bodies that is mostly government is required to pay Rs. 9.20 lac per hectare NPV along with compensatory forest payment for diversion of forest land for any project and with this judgment government would get a huge financial relief in executing development projects in the Forest Area.

The Minister said that SAD-BJP Government was committed to usher in era of prosperity and development in the Kandi Area and this judgment of Supreme Court would accelerate development process for them.



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