With number of initiatives being undertaken by Government of Punjab, the state has managed to score withstand 12th rank among states during the recent survey conducted by Government of India, well ahead of Kerela and J&K, said Sarwan Singh Phillaur, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister, Punjab while speaking on the occasion of World Tourism Day celebrated by UIHM at campus of Chandigarh University (CU) Gharuan. The state has managed to carve 12th rank up from 28th both in terms of providing quality infrastructure and number of tourists visiting state, added Sarwan Singh.UIHM (CU) organized a 2-day program to celebrate World tourism day in which the students participated in Dance and Debate competitions. The students also presented 3 tableau depicting rich heritage and culture of Gujrat, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir. Sarwan Singh, Minister Tourism, Punjab Government and Satnam Singh Sandhu, Chancellor, Chandigarh University presented awards to the winners. While giving details on the various projects being undertaken by the State Government to promote tourism in the state, the minister said that the department has launched GIS Map of Amritsar city on website of Punjab Tourism which will facilitate the tourists to locate tourists spots , streets , roads , hotels , restaurants , ATMs, police stations etc. and plan their activities accordingly. An amount 50 crore has been earmarked to develop tourists & heritage spots at Amritsar, Ropar, Sangrur , Patiala, Bhaini Sahib , Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur. Based upon the model of Palace on Wheels, Punjab Government has signed MoU with IRCTC to run circuit train known as “Punj-Takht” which will provide an opportunity to the tourists to visit all five takhts of Sikhism. The train has been scheduled to sail on its maiden journey from 30thDecemeber 2012, the minister added.In order to showcase the supreme sacrifices of the Punjabis in the Indian freedom struggle, the state government would soon initiate the work on the construction of Jang-e-Azaadi memorial at Kartarpur. About 25 acres of land belonging to the state government has been transferred to the Tourism and Culture department for the construction of the memorial. The work on this world class memorial which would help in perpetuating the rich cultural heritage of the state amongst the coming generations would start soon as the state government was on the verge of finalizing the necessary formalities for it. With a view to promoting quality education in the field of Hospitality & Tourism the state Government has introduced a new scheme “Hunar Se Rojgar Takh” under which 10th class students would be given training for 6-8 weeks in Food production, Bakery and front office at various hotels in Punjab for which the government would be spending Rs. 12,000 per student said Sarwan Singh and 700 such students would be trained in 1st batch of this scheme this year. Speaking on the occasion Satnam Singh Sandhu, Chancellor, Chandigarh University announced that University Institute of Hotel Management (UIHM) would shortly undertake research project in the field of Tourism by publishing a book on Punjabi Cuisines made through traditional recopies. It is high time that we should work towards preserving & protecting our traditional and authentic method of preparing Punjabi Cuisines which have eloped with span of time, Sandhu added.