NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY FOR GEN Z AND GET ALPHA

A GLIMPSE OF WHAT TEACHING, LEARNING BE LIKE IN FOURTH DECADE OF CENTURY

Imagine that the year 2030 has just passed, and we are getting a glimpse of what teaching and learning will be like in the fourth decade of this century. Gen Z (born between 1997-2012) has just completed foundational learning and is enrolled at various levels while Gen Alpha (born after 2012) is a recent entrant to school. Teachers of India in the 2030s, you will not be replaced by technology. You will be a vibrant community having the following 11 characteristics.

Curriculum-literate Curriculum is the means to achieve learning standards and includes everything from lesson plans, to timetables, competencies, content, pedagogy, assessment, subjects, skills, art, sports, etc.You will have an expert understanding of every aspect of the quality curriculum and will use it to achieve student learning outcomes.

Use the mother tongue/regional language to deliver curriculum You will treat all languages as equal and ensure the promotion of Indian languages in classrooms.

Student-centric joyful classrooms and focus on whole brain thinking You understand that the logical, linear, and analytical type of skills of the left brain and the empathy, design, and seeing the big-picture capabilities of the right brain need to be equally worked upon. You will integrate art, sports, story-telling, skilling, computational thinking, scientific temper with the rigour of the subject.You will adopt inquiry and projects based learning, design thinking, problem-solving, etc. which are self-directed. These are attributes that students will need in the future to succeed. The importance of student voice and choice will be recognised in this manner.You will bring back the joy of learning to your classroom through innovative pedagogies.

Learn how to learn and co-learn You no longer teach to the test. You no longer turn your back to the students and undoubtedly continue to write on the blackboard or encourage rote-memorisation. Learning is no longer limited to the confines of a textbook, a traditional school day, a typical test, or a summative exam – thanks to the internet. You teach your students how to become effective learners and not just passive guzzlers of information. You use audios, videos, podcasts, graphic novels, internet, TV, radio, newspapers, story books, etc. as tools for learning. In the home, in the community, and in the world at large, you will co-learn alongside your students. You are a lifelong learner.

Skill learners through experiences Four crucial 21st century learning skills of creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication will need to be imbibed by each learner to thrive in tomorrow’s dynamic workplace. For this, you will integrate content and your strong subject knowledge with real life experiences to help learners cultivate the skills, attitudes, behaviour and literacies required for the future world. Students will study physics with philosophy, political science with music, mathematics with geography, etc. requiring you to be adept at exploring the inter-relationships and connections between subjects. Imagine how creative your profession will become!

Develop students as innovators and producers of knowledge At a very early age, your students will have the skills and competencies to be able to search for information, make sense of it, sieve the facts from claims/opinions/falsities, consolidate and produce more knowledge to create a just, humanitarian and an equitable world. You will inspire them to innovate and co-create through your own proclivity for forward thinking, collaboration, flexibility, creativity and adaptability to everything new. 

Help them learn new technologies and keep abreast yourself You will be the one who first teaches the child how to use technology for fanning her curiosity and learning! And the hunger that you create will then become a lifelong yearning in the child and in you to learn newer and newer technologies.

Nurture the ‘Jad se Jag tak’ (from the roots to the globe) connection You will teach your students about our heritage, culture, traditions, practises, literature, languages, ‘lok vidya’ and at the same time you will shape them into global citizens. You will be the means of understanding their roles and responsibilities in society, and for instilling a sense of pride and respect for the nation.

Lead by example In all areas of the curriculum, whether it be physical fitness, or multilingualism, an appreciation of the arts, ethical behaviour, a sensitivity towards inclusion, diversity, or environment, you will be the change that you will want to see in your students.

Act as Guide and Mentor: Instead of trying to be a Harphanmaula and keeper of all information, teachers will guide, mentor, empower and support students to proceed in their own unique areas of interest. They will prepare them for the worst and capable of the best.

Unhesitatingly respond to shifts You will continuously and readily respond to the economical, technological, and societal shifts that will happen at a breakneck pace. You will teach the learners to acquire competencies for jobs that are yet to be created, with the help of technologies that you have yet to learn, in a society that is constantly evolving, transforming and reshaping itself.

95 YEARS JOURNEY OF DELHI SIKH GURDWARA MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

DELHI SIKH GURDWARA ACT 1971 AFTER ‘SIKH GURDWARAS ACT 1925’ WAS AN ACHIEVEMENT FOR SIKH

‘The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Act 1971’ which followed the ‘Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1925’ was a great achievement for Sikh Community since it placed the management of the Delhi Gurdwaras into the hands of local Sikh electorate. The move initially started in November 1920 when the Sarbat Khalsa called at Sri Amritsar Sahib through Sri Akal Takhat Sahib’s Hukamnama immediately constituted the ‘Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC)’ who made an appeal to all the mahants to hand over the control of Gurdwaras and their properties to the SGPC.

The said appeal of the SGPC was followed by the mahants of Gurdwaras in Delhi in letter and spirit. In the year 1925, the ‘Delhi Sikh Gurdwaras Parbandhak Committee’ (DGPC) was constituted which functioned without any formal Rules and Regulations till it was registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860 in August 1938. However, in the year 1942 the DGPC was replaced by ‘Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (GPC), Delhi Province’ which was also registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860 in the year 1944.

In the post-independence period, some members of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the SGPC defected to Congress. Hence in the year 1951, the GPC was disbanded and a caretaker Committee consisting of eleven members was constituted to replace it. But after change of power in the year 1956, the Akali led SGPC dissolved this Committee and instead appointed an interim Committee of three members and thereafter its elections were held in which eight members were elected unopposed and seven were nominated by the SGPC. The pro-Congress faction again took over the SGPC which passed a resolution in March 1959 to dissolve the Akali-dominated GPC and to constitute an ad-hoc Committee of five members.

In March 1959 and again in May 1959, the SGPC bosses tried to forcefully capture Gurdwaras Sis Ganj Sahib and Bangla Sahib in Delhi, whereas actually it was a battle between the Akali and Congress factions of the SGPC in the arena of Delhi Gurdwaras.

In May 1960, a court injunction was issued refraining the SGPC from interfering in the DGPC affairs. Both the parties mutually agreed to appoint Bakshi Gurcharan Singh as an arbitrator to solve the dispute who made an award in April 1962 thereby nominating 19 members including himself to the new Gurdwara Committee and suggesting two more to be co-opted. Bakshi Gurcharan Singh himself became President and the Committee functioned independently under his Presidentship till 1967 when it was dislodged by a Court Order holding Bakshi award to be invalid. Scuffles took place in the arena of the Gurdwaras in Delhi again when the shrines of Sis Ganj and Bangla Sahib were occupied by armed miscreants in January 1971 and further in May 1971.

In the meanwhile, the SGPC constituted a 5 members Committee consisting of four Takhat Jathedars and a Head Granthi of Darbar Sahib, Amritsar to look after the management of Gurdwaras in Delhi. But this Committee could not function due to the High Court pronouncement in May 1971 which also suggested the remedy of legislation to protect the interests of general public who are beneficiaries of Gurdwaras.

On May 20, 1971 the President of India promulgated the ‘Delhi Sikh Gurdwaras(Management) Ordinance, 1971’ which provides for constitution of a five members Board to run the management of Sikh shrines and educational institutions, while dissolving the Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Delhi registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860. On June 26, 1971 the said Ordinance was converted into the ‘Delhi Sikh Gurdwaras (Management) Act, 1971 (24 of 1971)’.

However, Act No. 24 was only an interim measure. The government has made its intention known to provide a permanent and more meaningful measure for the management of Sikh Shrines in Delhi. Hence, ‘Delhi Gurdwara Bill’ was prepared which was passed by the Lok Sabha on December 22, 1971 and two days later by the Rajya Sabha.

After receiving the assent of the President of India on December 30, 1971, the ‘Delhi Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1971 (82 of 1971) came into force w.e.f. December 31, 1971. In accordance with the provisions of this Act, the four years term 55 members Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) consists of 46 elected and 9 Co-opted members.

The Co opted members include one nominee of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Sri Amritsar, Jathedar Sahiban of four Takhat i.e. Sri Akal Takhat Sahib Sri Amritsar, Sri Kesgarh Sahib Sri Anandpur Sahib, Sri Harmandir Sahib Patna (Bihar) and Sri Hazur Sahib Nanded (Maharashtra), two members out of the Presidents of the Registered Singh Sabha Gurdwaras of Delhi to be chosen by draw of lots and two members to represent the Sikh Community of Delhi to be chosen by the newly elected 46 members respectively.

It is also pertinent that the fifth Sikh Takhat Sri Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo, Punjab has still not been included in the Delhi Gurdwara Act whereas it has already been included in the Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1925 (SGPC) long back in the year 1999. As such, the preliminary general election of members of the DSGMC under this Act were held by the government on March 20, 1975 and first Committee was constituted on April 28, 1975 accordingly. Thereafter, further Delhi Gurdwara elections were held in the year 1975, 1979, 1995, 2002, 2007, 2013, 2017 and recently on August 22, 2021.

Although several amendments have been made in the Act and rules from time to time, but two major amendments can be seen, one in March 1981 thereby removing the mandatory requirement of High School or equivalent qualification for election of President or other Office-bearers of the Committee and another in February 2002 thereby reducing the age of voters from 21 years to 18 years.

Presently, the DSGMC having annual income of about Rs. 150 Crore is managing the historical and other Gurdwaras in Delhi apart from managing various Schools, Colleges, Polytechnics, Engineering Management Colleges, Institutions, Hospitals, Dispensaries and Old Age Homes etc.

PRODUCTION LINKED INCENTIVE IN AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY

PREPARING INDIA FOR ADVANCED AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGIES

Globally climate change and its adverse impact is fast becoming a crisis. Governments around the world are regulating the automobile industry and encouraging it to move towards cleaner technologies. Automotive industry is fast accepting these challenges and moving towards Battery Electric Vehicles, Connected, autonomous vehicles. Shared mobility is another change that automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are adopting. In addition, vehicle and pedestrian safety are also key priorities for the industry.

Indian automobile industry being part of the global automobile value chain cannot remain isolated from these trends. Climate change, pollution control, reducing road fatalities and efficient transportation are also top priorities for the Government of India. We need to embrace these changes and be ready to prepare for the future.

Government of India looks at the automobile industry as a champion industry. We are committed to further development and growth of the automotive and automotive component supplier industry. Whether we like it or not electrification, connected vehicles, more electronics per vehicle are inevitable disruptions that the automotive industry will have to adapt to.

We recognize that Indian market may be currently subscale in these technologies hence we would have significant cost disabilities and capabilities gap. However, if we do not address this gap now then we will miss the next decade of automotive investments. Also, our Advanced Automotive Technology value chain will remain weak, and we would miss the next big opportunity in the automotive domain.

Building competitiveness in Advanced Automotive Technologies (AAT) will be a long-term structural change. But the beginning of that change will need a catalyst. We believe that the Automotive PLI scheme will act as that catalyst to build new capabilities in the Automotive OEM and supplier industry segments.

The objective of the Automotive PLI scheme will be to attract new investments in AAT. AAT is not restricted to Electric vehicles but also includes automotive electronics, sensors, green technologies, safety technologies that may find application in Battery Electric vehicles as well as Internal Combustion Engine-based vehicles. 

Investments will result in growth in sales and production of AAT in India. The PLI will provide incentives based on growth in AAT sales to cover the significant cost disabilities that may exist in these segments. The policy aims to encourage large scale investments by OEMs and Automotive component suppliers in India. In addition, it will ensure transfer and assimilation of these AAT by the automotive industry ecosystem in India.    

ELIGIBILITY FOR AUTOMOTIVE PLI SCHEME

The PLI scheme is open to existing automotive companies as well as Non-Automotive investors.

Existing Automotive OEMs with more than Rs.10,000 crore Global revenues and Rs. 3,000 crore of Gross asset base will be eligible to apply for this scheme.

The scheme has two parts. First part is Champion OEM Incentive Scheme in which a minimum AAT investment commitment of Rs.2,000 crore for existing 4-wheeler OEMs will need to be achieved over the 5 years of the scheme. This criterion will be pegged at Rs.1,000 crore investment commitment for existing 2-wheeler and 3-wheeler OEMs.

Existing Automotive component suppliers with more than Rs.500 crore in global revenues and Rs. 150 crore of fixed assets will be eligible for this scheme.

The second part of the scheme is Component Champion Incentive Scheme in which existing Component suppliers will have to meet minimum investment commitment of Rs.250 crore over 5 years period.

Non-Automotive investors will need to demonstrate a Net worth of over Rs.1000 crore to be eligible to apply for this scheme. Also, they will need to meet minimum AAT investment commitment of Rs.2,000 crore under Champion OEM part and Rs. 500 crore under Component Champion part, over the 5 years of the scheme

SCHEME AND WORKING DETAILS

Each of the eligible participants will need to apply to be part of the Automotive PLI along with a detailed plan on how they would achieve investment conditions and the production/ revenue growth plans. Companies with the most attractive investment and growth commitment will be prioritized based on a transparent process of evaluation. Qualifying participants will receive an incentive @ 8-18% of the growth in sales of AAT products. Automotive PLI will bring great benefits to the country and automotive industry.

We expect that Automotive PLI will result in almost Rs.42,500 crore of new investments, generate growth in output revenues of almost Rs.2,31,500 crore. This will translate into direct and indirect employment opportunities for over 7.5 Lakh people over the 5 years of the scheme. The PLI will help build the foundation for India to diversify into a new and fast emerging new segment within the automotive value chain.

Automotive PLI can be successful only if the industry leaders understand the context and intent of the scheme with an open mind. Look at how it can benefit the whole industry and the nation and help India become future ready. We request you to study the scheme details and see how you can contribute to make it successful and derive benefits in the process. Let the Government, Industry, Domestic as well as International Investors work together as ‘Team India’ to make this scheme a resounding success. Let us be ready to prepare for the future.

IN COVID INDIA HAS POTENTIAL TO PROMOTE DOMESTIC TOURISM

TOURISM IS AN ENGINE FOR WELFARE DELIVERY

As of today, India is at the cusp of administering 75 crore vaccine doses.  There could be no bigger confidence booster for the Tourism industry than this. While international tourism could take longer to open up, as international air-travel is still constrained, we have a tremendous opportunity to promote domestic tourism as a large percentage of our population will be fully vaccinated by the end of the year.

Given this background, the Conference of the Tourism and Culture Ministers of the states of North Eastern Region organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India on September 13 to 14 at Guwahati bears special significance. 

The Ashta lakshmi states of the north-east region have a special place in the Prime Minister’s heart and he has worked tirelessly to develop the region with a three-pronged strategy. First, the various agreements that have been signed under his leadership have led to insurgent groups abjuring violence and integrating themselves into the country’s development agenda.

This has led to a faster pace in the progress of infrastructure projects and the Prime Minister’s constant monitoring and timely interventions have resolved issues in project execution. Finally, the prevailing environment of peace and the upgradation of infrastructure has made it possible for tourists and those interested in doing business to visit the region.

This two-day conference is focussing on discussing the development of tourism and issues related to connectivity in the North Eastern Region and build synergies between all the stakeholders across the Union and state governments. 

The conference is also hosting various technical sessions on Capacity Building Programmes and Human Resource Development Projects in North East Region, Management, Operation and Safety Standards for Adventure Sports, and Digital Promotion and Marketing. 

During his Independence Day address from the Red fort in 2019, the Prime Minister exhorted every Indian citizen to visit at least 15 destinations by the year 2022 when India celebrates 75 years of independence. With Bangladesh to the west, Myanmar to the east and Bhutan and China to the north, the north-eastern states are truly jewels in India’s crown and need to be in the travel itinerary of every domestic traveller.

With snow-capped peaks, fast-flowing rivers, large valleys, and breath-taking landscapes, the north-eastern states have very high-potential tourist destinations. These states are also home to immense ethnic, cultural, and linguistic diversity.

The tourism sector has the potential to create a significant positive impact on the land, its culture, and its people. Various studies have shown that for an investment of 10 Lakh rupees, tourism can create as many as 78 jobs – the highest job creating potential among our primary, secondary and tertiary sectors. In 2019-20 the tourism sector had a 15.34% share of jobs in overall employment, creating 79.86 million direct and indirect jobs in the economy.

We are working to harness the sector’s potential to be an engine of job creation in the north-eastern region. This can be done in a sustainable manner so that the north-eastern region’s original ethos can be preserved. Ecological, rural, and adventure tourism have enormous potential as the area houses a large repository of natural heritage.

NORTH-EAST HAS SCOPE FOR BESPOKE TOURISM EXPERIENCES

The north-eastern region also has scope for many bespoke tourism experiences like tea tourism, wellness tourism and film tourism. Interestingly, the region also houses more than 100 species of bamboo that are naturally available in this region. Products such as incense sticks, bamboo mats, slivers & strips are manufactured and must be promoted to enable economic prosperity for local communities. Be it Muga silk from Assam or Naga chillies from Nagaland, the region has much to offer to the rest of the country and the world.

This event could not have been organised at a better time. India is celebrating its 75th year of Independence through various events under the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav theme.

The activities that are being undertaken are aimed at highlighting the rich culture, history, the tangible and intangible heritage of our country. This is also an opportunity to highlight the ancient roots and vast civilizational heritage of our country and to capture the spirit of a New India driven by cutting edge digital technologies and a strong focus on infrastructural growth.

Under Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, we are also focusing on working towards bringing forward the festivals of India that are unique to different places in the country, especially the north-eastern states. These festivals truly celebrate the spirit that defines us as a civilization and creates a sense of Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat.

Tourism is an important tool for promoting the region’s soft power and enabling people-to-people connectivity with the rest of the country and the world. Tourism also needs to be recast from the elitist lens that it is often perceived with.

The Prime Minister looks upon it as a tool to deliver welfare and prosperity to communities that directly benefit from the jobs and development opportunities that it offers. In a country, such as India, every village has something special to offer – its rich cultural heritage, its natural or ecological diversity, or an activity that a visitor can be involved in. Our aim is to harness this potential to its fullest.

WHY PUNJAB CM IS UNABLE TO MEET THE PUBLIC AT HIS RESIDENCE?

PEOPLE’S GRIEVANCES NOT HEARD, WHY PROJECT PROTRUSIVE PROXIES UNSTEAD  

The Chief Minister Punjab Capt. Amarinder Singh has recently issued a paradoxically vague official order on September 8, 2021, deputing three legislators namely, Mr. Surinder Kumar Dawar, Dr. Raj Kumar Chabbewal, Sh. Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon and in addition to them Chairman Punjab Agriculture Marketing Board, Mr. Lal Singh has been named as coordinator for the redressal of the grievances of the general public at CM’s residence. Interestingly the name of Patiala MP Mrs Praneet Kaur does not find any mention in the list, who also happens to be his wife and a public figure not by choice but in her own right. 

The absurd order seems to be indeterminate and ambiguous. The real illusory puzzle for the general public is about the ‘Residence’ of the Chief Minister. Because the order in question does not define   the location of the residence of the incumbent CM. Residence means a house where one actually resides; but where the incumbent CM Capt. Amarinder Singh resides, is inscrutable mystery?

Now the question is as to where and at what terminus point, this ‘Superfluous Grievances Panel’ would actually meet the general public and what is their locus standi; in terms of their right, capacity or even authority to cause an action in the administration over and above the Ministers, in any matter, which is brought to their notice by the Public?  

First of all Chief Minister must honestly tell the  general public, why he himself is unable to meet them ? The People of Punjab who elected him as Chief Minister, reserve the right to know his inability to meet them , whether  he is   physically incapacitated or has developed some serious incurable and irremediable infirmity  ?  In such an unfortunate scenario he should depute some of his Ministers for the task assigned to extracorporeal private panel for the redressal of Public grievances , transgressing the authority of the Ministers of his cabinet and also over and above his dozen officers on special dutties.

And again the million dollar question haunts the public mind, where the Punjab CM is busy with and where is his actual place of residence and why he is befooling the public to go to a place where he does not reside at all?

AFTER COOKING GOOSE OF PUNJAB CM BACK TO FAVOURITE HOBBY

COOKING & ALLIED ACTIVITIES OF IS HIS PASSTIME FUN AND FROLIC

After cooking the goose of Punjab and failing the State in all dimensions, ‘Captain Cook’ has now returned to his favorite hobby, cooking and other allied activities of his routine pastime fun and frolic, completely oblivious of the vast obliteration and loot of Punjab; when the Mafias rule the roost, during his regime. 

The fun According to a well-known expression available in the ancient history that during the Great Fire of 64 A.D. the 70% of the City of Rome was destroyed by the fire, rendering half its population homeless, the Emperor Nero was playing flute while the city of Rome was burning.

It is also narrated in the history that Emperor Nero, later built his ‘Golden Palace’ on the land that was completely ravaged and devastated by fire and he also used its waste land and dissipated surrounding as his pleasure gardens. If the obnoxious activities at The newly built ‘Siswan Palace’ of the Chief Minister, near Chandigarh are consciously taken in to account with clinical precision; it is almost reminiscent   of the same evocative expression that of ‘Rome Burning and Nero fiddle’. 

Similarly here the  Punjab CM, in his photo ops opera, donning the hat of a Chef, wearing  Chef’s apron is busy cooking delicacies for Olympic medal winners and personally serving them at a time while the entire farming community of Punjab is battling for its unembellished  survival, the employees of the State go without salaries, job vacancies are being cancelled after entrance exams, Trees of Mattewara forest and many other green belts are being cut down mercilessly, coal reserves for thermal power, virtually finished, teachers are being lathi-charged unabatedly every day, unleashing brutalities of all sorts, The CM’s ancestral home at Patiala is heavily barricaded from all directions, drug deaths and farmers suicides are peaking in Punjab, farmer debt see no respite, thefts and robberies are being committed with  great ease as an order of the day in the absence of deterrent law & Order  mechanism , the cost of sand and gravel are rocket high  due to illegal mining facilitated by the CM himself.

Does it behoove the Chief Minister, to indulge in such hollow exhibitions when his State is in the state of absolute peril?

WHY DSGMC REPRESENTATIVES ARE DEVIATING FROM SIKH ETHICS ?

GURDWARA BODIES CAME INTO EXISTENCE TO PROTECT EHTICS, INSTITUTIONS

After a long battle, the management of Gurdwaras in Delhi came into the hands of the local Sikh voters. After Shiromani Gurdwara Management Committee Sri Amritsar Sahib (SGPC), Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) is the second largest religious body which was established under the Delhi Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1971 enacted by the Parliament of India.

The main objective of this Committee is to manage the affairs of the historical Gurdwaras in Delhi and to look after its properties. As per Delhi Gurdwaras Act, the DSGMC is declared as a purely religious body. Keeping its religious sanctity, only religious parties can take part in these elections and one nominee of SGPC and Jathedar Sahibans of four Sikh Takhats are specifically nominated in 55 member’s DSGMC. It is also expected from the office-bearers and members of the DSGMC that they will look after and manage the Gurdwaras and its institutions strictly in view of the Sikh ethics.

The general elections of four year term of DSGMC were conducted by the government recently on 22 nd August 2021 in which Shiromani Akali Dal Badal secured 27 seats leaving 19 seats for Shiromani Akal Dal Delhi (Sarna groups) and its allies. In accordance with the Gurdwara Rules, 9 members are to be co-opted before election of the Executive Board of DSGMC for which a meeting of 46 elected members from different wards was convened recently by the Delhi Government’s Director Gurdwara Elections.

But after nomination 2 members by voting of these 46 elected members, meeting was postponed by the Director for some reasons due to which two Presidents of the Registered Singh Sabhas of Delhi by draw of lot, one nominee of the SGPC and Jathedar Sahibans of four Sikh Takhats could not be co-opted.

In protest thereof for postponement of meeting, some members of Delhi Committee belonging to the Badal groups and their supporters began using derogatory remarks against the Director and created ruckus by shouted slogans, whereas this matter could have peacefully resolved in a democratic way.

This situation took an ugly turn when an elected member of Badal Dal Atma Singh Lubana threw shoe on the Director with an intention to cause bodily hurt to him while he was about to sit in his official car under police security. As per available information, an F.I.R. has been filed by the Director Gurdwara Election in which apart from others, specific allegations have been made against the DSGMC President Manjinder Singh Sirsa accusing him for threats of life to him, against General Secretary Harmeet Singh Kalka for instigating the crowd and threatening the Director with dire consequences and also against the Committee member Atma Singh Lubana for throwing shoe on him with an intention to hurt him grievously.

The IPC Sections imposed in the F.I.R. can put the culprits in jail for 5 years and also cancellation of membership of the erred DSGMC members. The Acts of the alleged violators for disrespecting the turban of a senior Sikh officer is a serious tragedy which is not expected from the leaders of a religious party because the Sikh ethics do not allow such kind of illegal activities.

Available information also gives indications about filing of counter-complaints by the Badal Dal and also filing Court cases against the Director. The sentiments of the Sikh Sangat are deeply hurt by the unlawful acts of abusing a Sikh Officer by the Sikhs, physical assault on him and then filing complaints and court cases against the Officer on duty, whereas the representatives of this purely religious body should not have taken law in their hands but should have sorted out the matter in a peaceful manner. Due to the present complicated scenario, whereas the Co-option process will take some more time for its completion, the constitution of new Executive Board of DSGMC can also be delayed, which is constitutionally not justified. Apart from this, about a dozen of Election Petitions filed in different Courts by the candidates against some elected candidates can also disturb the functioning of DSGMC for a long period.

BATALA, A CASE FOR SMALL DISTRICTS

CITIZENS ARE A CHALLENGE, SO NEED FOR SMALLER ADMINISTRATIVE UNITS

Captain Amarinder Singh led government has introduced a number of governance innovations, but it has acted like a conservative in the formation of new districts. It has formed only one district (Malerkotla) since it came into power. Keeping status quo in administrative divisions means the government is not waking up to the pressing needs of changing times. And times are changing at much faster speed.

Citizenship has been posing tremendous challenges to governance set up. National security and globalization are real challenges in Batala like elsewhere. In 1966, post reorganization Punjab inherited eleven districts (full or partial). Today, the area of these eleven districts has been reorganized into twenty-four districts as of 2021.Every time a new district was declared, Batala missed the bus. The most significant urban centre between Amritsar and Jammu has been a victim of political miscalculations from time to time. It is strange that this negligence has taken place despite the neighborhood’s dominance in Punjab cabinet from time to time.

History, economics, geography, politics and people, everything makes a strong case for Batala as district set up.

RELIGIOUS PLURALISM

Established in 1465, it is one of the oldest surviving cities of Punjab. A strong connection with religious heritage makes it a unique place. The presence of Achaleshwar dham makes it a land of sanatan Hinduism. Interestingly, Batala is one of the few Hindu majority towns of Punjab.

Hindu population of the city has declined from 70.5 %in 1971 census to 46%in 2011. Achaleshwar Dham’s connection with Sidha-Nath tradition, as described in Guru Nanak’vani and Bhai Gurdas Var is evidence of popularity of Nath jogis in the region. The city was home to Islamic learning institutions and it was revered as Batala Sharif. Before partition, it was a Muslim dominant city.

Batala’s relationship with Sikh heritage and Punjabi khattri class is beyond doubt. It was home to Bhai Mul Chand Chona, Guru Nanak Dev’s father in law. He was revenue official of lands around Pakhoke Randhawa.Gurdwara Kandh Sahib and Dehra Sahib are associated with this major marriage procession celebration known as Babe-da-Viah Purab.Batala’s relation with Sikh rule is too elaborate to be mentioned in passing. It was second home to Maharaja Sher Singh; the man who conquered Ladakh in 1841.His palace is now home to Baring Union Christian College, one of the oldest colleges in North India. With this college, Christian Church made immense contribution to higher education.

The city has produced great men of letters like Sujan Rai Bhandari, Sohan Lal Suri, Ahmed Shah Batalvi, Mumtaaz Mufti, and Shiv Kumar Batalvi. After history, comes economics. During 1970s, the city was predominantly known for trade, industry and service. It emerged as major centre for foundry works. Not much attention was paid to keep pace with forces of globalization. The local industry suffers from government apathy.

UNIQUE LOCATION

Geography makes the city a unique place. It is situated on Amritsar, Pathankot and Jammu national highway. It is home to interesting marshes and wetlands. All surrounding towns like Fatehgarh Churian, Dera Baba Nanak have direct historical link with Batala.With more administrative power to Batala, these towns shall get new push towards growth. Its proximity with Pakistan border means that a keener civilian alertness on national security shall take place.

DISTRICT STATUS AS ENGINE OF GROWTH

The city is suffering from congestion and greater population density. Batala as district shall see the growth of official buildings at the periphery and this will lead to growth of colonization beyond the immediate surroundings of city. It will act as multiplier effect, leading to improvement in land prices and creating better habitats. In 1971, 30% of city residents lived in one room houses. Today, its population is going to cross 1.5lacs and demand for affordable housing is likely to grow like never before. It is possible only if private investment in real estate grows and it creates a free and competitive market for middle income housing units. With Batala as District, Fatehgarh Churian and Sri Hargobindpur shall be upgraded as Sub division and the region shall see fine results in governance and ease of urban living.

A District status means not only the presence of ‘almighty’ Deputy Commissioner, lesser mortals like education bureaucracy, agriculture bureaucracy, medical bureaucracy and other technocracies also get a chance to play a greater role.

SMALL DISTRICTS FOR BETTER GOVERNANCE

Declaration of Batala as twenty-fourth districts shall lead to further demand for more districts in Punjab. Many states in India like Telangana have performed the enormous feat of creating twenty-three new districts (triple the original number)in six years. Smaller districts mean better governance because districts are meant for the people, not for the soil. With increase in the population, small territory districts shall solve one thousand problems of governance.

The fact, sooner realized the better!

A GLIMPSE ON ELECTION OF DELHI SIKH GURDWARA MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

RESULTS ASTONISHING AS NUMBER OF WINNERS OF BADALS LED AKALI DAL SAW A FALL

After repeated postponements due to Covid- 19 epidemic, general elections for four years term Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) were at last held on 22 nd August and results declared on 25 th August accordingly.

These elections were conducted in a smooth and transparent manner and no untoward incident was reported due to vigilant eye of the Delhi Government. Election results were somehow astonishing because number of winners of Shiromani Akali Dal Badal faction has drastically decreased from the existing 37 in 2017 to 27 now, whereas the number of winners of Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi Sarna faction and its allies sharply increased from existing 7 in 2017 to 19 now.

The vote percentage in present elections were 37 percent as compared to 45 percent in the year 2017, out of which Badal group secured 40 percent as compared to 46 percent in the year 2017 and Sarna group and its allies secured 44 percent of votes in the current elections. A large number of invalid votes were reported due to wrong marking by the voters.

Defeat of some main Sikh leaders is talk of the town in which the defeat of the present President of the DSGMC and spokesperson of Shiromani Akali Dal Badal Mr. Manjinder Singh Sirsa is one of them, who lagged behind in Punjabi Bagh ward by 469 votes from the General Secretary of Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi Mr. Harvinder Singh Sarna. Although Mr. Sirsa is reported to have been declared as a nominated/Co-opted candidate of Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), Sri Amritsar, which will be for the first time in the history that a defeated candidate in DSGMC elections has ever been declared as a nominee of the SGPC.

In accordance with the Delhi Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1971, the Co-option process is required to be completed within 15 days of the declaration of results of general elections i.e. upto 9 th September 2021, which also includes the process for nomination, scrutiny and withdrawal for Co-option of two members from Sikh Community of Delhi.

A meeting of the newly elected 46 DSGMC members will be called by the Director Gurdwara Elections to Co-Opt 9 members out of which firstly one nominee of SGPC and four Jathedars of Takhats i.e. Sri Akal Takhat Sahib Sri Amritsar, Takhat Sri Kesgarh Sahib Sri Anandpur Sahib, Takhat Sri Harmandir Sahib Patna Bihar and Takhat Sri Hazur Sahib Nanded Maharashtra will be Co-opted, whereas these four Jathedars have no voting right. It is pertinent to mention that Takhat Sri Damdama Sahib Talwandi Sabo Punjab has so far not been included as fifth Takhat in the Delhi Gurdwara Act, whereas this Takhat is already included in the ‘Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925’ applicable for the election of members of SGPC, Sri Amritsar.

Thereafter, two members will be Co-opted by draw of lots out of the Presidents of the Registered Singh Sabha Gurdwaras of Delhi. Lastly two Sikh representatives of Delhi will be Co-opted by voting by the 46 newly elected members present in the meeting in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote on the pattern of election of Rajya Sabha members, which is quite different from the general elections.

Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Act and rules mandates the Director Gurdwara Elections to call first meeting of all the 55 members, in which after administering Oath to all the members in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, a pro-tempore Chairman will be elected to conduct election of President of DSGMC. Thereafter, the newly elected President will conduct election of other office-bearers consisting of Sr. Vice-President, Jr. Vice-President, General Secretary and Joint Secretary along with 10 members of the Executive Board. If there are more than one candidate for any post, election will be held through secret ballot papers. Although 26 votes will be required for a winning candidate, but this number can decreased in the event of absence of some members. During counting of votes, if more than one candidate secure equal number of maximum votes, then the winner will be decided by draw of lot.

In this way, the new Executive Board will start functioning probably in the end of September 2021 after taking charge from the existing Committee, whereas the term of the new Executive Board will be two years. In case of any dispute during the Co-option process or during the election of the Executive Board, an Election Petition can be filed by the affected party in the District Court within 15 days after depositing a sum of Rs.500 as security amount in the office of the Director Gurdwara Elections.

AGENDA-LESS ONE DAY PUNJAB ASSEMBLY SESSION IS A FRAUD

ITS AN INTENT TO CIRCUMVENT THE ISSUE BASED DEBATE IN THE HOUSE

The one-day Punjab assembly session called on 3rd of September 2021, under Section 173 (1) of the constitution of India is seemingly a deceptive move of the Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh to circumvent logical discussion on all important issues confronting Punjab every day. I agree that technically, one day session of the Punjab Legislative Assembly meets the statutory requirement of the constitution to hold a session of the Assembly within six months of the last sitting of the house. Because the Budget session of the Punjab Assembly was held in March 2021, therefore it was obligatory to call the assembly session before September 9, as per the constitutional requirement, under Article 174 (1) of the Constitution of India.

Article 174 (1) of the Constitution of India 1949, reads as follow;

The Governor shall from time to time summon the House or each House of the legislature of the State to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit, but six months shall not intervene between its last sitting in one session and the date appointed for its first sitting in the next session”.

As a former presiding officer of the House, I’m of the considered opinion that to dedicate one sitting of the House for the remembrance of the 400th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur , is perfectly fine gesticulation;  but to scuttle the entire legitimate agenda, under this  excuse ,  is a monumental  legislative fraud,  which could be termed as the biggest in the post-independence ,  parliamentary history of Punjab. The Punjab cabinet headed by Capt. Amarinder Singh has scandalously committed a profanity against the temple of democracy i.e. The House of Legislature and also against the people of the State.

HOW COULD DISCUSSIONS ON IMPORTANT ISSUES BE CIRCUMVENTED?

How could the State cabinet circumvent discussion on all important issues confronting the Punjab almost every day, warranting collective view of the legislature, which entail consideration on the floor of the House? Who will discuss the appalling law & order situation of Punjab and where? Why the sufferings of the farmers, who are agitating and struggling for the repeal of the anti-farmer Agri laws for more than a year, is not being considered a legitimate issue   to be debated on topmost priority  as part of the agenda of the proposed session of the Vidhan Sabha? Why the ill-conceived fraudulent PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements) are not being discussed and rejected, out rightly on the floor of the house; as unequivocally guaranteed by the Punjab Congress Chief, Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu? Could Capt. Amarinder Singh answer;  as to who will discuss and debate the demands of the employees of the State Government, agitating teachers, Patwaries, Anganwari workers, Asha workers and Manrega workers, Panchayat Secretaries and many others on the war path against the State Government ?

If Capt. Amarinder Singh really enjoys the absolute majority of the MLAs as being perpetrated through ‘Dinner Diplomacy’ than why he is shying away to discuss the issues on the floor of the House? As the legitimate forum to prove majority is the floor of the House, not the ‘Dinner party’. If he can attend the dinner, hosted by one of his close courtiers and could flaunt among the hundred odd crowds of his sycophants; then why he is conducting cabinet meeting through video conferencing? If during the panic of ‘Delta Variant’ School children could sit in a class room together, why his ministers could not sit in cabinet meeting?