Thursday, November 26, 2015

Patiala peg putting drivers in peril

26 Nov 2015
Hindustan Times (Chandigarh)
HT Correspondent

UNSAFE Drunk driving kills 23 persons on Punjab roads every month; offenders have a field day due to gross shortage of alcometers and traffic police personnel

CHANDIGARH: In the state that takes pride in its "Patiala peg", drunk driving kills almost 23 persons every month. Drunk driving offences, however, remain grossly underreported in Punjab. Reason: Lack of equipment and shortage of traffic cops.

In Punjab, there are eight traffic police personnel per lakh population.

For around 40 lakh vehicles plying on state's roads daily, the traffic police have just 125 alcometers or breath-analysers.

According to government data, drunk driving resulted in 442 road crashes, leaving 277 persons dead in 2014. Similarly, in 2013, of 4,588 road crash fatalities reported, 1,711 (37%) were either due to drunk driving or speeding. Police, however, booked only 0.6% of violators for these two offences.

"Actually, not even one person per district is booked/challaned for drunk driving or speeding in the state," claims Navdeep Asija, Punjab's traffic adviser appointed by the high court.

Police, on the other hand, claim that tipsy drivers were on their radar. "Traffic cops are working with dedication during night hours. Special nakas are set up to check drunk drivers and strict action is taken against the offenders," claims Amritsar police commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulakh.

According to doctors and experts, alcohol affects you in a way that changes your judgment, depth of perception, as well as vital motor skills required to drive safely.

A study conducted by University of Texas, San Antonio, reveals that people who have been drinking respond between 15% and 25% slower than when they are sober. This slowed reaction time is often the cause of accidents. Judgment is also quickly affected by alcohol. Even a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.02% can impair a person's judgment.

Apart from lack of alcometers, the state is also grappling with shortage of traffic police personnel. In Punjab, there are eight traffic police personnel per lakh population in sharp contrast to about 60 traffic police personnel deployed against per lakh population in Chandigarh.


The cash-strapped state heavily depends on revenue from the booming liquor business.

Liquor vends along national highways in the state have been blamed for most accidents.

The matter is under scanner of the Punjab and Haryana high court after a petition was filed by a Chandigarh-based NGO Arrive Safe Society.

"Liquor vends along highways do booming business. Strangely, the state government, in its affidavit, has claimed that none of the 386 vends along national highways were visible and accessible from the road," says Harman Singh Sidhu, president of Arrive Safe.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Chandigarh should pay more for parking, expert tells HC

CHANDIGARH: An expert appointed by the Punjab and Haryana high court has suggested for hike in parking charges in Chandigarh, pointing out it would help in revenue generation and force residents to lessen the use of vehicles.

The report was submitted by Navdeep Asija, who was also the Punjab government traffic adviser, before a division bench headed by Justice Surya Kant on Friday. The court had asked him to carry out a study on Chandigarh's traffic system.

Asija has said the municipal corporation (MC) proposal made in its meeting on October 29 to increase parking rates on the concept of dynamic parking system was well appreciated and based on scientific transportation engineering principles. Asija asserted parking was a commodity and not constitutional right.

"The MC is meeting only around 34% of its budgetary expenditure through internal resources generation, which was very much on the lower side. Our fixed deposits have dwindled to Rs 250 crore with an annual budget deficit of Rs 154.25 crore. This is further going to decrease as we have to invest around Rs 100 crore in the Jandpur pipeline to bring water into the city. We need to enhance our internal resource generation rather than cutting down resources like advertisement and parking," the report stated.

Criticizing the decision of the MC to disapprove the proposal to hike parking rates, Asija said such decisions only facilitate a few car owners. Referring to various orders of the high court regarding making Sector 17 car-free, Asija said such a move may kill the basic of mobility of Chandigarh.

Submitting the present parking system was highly subsidized for the 25.7% car owner households in Chandigarh, he questioned under which constitutional or legal provision such incentives were being extended to private car owners who transport 1.1 people daily on an average and take around 23 square metre of an urban space


Revenue generated from parking was used to fund zonal improvements that shift people from cars to walking, cycling and public transport all across the world. Navdeep Asija, the expert appointed by the high court, said revenue generated by 1 km of paid parking was sufficient to pay for footpaths along the same stretch and 10 buses to serve the area. At present, a car owner enjoyed free economic benefits of Rs 3,150 to 3,500 if the vehicle was parked twice in a premier commercial and residential area.

Navdeep Asija, the expert appointed by the Punjab and Haryana high court, said 57.5% households in Chandigarh have bicycles and only 25.7% own cars as per the 2011 census. According to the comprehensive mobility plan of Chandigarh prepared by RITES 2009, 17% of people in Chandigarh still walk, 11% use bicycle, 3% cycle-rickshaw, 11% buses and cars were only taking care of 15% the total trips generated in Chandigarh.

Car parking fees in top cities of the world

(Source: 2011 pricing reported in Michael Kodransky: CSE Parking Reforms for Livable city ITDP).


Amsterdam | 5 | 320

London| 4 | 256

Stockholm | 3.87 | 248

Paris | 3.6 | 231

Copenhagen | 3| 192

Barcelona | 2.85| 183

Antwerp | 2.5| 160

Munich |2.5| 160

Budapest | 2| 128

Hamburg| 2| 128

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Straw Burning Minimised in Fazilka - Vikram Ahuja

‪#‎BrandFazilka‬ - India begins here.

We all are worried about latest satellite image released by NASA on Punjab straw burning in Punjab, red dots showing burning of straw in paddy fields of Punjab. If you notice image clearly, the bottom most corner of Punjab map, which is a district Fazilka and partially Mukatsar is having all Green and there are people who made this impossible possible. Credit for this massive achievement goes to our green crusader Mr. Vikram Aditya Ahuja and team Zamindara Farmsolutions at Fazilka Anu Nagpal. Under his startup venture, he trained educated unemployed youth, imparted training, gave them set of types of equipment Bailer, Rake, Reaper and Trollies. More than 1000 young farming entrepreneurs, covering most the villages in Fazilka and Mukatsar district, now collect straw from nearby villages and send them to nearest thermal plant to produce electricity and make fields ready with direct seeding of the new crop. His work has not only benefited the environment but given employment to many. IIM Ahmedabad included his success story in their MBA program on Agri-Business. Proud moment for all Fazilites. With all that, now Fazilka is becoming a place for all social entrepreneurs. Three cheers for Team Zamindara Farmsolutions and their Team Leader Vikram. Don't worry, we are here to take care Mother Earth.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

सरकारें ट्रैफिक सुधार के नाम पर कुछ करने को तैयार नहीं : हाईकोर्ट

यातायात दुरुस्त करने में सरकारों की कोशिश से बेंच असंतुष्ट
अमर उजाला ब्यूरो, 10th October 2015

चंडीगढ़। शहरों में यातायात व्यवस्था दुरुस्त करने में सरकारों की कोशिश से हाईकोर्ट असंतुष्ट है। पंजाब-हरियाणा हाईकोर्ट की डिवीजन बेंच ने कहा है कि पंजाब और हरियाणा की सरकारें ट्रैफिक सुधार के नाम पर कुछ करने को तैयार नहीं हैं। खासकर गुड़गांव के मामले में हुडा की ओर से बेतुके जवाब के बाद हाईकोर्ट ने मुख्य प्रशासक, चीफ इंजीनियर और सुपरिंटेंडेंट इंजीनियर से जवाब तलब किया है। केस की अगली सुनवाई छह नवंबर को होगी।
बेंच ने उक्त अफसरों को निजी तौर पर पेश होने को कहा है। साथ ही संकेत दिया है कि इस मामले में हुडा के चेयरमैन को भी समन जारी किया जा सकता है।
हरियाणा शहरी विकास प्राधिकरण (हुडा) ने जवाब में कहा है कि गुड़गांव को वाहन मुक्त नहीं किया जा सकता। जबकि एक संस्था ने हाईकोर्ट में रिपोर्ट पेश कर कहा है कि गुड़गांव की पुलिस की मदद से प्रत्येक मंगलवार को चार सड़कों पर कारें न चलाकर नो व्हीकल डे मनाया जा रहा है। इससे शहर के प्रदूषण में 20 फीसदी तक कमी आई है। दूसरी ओर हरियाणा और पंजाब की यातायात व्यवस्था में सुधार पर हाईकोर्ट की ओर से लिए गए स्व:संज्ञान के मामले में जस्टिस सूर्यकांत के नेतृत्व वाली डिवीजन बेंच की मदद कर रहे ट्रैफिक एक्सपर्ट नवदीप असीजा ने भी शुक्रवार को जानकारी दी। कहा कि गुड़गांव शहर की चार सड़कों पर नो व्हीकल जोन का परीक्षण सफल रहा है। मंगलवार को इन सड़कों पर चार पहिया वाहन रोके जाते हैं। नो व्हीकल डे पर हरियाणा प्रदूषण कंट्रोल बोर्ड ने प्रदूषण पर रिपोर्ट भी दी, जिसमें पाया गया कि नो व्हीकल डे के दौरान बाकी दिनों की तुलना में प्रदूषण 20 प्रतिशत कम होता है। नो व्हीकल डे के दौरान इन चार सड़कों पर पार्किंग की भी कोई समस्या नहीं आती।
कंपनी को ठेका देने पर भी दिए सुझाव
इस पर बेंच ने सख्ती बरतते हुए कहा है कि एनजीओ ने साबित कर दिया कि यातायात पर नियंत्रण संभव है। बेंच ने यह भी पूछा है कि आखिर मदद की पेशकश करने वाली एनजीओ या एक्सपर्ट्स को ट्रैफिक सुधार अभियान में शामिल क्यों नहीं किया जा सकता। बेंच ने यह मुद्दा भी उठाया कि पिछली सुनवाई पर नवदीप असीजा ने रिपोर्ट पेश कर बताया था कि ट्रैफिक ऑडिट पर हुडा ने दिल्ली की एक कंपनी को दो करोड़ का ठेका दिया है। जबकि एक्सपर्ट व एनजीओ स्वैच्छिक तौर पर हुडा की मदद को तैयार हैं। अब बेंच ने कहा है कि जिस कंपनी को ठेका दिया गया है, उसकी ओर से ट्रैफिक सुधार में और क्या-क्या काम लिया जा सकता है, इस पर विचार किया जाए। इस दौरान ट्रैफिक एक्सपर्ट असीजा को भी साथ रखा जाए।
असीजा को सलाहकार नियुक्त किया
चंडीगढ़। पंजाब सरकार ने ट्रैफिक एक्सपर्ट नवदीप असीजा को यातायात सलाहकार नियुक्त किया है। राज्य सरकार ने शुक्रवार को यह जानकारी पंजाब-हरियाणा हाईकोर्ट की डिवीजन बेंच को दी। हालांकि जानकारी में नियुक्ति की शर्तें स्पष्ट नहीं की गईं। इसी पर बेंच ने नियुक्ति का समय दो साल और अन्य सुविधाएं अपने स्तर पर तय कर सरकार को उचित निर्देश जारी कर दिया है। हाईकोर्ट ने राज्य सरकार को निर्देश दिया था कि वह असीजा को ट्रैफिक एडवाइजर नियुक्त करे, लेकिन इस आदेश का पालन नहीं हो पाया था।
असीजा ने हाईकोर्ट में रिपोर्ट सौंपते हुए बताया था की पंजाब में प्रतिवर्ष होने वाले सड़क हादसों में से 36 हादसों का कारण ओवर स्पीड और नशे में ड्राइविंग है। उधर, पिछले साल किए गए चालानों में इस कैटेगरी के केवल एक प्रतिशत चालान ही हुए। रिपोर्ट में कहा गया था कि इसके मायने हैं कि पंजाब में ओवर स्पीड और नशे में ड्राइविंग नहीं रुक रही है।
रिपोर्ट में ट्रैफिक पुलिसकर्मियों की कमी भी उजागर की गई थी। बताया गया था कि प्रदेश में महज 2200 ट्रैफिक स्टाफ हैं। पंजाब की जनसंख्या के हिसाब से यह संख्या नाकाफी है। पंजाब पुलिस के पास केवल 1245 एल्कोमीटर हैं और सात स्पीड गन।

Way clear for Ecocabs founder to step in as traffic adviser

10 Oct 2015 Hindustan Times (Chandigarh)
HT Correspondent


CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday directed the Punjab government to give secretarial staff and vehicle, besides office space, to road safety expert Navdeep Asija.
The Punjab government had submitted that Asija would be appointed its road safety adviser by Monday but it was noncommittal on giving him other facilities, so the division bench of justice Surya Kant and justice Ajay Tewari had to come out with the direction. Asija, who is pursuing PhD from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, comes from Fazilka in Punjab and is the founder of dial-a-rickshaw (Ecocabs) concept, for which he won the 2011 national award of excellence from the Union Ministry of Urban Development.
Asija, consultant to various governments, also assists the high court on traffic-related issues in Punjab, Haryana, and Chandigarh. His appointment will be for two years and this consolidated pay would be `75,000 a month. Initially, the government had accepted the high court suggestion of appointing him as adviser but during the last hearing in September, submitted that it had reconstituted the road safety cell and now there was no need of appointing an expert. Miffed, the high court had summoned the home secretary.
On Friday, the state submitted that by Asija would get his post by Monday. In his recent report to the high court, Asija had submitted that the state had only 125 alcometers and seven speed guns to check traffic violations on almost 69,000-kilometre road network. Of 9.9 lakh people caught drink driving and speeding in 2014, only 5,688 (0.6%) had been penalised; besides, the traffic police needed modern gadges and the cities required infrastructure for pedestrians, said the report. Punjab is yet to submit its reply on the report.

The high court also summoned Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) chief administrator over the poor condition of roads in Gurgaon.
In the last hearing, the court had taken exception to the fact that despite its ordering the state to for technical safety audit of roads under the high court supervision, the work on the 200-km road network in Gurgaon had been assigned to Delhi Integrated Multimodal Transit System at a cost of `2 crore. The HUDA chief administrator was required to submit a reply by Friday, which it failed to. Now, he has been summoned for November 6

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

गांवों के हर घर में होगा शौचालय : रखड़ा

  • स्वच्छ भारत अभियान देहाती की फाजिल्का से शुरुआत
  • शौचालय निर्माण के लिए गरीब परिवार को 15 हजार रुपये मदद की घोषणा
  • वाटर वर्क्‍स का किया उद्घाटन
जागरण संवाददाता, फाजिल्का : जल सप्लाई व सेनिटेशन विभाग की तरफ से शनिवार को स्वच्छ भारत अभियान देहाती की फाजिल्का जिले में शुरुआत की गई। इस संबंध में आयोजित कार्यक्रम का उद्घाटन कैबिनेट मंत्री जल सप्लाई, सेनिटेशन व उच्च शिक्षा सुरजीत सिंह रखड़ा ने दीप प्रज्वलित कर की। उनके साथ सेहत व परिवार भलाई मंत्री सुरजीत कुमार ज्याणी विशिष्ट अतिथि के रूप में शामिल हुए। 1कार्यक्रम में कैबिनेट मंत्री रखड़ा ने कहा कि मुख्यमंत्री प्रकाश सिंह बादल के नेतृत्व में पंजाब सरकार की तरफ से प्रांत के गांवों को खुले में शौच की बुराई से मुक्ति दिलाने के लिए सभी देहाती घरों में शौचालय निर्माण प्रोजेक्ट तैयार किया गया है। इसके तहत प्रदेश में एक हजार करोड़ रुपये की राशि खर्च की जाएगी, जिससे राज्य का कोई भी घर शौचालय से वंचित न हो। शौचालय निर्माण के लिए गरीब परिवार को 15 हजार रुपये मदद दी जाएगी। मंत्री रखड़ा ने एलान किया कि प्रांत के सभी गांवों में पेयजल की उपलब्धता यकीनी बनाने के लिए भी पंजाब सरकार वचनबद्ध है। सरकार की तरफ से सभी घरों को निश्शुल्क पानी के कनेक्शन दिए जाएंगे। 1मंत्री ज्याणी ने कहा कि स्वच्छ भारत अभियान ग्रामीण की शुरुआत के साथ जहां सेहत सुविधा के प्रसार पर विशेष ध्यान दिया जा रहा है, वहीं यह अभियान लोगों को इस काबिल बनाएगा कि लोग बीमार ही नहीं होंगे। उन्होंने बताया कि जिले के 428 गांवों में साफ पीने वाला पानी दिया जा रहा है, जबकि जिले के 302 गांवों में आरओ लगाए जा चुके हैं। साल 2015-16 के दौरान जिले के 35 अन्य गांवों में पीने वाला साफ पानी उपलब्ध करवाने के लिए 50.18 करोड़ रुपये खर्च किए जाएंगे। विधायक गुरतेज सिंह घुड़ियाना ने भी संबोधित किया। डीसी रविंद्र सिंह ने मेहमानों का स्वागत किया व कार्यक्रम में मौजूद लोगों को खुले में शौच न जाने की शपथ दिलवाई।फाजिल्का के सिटी गार्डन पैलेस में आयोजित सामारोह में लोगों को खुले में शौच न जाने की शपथ दिलाते केबिनेट मंत्री सुरजीत सिंह रखड़ा, मंत्री सुरजीत ज्याणी व अन्य। जागरणवाटर वर्क्‍स निर्माण का शिलान्यास करते कैबिनेट मंत्री सुरजीत सिंह रखड़ा, मंत्री सुरजीत ज्याणी व अन्यइससे पहले कैबिनेटमंत्री सुरजीत सिंह रखड़ा व चौधरी सुरजीत कुमार ज्याणी ने गांव चुवाड़ियावाली, गुलाम रसूल व आवा में 3.25 करोड़ की लागत के साथ बनने वाले नए वाटर वर्क्‍स के नींव पत्थर रखे व 2.25 करोड़ रुपये की लागत के साथ गांव कबूल शाह खुब्बण में बने वाटर वर्क्‍स का उद्घाटन भी किया। इस मौके पर मुख्य इंजीनियर सेंट्रल परमजीत सिंह भट्टी, डायरेक्टर सेनिटेशन पंजाब मुहम्मद असफाक, एडीसी डी विपुल उज्वल, कार्यकारी इंजीनियर रवीन्द्र कुमार, वाइस चेयरमैन पंजाब एग्रो अशोक अनेजा, प्रधान ट्रक यूनियन परमजीत सिंह वैरड़, डॉ. विनोद जागिंड़, नगर कौंसिल प्रधान राकेश धूड़िया, जत्थेदार चरन सिंह, चेयरमैन सुखजिंदर सिंह धालीवाल, बलजीत सहोता व अन्य उपस्थित थे।

उन्होंने मांगा 20 लाख, वो दे गए दो करोड़ की सौगात 49 - Higher Education Minister Visit to Fazilka

याचिका के निपटारे के बाद होगी नई स्थायी भर्ती : रखड़ा

अमृत सचदेवा, फाजिल्का 1अब तक वह कालेज केवल नामभर के लिए ही सरकारी था, जबकि कालेज के अधिकांश प्राध्यापकों व अन्य खर्च विद्यार्थियों के अभिभावकों के पैसे से ही पूरे किए जा रहे थे। जी हां, हम बात कर रहे हैं फाजिल्का जिले के एकमात्र सरकारी एमआर कालेज की, जहां पीटीए फंड से ही कालेज का संचालन हो रहा है। विद्यार्थियों के लिए पर्याप्त कमरों, लाइब्रेरी, खेल मैदान, पर्याप्त एवं स्वच्छ पेयजल, साइंस लैब, फर्नीचर के लिए तरस रहे इस कालेज पर शनिवार को उस वक्त छप्पड़ फाड़कर मिलने की कहावत सच हो गई, जब उच्च शिक्षा मंत्री सुरजीत सिंह रखड़ा ने कालेज को दो करोड़ रुपये देने का न केवल ऐलान किया, बल्कि 50 लाख का चेक भी हाथों हाथ दे दिया।1विभिन्न कार्यक्रमों में शिरकत करने के लिए इलाके में आए उच्च शिक्षा मंत्री रखड़ा ने जब कालेज में कदम रखा तो वह पिछले एक दशक से ज्यादा समय में कालेज आने वाले पहले उच्च शिक्षा मंत्री बन गए। रस्मी तौर पर स्वागत के बाद जैसे ही कालेज के स्थायी स्टाफ, पीटीए स्टाफ, क्लेरिकल स्टाफ व प्रबंधन ने समस्याओं का पिटारा खोलना शुरू किया तो उन्हें इस बात का भान नहीं था कि उनकी मांगों पर कोई गौर होगा। कालेज प्रबंधन ने यूजीसी कोटे से कालेज को 20 लाख रुपये की दरकार के बारे में बताया गया। इस पर मंत्री रखड़ा ने कहा कि यूजीसी जब देगी तब देगी, लेकिन वे कालेज को दो करोड़ रुपये देने का ऐलान करते हैं। इसके साथ ही उन्होंने कालेज प्रबंधन को उक्त धनराशि में से 50 लाख रुपये का चेक सौंप दिया। साथ ही कहा कि जब यह खर्च हो जाए उसके बाद और पैसा भी जारी कर दिया जाएगा। 'दैनिक जागरण' ने जब मंत्री रखड़ा से कालेज के पीटीए स्टाफ को मिल रहे नाममात्र 10 हजार रुपये वेतन और स्थायी स्टाफ को मिल रहे एक एक लाख या उससे ज्यादा के वेतन का सवाल पूछा तो उन्होंने कहा कि यह सब हाईकोर्ट में दायर एक याचिका के चलते रुकी हुई भर्ती के कारण है। जैसे ही उस याचिका पर फैसला होता है, वैसे ही काम कर रहे काबिल स्टाफ को ही स्थायी स्टाफ के रूप में भर्ती कर बनता वेतन प्रदान किया जाएगा। इसके अलावा कालेज की निर्माणाधीन लाइब्रेरी, हर साल विद्यार्थियों को पेश आने वाली कम सीटों की समस्या, क्लेरिकल व चतुर्थ श्रेणी स्टाफ की कमी के बारे में पूछने पर मंत्री रखड़ा ने कहा कि कोई विद्यार्थी दाखिले से वंचित नहीं रहेगा। पीटीए का पैसा कम रहता है तो सरकार कालेज संचालन के लिए पैसा देगी। पैसे की कोई कमी नहीं है। मंत्री के आगमन पर कालेज विद्यार्थियों ने सांस्कृतिक कार्यक्रम भी पेश किया। इस मौके पर मंत्री रखड़ा के साथ स्थानीय विधायक एवं कैबिनेट मंत्री सुरजीत ज्याणी, डीसी रविंद्र पाल सिंह, जत्थेदार चरण सिंह, प्रिंसिपल देसराज, पीटीए कमेटी के वरिष्ठ उपाध्यक्ष परमजीत सिंह वैरड़, सचिव संदीप अबरोल, गिरधारी लाल अग्रवाल, सतीश वर्मा, ममता ग्रोवर, प्रो. शेर सिंह इत्यादि मौजूद थे।

फाजिल्का में सरकारी एमआर कॉलेज में प्रिंसिपल देसराज को 50 लाख का चेक सौंपते उच्च शिक्षा मंत्री सुरजीत सिंह रखड़ा, सेहत मंत्री सुरजीत ज्याणी व अन्य।

FULL TEXT: President Pranab Mukherjee’s address to The Joint Session of Parliament President Pranab Mukherjee's speech in the address to The Joint Session of Parliament

Honourable Members, 
1. In this New Year full of aspirations and hope, I welcome you to the Joint Sitting of the Two Houses of the Parliament with the belief that your deliberations will be productive and useful. 2. Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee had said, "the greatest strength of India is her rich spiritual and civilizational heritage".The core values of our civilization emphasize universal good – welfare of all human beings. The fundamental tenet of my Government isSabka Saath Sabka Vikas– All Together, Development of All. Within a span of nine months, my Government has articulated and embarked on a comprehensive strategy for unleashing the full potential of our country and its precious resource of 125 crore people. Measures have been initiated to stir action in a range of fields from sanitation to smart cities, poverty elimination to creation of wealth, skill development to conquering space, tapping demographic dividend to diplomatic initiatives, enhancing ease of doing business to putting in place a stable policy framework, empowering individuals to ensuring quality infrastructure, ending financial untouchability to making the country a manufacturing hub, containing inflation to stimulating economy, igniting minds to ensuring inclusive growth, promoting cooperative federalism to encouraging a competitive spirit among the states. A strong beginning has been made. A promising future awaits us. Honourable Members, 3. Poverty is a bane to dignified human existence. Development is actualized only when the last person gets a sense of fulfillment, especially, regarding his minimum needs. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya had laid emphasis on holistic development of each and every human being – Ekatm Manavata darshan(Integral Humanism).My Government is pledged to work for the welfare of the poor, the marginalized and the vulnerable sections of the society. 4. Financial inclusion is critical to poverty elimination. My Government launched an ambitiousPradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojanato provide universal access to banking facilities – a bank account, having in-built accidental insurance with a Rupay debit card. I am happy to state that the coverage under the scheme is close to 100% with a record 13.2 crore new bank accounts being opened, 11.5 crore Rupay debit cards being issued and over ` 11,000 crore being deposited. This unprecedented target was achieved in less than six months, making it the largest such programme globally. 5. To ensure that the benefits of developmental programmes reach the last intended beneficiary without leakages and impediments, Direct Benefit Transfer Programme is being implemented with renewed vigour. The biggest Direct Cash Transfer programme in the world, PAHAL, for transfer of LPG subsidy, has been extended across the country from 1stJanuary, 2015, so far covering 75% of the user-households. In all, 35 schemes have been brought under Direct Benefit Transfer architecture. Special emphasis is attached to makeAadharenrolment coverage universal. Honourable Members, 6. Swachhata is an article of faith for my Government. Swachhatawill have an overarching impact on the overall quality of life and well-being of a person, particularly the poor.Swachh Bharat Mission has been launched to achieve a Clean and Open Defecation Free India by October, 2019. Government has rolled out'Swachh Vidyalaya'programme and is committed to construct a toilet in every school before 15th August, 2015.Swachhata has a cascading impact on national development and the potential to generate wealth from waste. Sanitation and the idea ofSwachhatarequire changing the mindset of the people. My Government exhorts each and every individual to be an active participant in this mission. I appeal to all honourable Members of Parliament to spend at least fifty percent of their MPLADS funds on Swachh Bharat Mission. 7. India lives in her villages. My Government attaches the highest priority to sustainable socio-economic growth of rural areas. MGNREGS can be a powerful weapon to combat rural poverty. While implementing MGNREGS with renewed vigour, emphasis is being placed on improving quality and durability of assets under the programme, besides mandating that at least sixty percent of expenditure be directed for creation of agricultural infrastructure. In keeping with my Government's focus on"Skill India", "Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushal Yojana" and "Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Antyodaya Yojana" have been announced. Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana launched in October 2014, focuses on integrated and holistic development of our villages with active involvement of Members of Parliament. 8. Housing is a fundamental requirement for dignified living. My Government is steadfast in fulfilling the aspirations of all households, particularly the poorest of the poor, to have a dwelling unit under theMission"Housing for All" by 2022,marking 75 years of our independence. A set of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives have been devised to leverage the value of land holding with government and to afford flexibility to State Governments in designing their own customized housing programmes. To aid investment in housing sector, my government has liberalized FDI policy; increased tax incentives for housing loans and enhanced the corpus of National Housing Bank. 9. My Government attaches paramount importance to safeguard the interest of farmers and families affected by land acquisition. While taking utmost care to protect the interest of farmers, including their compensation entitlements, the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act has been suitably refined to minimize certain procedural difficulties in acquisition of land inevitably required for critical public projects of infrastructure and for creation of basic amenities like rural housing, schools and hospitals, particularly in remote areas. Honourable Members, 10. Kisan is the sentinel of our food security. Annadaata Sukhibhava has been one of our fundamental civilizational values. My Government attaches enormous importance to the well-being of farmers. This will need value-added agriculture, market reform, use of technology and improving productivity in areas with untapped potential. The year 2015 has been designated as International Year of Soils. In view of the critical role of soil for productivity and farm output, a Soil Health Card Scheme has been launched. Price stabilization fund with a corpus of ` 500 crore has been set up for perishable commodities. To address the irrigation requirements of every village in an effective and sustainable manner, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, is being launched. Extension programmes have been devised targeting resource-poor, small and marginal farmers, particularly focusing on organic farming and greenhouse technology.Rashtriya Gokul Mission has been launched with the objective of conserving and developing indigenous cattle breeds. 11. Food Processing has immense potential for generating employment in rural areas, particularly for the landless poor, besides guaranteeing remunerative price for the farm-produce. Creating infrastructure in rural areas to minimize supply chain losses is a priority. A special fund of ` 2000 crore to provide affordable credit to the units in 72 notified food parks has been made operational. Two Mega Food Parks, at Tumkur and Fazilka, each to provide direct/indirect employment to 30,000 people have been commissioned in the last 6 months. 12. Former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said and I quote: "Poverty has multiple effects. Besides impacting our economy, it corrodes our democracy".Inclusive growth covering the poorest of poor from the most vulnerable and disadvantaged sections of our society is my Government's topmost priority. Thrust has been given to streamlining scholarships schemes for students from SC, ST, OBC, and minority communities to ensure timely disbursement to the beneficiaries. Government has set up a new Venture Capital Fund for SC entrepreneurs. To upgrade skill and training in traditional arts/crafts of minorities, a new scheme "Upgrading the Skill and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development (USTTAD)" is being launched. Outcome based integrated approach has been adopted for tribal development under theVan Bandhu Kalyan Yojana. Nanaji Deshmukh Schemeis being launched for construction of Hostels for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes. Honourable Members, 13. Education is the priority of priorities for my Government. 'Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat' has been launched to improve foundational learning outcomes. An initiative to map the entire country on a GIS platform to identify habitations without schools, has been taken.Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya National Mission on Teachers and Teacher Traininghas been launched to empower and increase the capacity of teachers. TheRashtriya Avishkar Abhiyanhas been announced to imbibe scientific temper among students. To ensure access to education in the remotest areas,Ishan VikasandIshan Udayschemes have been started with focus on students of North-Eastern regions. My Government has formulatedNational Sports Talent Search Schemefor encouraging sporting talent amongst children in the age group of 8 to 12 through National Sports Development Fund andTarget Olympic Podium. 14. India has the largest population of youth in the world. Majority of her population is already in the working age group. To tap this demographic dividend and to bridge the demand-supply gap in skilled workforce, my Government has created a new Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship with the theme "Hunar hai to Kalyan hai". A new "National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship"is on the anvil to align skilling initiatives with global standards. Focus will be on the youth from deprived households in rural areas. Public-Private Partnership is being fostered to create skill development models and channelize CSR funds into skilling activities. Honourable Members, 15. My Government is committed to providing affordable and accessible health care to all its citizens, particularly the vulnerable sections, in an efficient and equitable manner. To reduce preventable deaths,India New Born Action Plan has been initiated andfour new vaccineshave been approved.'Mission Indradhanush'has been launched to achieve universal immunization with special focus on 184 high priority districts across the country. To create an inclusive, enabling and empowering environment for Persons with Disabilities, my Government has launched new scholarship schemes for students with disabilities. A national help line with toll free number has been launched for those who need help against drug de-addiction and for rehabilitation. 16. My Government has recently elevated the erstwhile department of AYUSH to a full-fledged Ministry with an objective to increase the global and local footprint of the traditional systems of healthcare, duly recognizing that our villages have been the repositories of our rich Ayurvedic heritage. National AYUSH Missionhas been launched to promote cost effective AYUSH services, strengthen the education system and facilitate availability of quality AYUSH drugs. Honourable Members, 17. Women have had a place of reverence in our society since time immemorial. My Government has taken several measures to empower and protect the dignity of women. To provide complete support to women affected by violence, One Stop Crisis Centres, one in every State, are being set up for provision of integrated services including medical aid, police assistance, temporary shelter, and legal and psycho-social counseling. Another initiative has been the launch of Himmat, a mobile based application, to ensure women's safety in Delhi. 18. The unabated decline in Child Sex Ratio since 1961 is a matter of grave concern. This trend has to be reversed. To ensure survival, protection and education of the girl child, my Government has launchedBeti Bachao, Beti Padhao Abhiyaan, which seeks to change mindsets to celebrate the girl child. A new small saving scheme'Sukanya Samriddhi Account'has been notified for enabling the education of the girl child. A Bill to amend Juvenile Justice Act has been introduced in Parliament to reform the law relating to juvenile offences. Honourable Members, 19. Shramik is the backbone of our economy. My Government believes in Shrameve Jayateand has taken several labour welfare measures.Apprentice Protsahan Yojanahas been launched to promote apprentices in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in manufacturing sector. EPF subscriptions have been made portable benefiting casual workers in the unorganized sector. Under the Employees Provident Fund Act, the statutory wage ceiling and the minimum pension have been enhanced to ` 15,000/- and ` 1,000/- respectively. While my Government is fully committed to expand the job market and to promote the welfare of workers, it is also committed to bringing in transparency and accountability in enforcement of labour-related regulations. To this end, theShram Suvidha Portalhas been launched to ensure ease of doing business by allowing industry to register online and file a single online return instead of 16 separate returns. A transparent online inspection scheme has been launched. Recent amendments to the Apprentices Act, 1961 have made the legal framework friendly to both industry and employable youth. Honourable Members, 20. Legal reform is one of the priorities of my Government. My Government believes that Governance and reforms are a combined effort ofTeam India, consisting of the Parliament, Union Government, State Legislatures, State Governments and the People of India. An example of this collaborative effort is the reform in the process of appointment of Judges to the High Courts and Supreme Court and the legislation to set upNational Judicial Appointments Commission. The Government is also committed to repeal the obsolete and redundant laws. A Committee constituted for this purpose has identified 1741 Central Acts for repeal under various categories. 21. Maximum Governance Minimum Government is the guiding principle of my Government. With an aim to take Governance to the doorstep of the poorest of the poor in remotest areas, focus is on simplification of official procedures and reducing the decision-making levels in Government by leveraging technology. The system of Group of Ministers has been dispensed with and emphasis is on swift decision-making. While introducing stricter and sterner measures to deal with corruption; effort is being made to ensure that sufficient safeguards are in place to protect bonafide decisions taken in public interest and to inspire confidence in the civil service. 22. My Government is firmly committed to engage people in the process of Governance and policy-making.My Gov Online Platform, a path-breaking initiative, has been launched. This platform has ensured public participation in decision-making and ideation of various national flagship programmes like Swachh Bharat Mission, Namami Gange, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and NITI Aayog. 23. My Government has envisioned an ambitious umbrella programme, Digital India, to prepare India for technology based transformation and citizen-centric transparent governance with service orientation. Aadhar-based attendance system and Jeevan Praman, Aadhar based Digital Life Certificate Portal, have shown that innovative use of technology can make enormous difference. Measures are being taken to accomplish digital inclusion in rural areas, small towns, north-east and other remote areas, opening up immense job opportunities in these areas. Promoting manufacturing of electronic goods has been an area of thrust. 24. My Government is pledged to decentralization of power and as an important step in this direction, the Planning Commission has been replaced with a new body-The National Institution for Transforming India -NITI Aayog. The underlying spirit of NITI Aayog is to foster the spirit of cooperative federalism so that Union and State Governments come on a platform to forge a common national agenda for development, with thrust on empowering the impoverished. Honourable Members, 25. As a result of my Government's sustained efforts and series of policy initiatives, our economy is again on the high growth trajectory. According to the latest estimates, our GDP is growing at 7.4%, which makes India the fastest growing large economy in the world. Inflation and Food inflation, in particular, are at a record low due to a number of decisive measures taken by the Government. Fixed capital formation, which faced a near stagnation in the last few years, has increased. Capital Markets are upbeat. Our external sector is now far more resilient, particularly with a moderate current account deficit and a broadly stable rupee. Our foreign exchange reserves have been substantially augmented. 26. While my Government has intensified efforts to bring greater efficiency and equity into the tax system, prudence in expenditure management is also high on the agenda of my Government. A Constitutional (Amendment) Bill has been introduced to bring in Goods and Services Tax that will simplify the indirect tax regime, broaden the tax base and result in better tax compliance. Honourable Members, 27. My Government is committed to taking all possible measures to stop generation of black money, both domestically and internationally. These measures include putting in place robust legislative and administrative frameworks, systems and process with due focus on capacity building, integration of information through technology, and fast tracking prosecution. 28. Financial Sector institutional restructuring is a priority area. My Government will expedite implementation of the recommendations of the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission. SEBI's new Foreign Portfolio Investment Regulations have established a unified, simple regulatory framework. The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014 was promulgated enhancing the foreign equity cap from 26% to 49% while safeguarding Indian ownership and control. This will enhance capital availability and ensure better access to insurance services, especially in rural areas and for economically weaker sections. Small Banks and Payments Banks are being permitted to expand the reach of the banking system. Honourable Members, 29. My Government has taken major initiatives for improving 'Ease of Doing Business' through simplification and rationalization of existing rules and procedures. Leveraging IT and use of modern technologies is a key strategy. Single window in a Hub – Spoke model is being made a reality. Applying for Industrial License and Industrial Entrepreneur Memorandum can now be done online on 24×7 basis on the eBiz website. A number of entry and exit regulations have been eased out. 30. My Government has launched the "Make in India" programme which aims to create a wholesome ecosystem to transform India into a manufacturing hub. FDI in Railways has been opened up selectively to bring in much needed capital, state-of-the-art technology and global best practices. FDI in Defence has been increased to 49% subject to certain conditions. FDI norms in Construction & Development sector have been relaxed. Continuous evaluation of Inverted duties is being undertaken to make Indian industries competitive. Stress is being laid on research and innovation. While focusing our attention on manufacturing for creating more jobs, my Government will continue to work on our formidable strength in the service sector. Honourable Members, 31. My Government is committed to realizing the true potential of entrepreneurs of India by nurturing the MSME sector. 21 MSME clusters are being supported by providing soft skills and common facilities through 965 interventions. Khadi and village industries and traditional industries clusters are initiated in border, hill and poverty-stricken areas of the country. Focus is on technology upgradation, better financial access and market linkages to MSME units. 32. Textiles sector is the second largest employer after agriculture, providing direct employment to over 4.5 crore people. The sector also contributes one seventh of industrial production and brings more than one fourth of country's foreign exchange inflows. The growth and all round development of this sector has a direct bearing on the improvement of our economy, particularly the poor artisans. Recent initiatives like setting up of trade facilitation centres in different parts of India, bringing textile marketing on-line, incentives for technical textiles, promotion of Pashmina, special focus on increasing the coverage in North-Eastern part of the country would lead to advancement of this sector. Honourable Members, 33. Cities are the engines of economic growth. My Government is committed to building modern amenities and infrastructure in our urban areas.The National Urban Development Mission is being finalized, particularly focusing on water and solid waste management infrastructure. After extensive stakeholder consultations, the Smart City programme is close to finalization. These two programmes are interlinked and will prepare our nation for an increasingly urban future. Honourable Members, 34. Robust infrastructure is critical for accelerating economic development and reviving economic growth. Indian Railways are the arteries of our economy. My Government is committed to reform and infuse new vitality into this sector through better services, improved passenger-safety, and increased movement of freight. Two Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs), namely, Eastern DFC and Western DFC are likely to be commissioned by 2019. Action for conducting feasibility studies for the Diamond Quadrilateral project of High Speed Trains connecting Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata has been taken up. Metro Rail projects have been sanctioned for Ahmadabad and Nagpur. 35. Several policy initiatives to revive the Highway sector have been taken. "National Highways Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited" has been set up for creation of infrastructure in the North Eastern States and border regions of the country. New standards have been set to improve quality of roads, both on highways and in rural areas and electronic tolling has been introduced for hassle-free traffic on selected highways. e-Rickshaw and e-Cart have been introduced as a separate category under the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, enhancing convenience of passengers and generating thousands of jobs. 36. My Government has taken proactive steps to promote shipping industry. These include giving life-time licenses to Indian ships, allowing Indian ships to flag out of country's waters freely, reduction of excise duty on bunker fuel and reduction of customs duty on the steel scrap of ship breaking. Government has also formulated "Sagar Mala" Projectto promote Port-led development of the coastal regions and communities. As part of"Make in India"initiative, ship designing capabilities, ship-building and ship-repair activities will be strengthened. An environment is being created to increase the Indian shipping tonnage and to reduce the transaction time on ports. An institutional arrangement for comprehensive development of National Waterways for transportation has been envisaged through the'Jal Marg Vikas'Project. Honourable Members, 37. Power sector has made commendable progress achieving 76% capacity addition by January, 2015 against the 2014-15 target of 17,830 MW. In order to provide 24×7 quality power in rural and urban areas, theDeendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana with an outlay of more than 43,000 crore and theIntegrated Power Development Schemewith an outlay of more than 32,600 crore, have been launched. Special attention is being paid to the un-electrified villages in remote areas. My Government has started major project for improving transmission and distribution system in the North Eastern States. We will focus on developing and strengthening the National Grid by developing high capacity power corridors. To deepen the reforms in the Electricity sector, the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2014 has been introduced. The ambitiousNational Smart Grid Mission and Energy Saving Schemes have been started. 38. My Government lays enormous emphasis on clean energy.The share of renewable energy in electricity generation is being significantly enhanced from 6% to 15% of the energy mix in the next 7 years. The scheme for setting up 25 mega Solar Parks has been approved. The implementation of theGreen Energy Corridor Schemehas been accelerated. Setting up of solar generating capacities along the international borders will be a key area of attention. My Government has made successful efforts in attracting the Global investors in this sector. Similar attention is being paid to bio-mass and hydro-energy. Government will further expand India's nuclear power capacity with the highest global standards of safety and technological standards. Honourable Members, 39. The petroleum sector has seen major reforms. Diesel prices have been deregulated and are now market driven. The price of petrol has also been decreased by more than  17 per litre. The Government has put to rest all speculation regarding the long pending issue of revising gas prices and put in place a prudent policy in national interest. The ethanol policy has been revised to promote use of ethanol in petrol and help sugarcane farmers. 40. My Government is committed to optimum utilization and transparency in allocation of natural resources. The process for auction of coal blocks has been started in a manner which will reduce the power costs in the country, provide adequate fuel to increase power generation, enhance production of steel, cement, aluminium and other essential materials. This will also provide huge resources from allotment of mines to the mineral and coal bearing states particularly in eastern areas for accelerated development of the region. The swift and timely action taken by my government in this regard prevented the closure of mines which otherwise would have rendered thousands jobless. In coming years, my Government would make focussed efforts to expand exploration capacity and to increase domestic coal production to 1000 MTPA. Honourable Members, 41. Water is the lifeline of human civilization. River Ganga has a very special place in the collective consciousness of our country."Namami Gange",an Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission has been set-up with budgetary allocation of more than ` 2000 crore. The Government is fully committed to the implementation of Interlinking of Rivers Project with due consultation process. 42. My Government took several proactive steps for protecting wildlife and for promoting cleaner environment. Stringent emission norms for cement industry were prescribed. Real-time online monitoring of industrial units in 17 critically polluting sectors was started and National Air Quality Index launched. Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) would be strengthened and adequate funds released to States/UTs for aggressive afforestation and wildlife protection. Government has taken significant steps to streamline clearance processes in environmental sector by bringing in transparency and by empowering State Governments. Online application processes for Environment, Forest and CRZ Clearances were introduced from July, 2014. Honourable Members, 43. To harness the enormous potential in the tourism sector, a new Tourism policy for growth and sustainability of tourism is on the anvil."Tourist Visa on Arrival"enabled with Electronic Travel Authorization, has been expanded to 44 countries. Infrastructure and amenities are being upgraded in major tourist and pilgrimage destinations. River Ghats in several pilgrim destinations are being renovated. A special initiative for protecting and preserving the sanctity of our tourist destinations and monuments of national heritage has been launched. Dedicated tourist trains covering Jyotirling Circuits, Sukhmangal CircuitandDakshin Dham Circuit have been started. A new scheme has been launched for development of tourist circuits called "Swadesh Darshan", which includes Krishna Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Buddha Circuit, and North East Circuits. A Statue of Unity is being constructed to commemorate the memory of Sardar Patel. Honourable Members, 44. My Government is committed to restore and rejuvenate the soul of cities that are home to rich cultural heritage of our country. A scheme'Heritage Development and Augmentation Yojana' (HRIDAY) covering 12 cities in the first phase has been launched with the predominant objective of preserving the tangible and intangible cultural assets of these cities. A special scheme called "PRASAD" – Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive"- has been announced for rejuvenation of 12 pilgrim centres in convergence with "HRIDAY". Honourable Members, 45. Terrorism and Left Wing Extremism pose a grave challenge to the internal security of our nation. My Government is firmly committed to deal with these challenges in cohesive collaboration with the affected people and Governments of the affected States in a holistic manner. 46. Jammu & Kashmir occupies a place of enormous importance in the agenda of my Government. Government has endeavoured to create a conducive and enabling environment in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, especially for the various displaced segments of its population. This includes facilitating the rehabilitation of over 60,000 Kashmiri Pandits families. The Government has taken effective steps in this regard. These include, inter alia,providing Government jobs, economic opportunities and security. During the recent unprecedented flood situation in the State, my Government made special efforts in collaboration with the State Government to minimize the impact of disaster and augment rehabilitation measures. The nation is deeply indebted to our armed forces and paramilitary forces for the outstanding service rendered during the relief operations to flood affected people in Jammu & Kashmir. 47. A high state of Disaster preparedness is the key to contain loss of life and damage to the property due to any natural disaster. This has been amply demonstrated during the response to the very severe cyclone 'HUDHUD', by the State Governments of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha together with the Central Government. 48. My Government is committed to implement the idea of SMART Police (Smart but Sensitive, Modern and Mobile, Alert and Accountable, Reliable and Responsive, Tech-savvy and well Trained) to provide efficient, courteous and effective citizen services and meet the operational needs of the police personnel including women police personnel. 49. Government is accelerating the modernization of our Armed Forces, with a strong emphasis on "Make in India" in defence acquisition plans. Several initiatives have been taken to expand domestic defence industry, including liberalization of FDI for the defence sector; a new Defence Exports Strategy; a liberalized process for issuing clearances for defence exports; and a Technology Development Fund. To encourage domestic manufacturing of defence equipments and decrease import dependency, the list of Defence items which require industrial licensing has been pruned. Honourable Members, 50. Our Space journey continues to make impressive progress. On 24 September 2014, Mangalyaan was successfully placed in the Mars Orbit, making India the first country to do so in the first attempt. We successfully launched the first experimental flight ofGSLV Mark-Ill on 19 December 2014, which will enable us to launch heavier satellites in the near future. My Government is committed to use space technology and its applications in governance, social and economic development and resource management. My Government has also decided to launch a satellite for the use of SAARC countries to foster greater partnership and development of South Asian Region. 51. My Government is committed to deeper penetration of electronic media in remote and distant areas. Auctions will be conducted for 135 vacant channels in 69 existing cities of FM Phase-II as part of first batch of FM Phase-Ill. It will also facilitate migration of FM Phase-II to FM Phase-Ill. This will take private FM radio to cities having population of more than one lakh and border towns of Jammu & Kashmir, North-eastern region and island territories in a phased manner. 52. Our developmental challenges will continue to shape the strategic priorities in science, technology and innovation. Steps are being taken to channelize more resources for research and development in India; build world class research centres; nurture young talent and, promote international collaboration, including in the world's largest optical'Thirty Meter Telescope'. Honourable Members, 53. Recognizing that our destiny is linked with our neighbourhood, my Government has reinvigorated our relations with our neighbours and is promoting greater cooperation and integration in South Asia. At the same time, we speak clearly about our interests and are fully prepared to defend our borders and secure our people. 54. With the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping, we have significantly expanded our relations with our largest neighbour, China, based on mutual respect and sensitivity to each other's concerns and interests. We have restored confidence and momentum in our time-tested strategic partnership with Russia with President Vladimir Putin's visit. The historic visit of U.S. President Barack Obama as the Chief Guest of the Republic Day has elevated our relations with the United States to a new level. In the coming months, we intend to further deepen our cooperation with Europe. With Japan, a deeper political, economic and security relationship is at the forefront of a more active and purposeful Act-East-Policy, which is anchored in our relations with Southeast Asia and now extends to Australia and the Pacific Islands. We are also committed to deeper engagement with West Asia, Central Asia, Africa and South Americas. 55. My Government will continue to work with others to reform multilateral institutions, including the United Nations, and seek India's rightful place in these institutions. We will also participate actively in regional and international groupings. Honourable Members, 56. My Government's efforts have enhanced global recognition for India's rich cultural heritage and traditions. On 11th December 2014, the United Nations, with a record co-sponsorship of 177 out of 193 member countries, took the historic decision to declare 21 June as 'International Yoga Day', exactly within 75 days of Prime Minister's call at the United Nations General Assembly. 57. My Government has made an unprecedented effort to reach out to the Indian community abroad, which today not only feels more connected to India, but has responded enthusiastically to the call to participate in India's transformation, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, whose 100thanniversary of return to India was commemorated at this year'sPravasi Bharatiya Diwas.Our decisions on PIO and OCI card-holders have been widely welcomed by the Indian community abroad. Honourable Members, 58. Our Parliament is the sanctum sanctorum of Democracy. The people of India, particularly the poorest of the poor in remotest areas, have reposed unflinching faith in this institution for fulfillment of their hopes and expectations. My Government will constantly endeavour for smooth conduct of legislative business and enactment of progressive laws in the Parliament which reflects the will and aspirations of the people. I urge all Members of the Parliament to discharge their solemn responsibility in a spirit of cooperation and mutual accommodation. By channelizing the patriotic energies of every citizen, we all collectively must work towards building a strong and modern India.Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat. Jai Hind. - See more at:

School near Indo-Pak border to be honoured

Seldom is a government school known for its infrastructure. But the Government Primary School in Doda Nanaka village of Fazilka district, less than 800 meters from the India-Pakistan border, is considered the best in the region in terms of infrastructure and the dedication its teachers headed by Lovejeet Singh Grewal.

The school attracts students from even the neighbouring villages of Matam Nagar, Ram Singh Tehni and Hasta Kalan. Some even walk 7 km to get to this school.

The school has topped the district as per evaluations by the Punjab government under the project Parvesh.

"Some of my students can recite maths tables up to 500, some up to 800 and some even up to 1,600. Students in private schools cannot recite up to more than 50 generally," says Grewal who would be honored by education minister Daljit Singh Grewal on Friday. In 2006, when Grewal joined the school, it had only 112 students. Now it boasts of more than 230.

The government employs and pays for three teachers in the school. Realising that the school needs more teachers, Grewal and his colleagues employed three more persons and paid their salaries from their own pockets.

The school has topped the district as per evaluations by the Punjab government under the project Parvesh. The school has also been winning state-level mathematics competitions for the last two years.

Government Primary School in Doda Nanaka village of Fazilka district.

Located at almost the edge of the country and under the threat from across the border, the teachers worked hard to convince parents to send their children to the school.

"The Border Security Force has done well to ensure that our school is safe. Whenever there is tension on the border, we face it too. But it is fine," said Grewal.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

‪#‎HaryanaDairies‬ - Statue of Martyrs in each village of Haryana

Yesterday, we completed the survey of three southern district of Haryana Bhiwani, Rewari and MahendraGarh. Amazing people, full of life, humor, great hospitality. Something, which makes them unique from rest of the country is that, each village welcomes you with statues of Martyrs. Erected almost in every village across the southern haryana in the memory of soldiers, who have sacrificed their lives for the defence and security of the Nation. Each panchayat/town proudly put statute of martyrs from their village, so that young generation could get inspiration from their spirit of patriotism and sacrifice shown for the country.
Few villages have minimum one person in Fauj from each family. They take prides on decades-old tradition of sending their kids to armed forces. There is famous saying in few villages when a kid is born, they greet each other with "चाचा बधाई हो, Second Lieutenant पैदा हुआ हैं ".

Yesterday, I was in small town Kanina of MahenderGarh district, having population about 11000 persons. This small town has more than 10 such parks dedicated to all soldiers who sacrificed their lives for nation and belongs to Kanina. Seems Indian Army is incomplete without Jats. Amazing Spirit of Haryana,their love for country and salute to this Marshall Clan.....JatLand Rocks - "जाट बलवान, जय भगवान"

Thankyou Punjab and Haryana High Court for giving me this opportunity to travel across Haryana to experience this part of India

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

‘Despite bitter memories, we ensured humane treatment was given to Pak POWs’ - See more at:

Colonel (Retd) Baldev Singh Chahal said that 'it was a harrowing experience till the Red Cross society provided them with medicines, warm clothes and so on.'
Colonel (Retd) Baldev Singh Chahal, who was taken Prisoner of War (POW) along with 138 others of his battalion in the 1965 Indo-Pak War, said "life had come a full circle" for him six years later, during the 1971 Indo-Pak war, when over 90,000 Pakistani soldiers were taken POW and he was in charge of a camp of Pakistani POWs in Bangladesh. "Despite bitter memories of the days as POW in Pakistan, we ensured that humane treatment was given to Pak POWs," said Chahal. He was speaking to The Indian Express on the sidelines of a function organised by 11 Corps in Jalandhar as part of the golden jubilee celebrations of the 1965 Indo-Pak war." "We were given just two salted chapattis daily during the first two months in Pakistan. When we returned to India in February 1966 after the Indo-Pak agreement, our uniforms were in tatters. But when Pak POWs returned in 1971, we provided them clothes, radio sets and other thing," said Chahal. During the 1965 Indo-Pak war, Chahal, then a Lieutenant of 4 Sikh battalion, was deputed to block the road for Pakistani troops along with 138 others of his battalion behind enemy lines in Khemkaran sector of Punjab. However, Pakistani troops surrounded them from all sides and took them to Lahore Civil jail. Among the 138 soldiers, five were officers, six JCOs and remaining were Havildars, Naiks, Jawans and Sepoy, etc. "We were put in the criminal cell and were interrogated every two hours. We were later shifted to Rawalpindi and then to Kasur. The interrogation continued. After a few days, we were moved to Kohat, a POW camp near the Afghanistan border, and then to Durgai," he said. He added that it was a harrowing experience till the Red Cross society provided them with medicines, warm clothes and so on." "We were kept in the dark at times and they kept putting pressure on us trying to get military secrets such as information about the kind of machinery, weapons and officers we had as a consideration for our safe return to India," he recalls. "When their efforts yielded no result, we were taken from one place to another. Chahal also said that during the last months of their stay in Pakistan, the Indian POWs were allowed to cook food for themselves." "After five months, on February 12, 1966, we came back," he said. Wreath-laying ceremony at Fazilka, Ferozepur Ludhiana: A wreath-laying ceremony was organised Tuesday at Asafwala War Memorial, Fazilka, and Prerna Sthal War Memorial, Hussainiwala, to mark the Indian victory in the 1965 Indo-Pak war. In August 1965, 67 armymen of the (Independent) Infantry Brigade, led by Brig Bant Singh, had moved from Jodhpur to defend the Fazilka sector. As many as 36 soldiers from the 14th battalion of the Punjab regiment and third battalion of 9 Gorkha Rifles made the supreme sacrifice. The function was attended by a large number of ex-servicemen, war veterans and civil dignitaries. - 

Gang busted, 68 vehicles worth Rs 3.15 crore recovered

TNN | Sep 22, 2015, 12.02 PM IST
FAZILKA: Fazilka Police arrested five members of interstate gangs and recovered 68 stolen vehicles worth totaling Rs 3.15 crore from them. With the arrests, the police claimed to have broken a nexus of four interstate gangs operating in western parts of the country.

The district police recovered 23 SUVs, including Toyota Innova, Mahindra Scorpio and Mahindra Boleros. It has also recovered 28 luxury cars, two tempos, three jeeps, four tractors and eight motorcycles.

The interconnected gangs had the same modus operandi and applied latest techniques in passing off stolen vehicles as genuine by changing chassis and engine numbers. Engine and chassis numbers of condemned vehicles were embossed on stolen vehicles and fake registration documents were prepared by the gang to sell stolen vehicles to the buyers. These gangs were operating in parts of Amritsar and Jalandhar in Punjab and Sri Ganganagar and Nagaur districts in Rajasthan, police said.

Those arrested have been identified as Amit Kumar, 30, of Sadhuwali village in Sri Ganganagar; Mohinder Kumar, 26, Tara Chand, 50, Sukhbir Soni, 50, all from Sir Ganganagar; and Vijay Pal alias Ramdass, 45, of Sukhchain village near Abohar in Fazilka district.

Bathinda zone IG B K Bawa said, "The gang members used to collect documents of damaged vehicles from scrap dealers who purchased these either from owners or insurance companies in the auctions. The thieves used to lift similar vehicles and put chassis and engine numbers of damaged vehicles."

"The procedure required special tools such as grinders, gas regulators with meters, drills, metal dyes for engraving numbers on metal surfaces and metallic punching nozzles. All these tools have also been recovered. The thieves are experts in such procedures and used to complete the replacement of chassis numbers within 30 minutes," said Fazila SSP Swapan Sharma.

Monday, September 7, 2015

District Fazilka won 5 State Awards on Teachers Day 2015

असफलता एक चुनौती है स्वीकार करो,
क्या कमी रह गई देखो और सुधार करो,
जब तक न सफल हो नींद चैन की त्यागो तुम,
संघर्षोंका मैदान छोड़ मत भागो तुम,
कुछ किए बिना ही जयजयकार नही होती,
कोशिश करनें वालों की कभी हार नही होती। - श्री हरिवंशराय बच्चन

Heartiest Congratulations to our Teachers and my dear friends Lavjeet Grewal, Rakeysh Kamboj and Pardeep Chhabra for being awarded with Best Teacher State Award 2015.Thanks to you and entire staff for making it Possible. All of you brought laurels to the name of District Fazilka by getting five state awards on the occasion of this Teachers Day; highest from any district of Punjab. Government Primary School, Dona Nanka and Government Primary School, New Salemshah are setting new trends in Government School Education with 100% students from the village are studying in Government Schools. These schools near Radcliffe Line proved "India begins here"...Cheers.

Will share more stories of our Start teachers like Vijay GuptaPammi Singh,Ashwini AhujaSavikar GandhiSachin SachinAjay KhoslaNishant Aggarwal......

Road Safety and Lord Krishna

स एवाश्वः शवेतम अश्वं परयच्छत; स एवाश्वान अथ सर्वांश चकार 

तरिवन्धुरस तस्य रथस तरिचक्रस; तरिवृच छिराश चतुरश्व च तस्य

Lord Krishna is recognized as the eighth incarnation (avatar) of Lord Vishnu; the one who run this universe. In Mahabharata, Lord Krishna drove horse-charioteers, It has FOUR HORSES yoked to it. each horse represents our senses which needs to be controlled. So, Krishna being lord, the one who run universe was managed four horse power Chariot(Rath).

In present context, on our roads you can easily see a 16 year old guy driving minimum 45-50 horsepower car on our roads.. .......In Kalyuga, human beings are 10-15 times more powerful than god of Satyuga. Lesson is there, may be mythological...

Happy Krishna Janmashtami to All..