Owing to the stupendous success of the state in field of imparting quality education to the students, the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today envisioned the state as a hub of ‘Education and Healthcare services’ across the country.Addressing the massive gathering after laying the foundation stone of the Central University of Punjab, the Chief Minister said that the Punjab government has taken unprecedented steps to boost the education sector in the state as a result of which the state has emerged as a leading state in the country in field of education. He said that apart fromsetting up 10 new Universities and 17 Degree Colleges the state government has also given due emphasis on strengthening the infra structure in government schools across the state. Mr. Badal said that Bathinda which was once considered as an educationally backward district in the State has now housed five new universities to impart quality education to the youth.
Likewise, the Chief Minister said that special focus has been laid by the state government to provide state of the art medical facilities to the people. He said that it was on record that Punjabis who had to earlier go to other states for treatment of fatal diseases like cancer were getting advanced treatment and diagnostic facilities in every nook and corner of the state. Mr. Badal said that SAD-BJP alliance government has left no stone unturned to always ensure overall development and prosperity of the people in the state as its top most agenda during its tenure of over eight years in the service of people.
Urging the Union Human Resource Development Minister Mrs. Smriti Zubin Irani to open Meritorious School, in every block of the country, the Chief Minister said that it would prove to be a boon for bright students from economically weaker sections of the society. He said that six such Schools have already been established by the state government at Mohali, Bathinda, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Patiala to provide quality education to meritorious students scoring above 80% in Government Schools. Mr. Badal said that this experiment has proved to be extremely successful for the state government to raise the standard of education besides beneficial for students too, who were now striving hard to seek admission in these prestigious schools with a sense of healthy competition.
The Chief Minister further said that in a short span of its rule the NDA government led by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has given several key projects to the state, which would be instrumental in putting the state further on high growth trajectory. He said that Sri Amritsar Sahib the holy city of the state has been chosen as heritage city under the HRIDAY scheme, which would ensure flow of central assistance worth hundred crores of rupees for its development. Likewise, Mr. Badal said that Jallianwala Bagh has been included amongst Cultural World Heritage Site to receive special assistance for improving the infrastructure.The Chief Minister also hailed the NDA government for allocating prestigious projects like All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and Post Graduate Horticulture Research and Educational Institute. He further said that this was for the first time ever since independence that a Union government has given such key projects to the state. “This demonstrates a special concern of the NDA government for the patriotic people of Punjab, which must be appreciated by one and all” added Mr. Badal.
Striking an emotional chord with the farmers of the state, the Chief Minister assured the cotton cultivators that the state government would soon compensate them for heavy loss incurred by them. Mr. Badal said that the state government was well aware of their hardships and every effort would be made to bail them out from this hour of crisis. He said that state government had recently taken steps to rescue to cane cultivators from the prevailing crisis.
Taking a dig at opposition parties for misleading the people, the Chief Minister said that there was not even a single achievement to the credit of Congress party in long spell of its rule. Likewise, he said that AAP was merely indulging in false propaganda against the state government whereas it has hardly done anything tangible for the welfare of the people in Punjab. Mr. Badal urged the people to not get swayed away by the misleading propaganda of these people.
The Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal while addressing the gathering said that today is a historic day for the Malwa region, especially Bathinda, as a novel beginning has been made in the field of education.
He said that on the completion, the university would impart quality education to 18000 students who would be given every possible facility. He further said that a budget of Rs. 2000 crore has been earmarked for this purpose.Divulging more details about the development initiatives of the State Government, the Deputy Chief Minister said that 1 lakh Government Jobs would soon be advertised and every assembly constituency would get Rs. 25 crore for carrying out the development works. He elaborated that special attention would be paid to the laying of sewerage. He also informed that the State Government would spend Rs. 800 Crores in the next year and half for giving concrete shape to the water channels in the Bathinda district and also solve the problems of the district concerning water on which Rs. 2000 crore would be spent.
Listing out the achievements of the State Government, the Deputy Chief Minister said that during the previous Eight years, the State Government has brought 2 thermal plants in the state and had strived hard to make Punjab a power surplus state. He said that the state has witnessed development only when the Akali Dal-BJP government was at the helm of affairs.Lashing out at the Congress, the Deputy Chief Minister said that while on one hand it never cared for the development of the state, on the other hand Rahul Gandhi portrayed a negative image of Punjab by labeling its youth as drug addicts. He further said that during his tenure as Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh was never accessible to the people while S. Parkash Singh Badal always cares for the people’s welfare being in constant touch with them.
While thanking, the Union Minister for Human Resource Development for bestowing this honour to the district, the Deputy Chief Minister also showered praise on the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for conceding to the long pending demand of the Ex-servicemen regarding One Rank One Pension scheme.
In her address the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Mrs. Smriti Zubin Irani said that Central University of Punjab was one of the best universities of the country. She said that Punjab must take the lead of introducing farm techniques, water, Rural and Food processing management courses in the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) set up at Amritsar so that the rest of country should follow it. Mrs. Irani also mooted a proposal for possible tie up between the Union HRD Ministry and Food Processing Ministry chalking out a roadmap for expansion of Food processing industry in the state by imparting education to the students.
The Union Minister also announced that the new campus of the Central University of Punjab would be ready within 18 months. She said that the university would act as a catalyst of education in the entire region as world renowned experts from across the globe would be roped in to deliver important lectures to the students. Mrs. Irani hoped that this university would play an instrumental role in checking the brain drain of the region by open new vistas of employment in education sector for them.Earlier in her address, the Union Food Processing Minister Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal today said that the state government under the visionary leadership of the Chief Minister has taken several path breaking initiatives in the education sector. She said that besides setting up key projects like IIM, ISB, ITIs and other the state government has also started welfare schemes like Mai Bhago Istri Vidya Scheme and Dr. Hargobind Khurana Post Matric scholarship scheme to give a major push to education. Mrs. Badal said that with the opening of the Central University of Punjab, the state has achieved a major milestone as about 18000 students would get education from this university.
Slamming the previous Congress led UPA government at the Centre, the Union Minister said that Punjab got nothing during the tenure of that government whereas in a short span of one year NDA government had gifted several key projects to it. She said that this was just the beginning and NDA government would soon allot more projects to boost its overall economic development. Mrs. Badal said that the NDA government was committed for welfare of the entire country without prejudice against any state adding that NDA had unflinching commitment to work for welfare of poor strata of society.
Earlier, the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and Union Ministers Mrs. Smriti Irani and Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal laid the foundation stone of new campus of university.
Prominent amongst others present on the occasion included Cabinet Ministers Mr. Sikander Singh Maluka, Dr. DS Cheema, Mr. Janmeja Singh Sekhon, Rajya Sabha Member Mr. Balwinder Singh Bhunder, State BJP President Kamal Sharma, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Mr. Sarup Chand Singla, MLAs Mr. Darshan Singh Kotfatta and Mr. Harpreet Singh, Assistant Media Advisor to Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Harjinder Sidhu, Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. KJS Cheema, Chairman Mr. Tejinder Singh Middukhera, Circle President Mr. Avtar Singh Vanwala, Member State Women Commission Bibi Veerpal Kaur Tarmala, Inspector General of Police Mr. BK Bawa and Deputy Commissioner Dr. Basant Garg.