The Punjab Information & Public Relations and Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia today exhorted journalist fraternity for factual and investigative reporting to keep intact the trust of public thereby playing a significant contribution in creation of better society. Accompanied by Punjab Rural Development & Panchayat Minister Surjit Singh Rakhra and Mr. Jangveer Singh, Media Advisor to Deputy Chief Minister, Mr. Majithia was here to inaugurate the Patiala Media Club office.After the inauguration ceremony, while addressing an impressive gathering here at Harpal Tiwana Kala Kendra, Mr. Majithia pointed out that journalists have played a major role in nation’s freedom struggle as well as in post independence era and set new unparalleled standards of values and commitment for their profession. He regretted that at the same time few unscrupulous elements have also tarnished the image of this important pillar of democracy. He said that respect for truth and the public's right to information was fundamental principles of journalism as Journalists inform citizens and animate democracy. They give a practical form to freedom of expression, he added.
Majithia mentioned that in the fast changing scenario new age media in the form of electronic and online media has emerged but print media has its own credibility. He said that during Kargill war Indian media had done a commendable reporting. Recalling Patiala press contribution in the state, Mr. Majithia assured to allot an appropriate space and adequate funds for construction of a modern building of Patiala Media Club. The Public Relations Minister informed that the Punjab Government under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal and development oriented vision of Deputy Chief Minister Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal has taken various steps for the welfare of Journalistic fraternity. He said that our government has introduced smart cards for the accredited journalists to provide an insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh .The insurance cover was being extended to all the yellow card holder journalists of the State thereby covering more than 3000 journalists at the cost of Rs 35 lakh. He said that the limit of free travel facility for the journalists has been enhanced from Rs. 800/- to Rs.1200/- for field journalists, whereas, in the case of Chandigarh based journalists this amount would be now Rs. 1600/-. Besides this, to meet the long pending demand of journalistic community, Punjab Government has decided to set up Press clubs in all major cities across the state and the budgetary provision has been made for this purpose.
Mr. Majithia informed that our government had recruited requires number of PROs/APROs and first time a field journalist’s family got Rs. 5 lac on his death in a road accident. He also assured the media persons to take up the issue of exemption of toll with PWD Minister to find out a way.Later, Mr. Jangveer Singh was also honored for his valuable services in the field of journalism. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Jangveer Singh urged them to publish the unique development initiative of state government prominently and assured them full support of the state government. Punjab Rural Development & Panchayat Minister Mr. Surjit Singh Rakhra and Deputy Commissioner Mr. GK Singh also expressed their views. On this occasion, the Patiala Media Club President Mr. Rawel Singh Bhinder, Mr. jagjit Singh Dardi, Mr. Vishal Rambani, Mr. Aman Sood, Mr. Amarjit Singh Waraich, Mr. Sarabjit Singh Bhangu, Mr. Jaspal Singh Dhillon, Mr. Jaswinder Singh Dakha, Mr. Amaninder Pal Sharma, Mehakdeep Grewal, Gagan Teja, Parmeet Singh, Rajesh Panjola, Baljinder Sharma and Mr.Gurpreet Chatha honoured Mr. Majithia, Rakhra, Mayor Mr. Amarinder Singh Bajaj, DC GK Singh and SSP Mr. HS Mann.
Prominent amongst others, who were present on the occasion included Prof. Kirpal Singh Badungar, pisional Commissioner Mr. Ajit Singh Pannu, Mayor Mr. Amrinder Singh Bajaj, Chairman District Planning Committee Mr. Deepinder Singh Dhillon, Former Minister Mr. Ajaib Singh Mukhmelpur, Former Chairman Mr. Tejinderpal Singh Sandhu, Mr. Surjit Singh Ablowal, Chairman Zila Prishad Mr. Jaspal Singh Kalyan, AIG Intelligence Mr. Gurpreet Singh Gill, Mr. Surjit Singh Garhi, Mr. Faujinder Singh Mukhmelpur, Mr. Anil Bajaj, Mr. Gurpreet Singh Raju Khanna, Mr. Ajitpal Singh Kohli, Mr. Ravee Ahluwalia