Punjab October Current Affairs

Punjab October Current Affairs

1. Joginder Singh Puar dies at 87

Context: Recently, Former Vice chancellor of Punjabi university, Patiala,  Joginder Singh Puar dies at the age of 87

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  • He began serving the Punjabi University in the Languages Department in 1972. He moved to Guru Nanak Dev University in 1986 as a professor and returned to Punjabi University as V-C in 1993.
  • Joginder Singh Puar had served as the university vice chancellor from 1993 to 1999.
  • He was a Leftist ideologue and a promoter of Punjabi language.
  • He penned books on Punjabi grammar, ‘The Panjabi Verb: Form and Function’.
  • He served as editor of Deshsewak newspaper.

2. Training centre for shrimp farming at Muktsar

Context: Recently, Muktsar gets training centre for shrimp farming.

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  • Demonstration farm and training centre (DFTC) for shrimp farming was inaugurated at Ennakhera village, Muktsar by Cabinet Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa.
  • The centre is built across 15 acres.
  • Demonstration farm and training centre (DFTC) is built at a cost of Rs 5 crore.
  • Presently, shrimp farming is being done in the state across 410 acres.
  • The state aims to expand it to 2,500 hectares in the next five years.

3. Stamp duty incentive refund process amended

Context: Recently, The Punjab Government has amended the procedure of submission of online application for refund of incentive of stamp duty under IBDP 2017.

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  • It aims to ensure greater ease to investors.
  • Pending cases would be cleared expeditiously giving relief to Investors.
  • The refund of stamp duty could be claimed after the start of commercial production.
  • One of the conditions for claiming incentive was land should not have been purchased before or after three years of the application.
  • Under the amended procedure, the date for submission of Incentive Common Application Form would be considered to check the aforesaid condition of three years.

4. Punjab to launch its own SC post-matric scholarship scheme

Context: Recently,Punjab Cabinet has cleared the decks for the state to launch its own Scheduled Caste Post Matric Scholarship Scheme in place of the Centre’s scheme, in order to facilitate students to pursue higher education in government and private institutions.

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  • As per the revised income criteria, the combined income of both the parents for a student to avail assistance under the new scheme has been enhanced from Rs 2.50 lakh to Rs 4 lakh to accommodate more Scheduled Caste (SC) students.
  • The Cabinet, approved the Dr BR Ambedkar SC Post Matric Scholarship Scheme, to be effective from 2021-22.
  • The scheme will be applicable to persons belonging to the SC, who are domiciled in Punjab and have done matriculation from Punjab and Chandigarh.
  • All Central, state government and private institutions in Punjab and Chandigarh will be covered under the scheme.
  • It will benefit around 2-3 lakh students every year.
  • The total financial implication of the proposal is estimated to be about Rs 600 crore. Of this, the tentative liability of the government institutions would be about Rs 168 crore and the remaining Rs 432 crore would be borne by the private educational institutions and the government.

5. Justice Madan B Lokur (retd) to monitor farm fire curbs

Context: Recently, TheSupreme Court has appointed Justice Madan B Lokur (retd) as a one-man committee to monitor the measures taken by the states of Punjab, Haryana, UP and Delhi to prevent farmers from resorting to stubble burning

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  • Committee will visit affected states and submit fortnightly reports to the SC.
  • Justice Madan B Lokur will be assisted by all state governments (Punjab, Haryana, UP and Delhi)
  • Supreme Court also directed chief secretaries of Punjab, Haryana, UP and Delhi and the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) to assist the committee in physical surveillance of fields.
  • They are also directed to devise additional methods for preventing it.
  • Every year stubble burning turns the entire NCR into a virtual gas chamber during October-November
  • In 2019, 9.8 mn tonne paddy residue in Punjab and  1.23 mn tonne paddy residue in Haryana was burnt by farmers.

6. Ensure clean water in govt schools: Punjab CM

Context: Recently, Chief Minister Capt Amarindr Singh has directed the Water Supply and Sanitation Department to ensure clean drinking water and toilets in all government schools and anganwadi centres in the state.

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  • Aim is to protect the health of children, especially in the present Covid situation.
  • The Chief Minister has ordered a massive campaign for this purpose under the ‘Mission Tandarust Punjab’ and ‘Swachh and Swasth Punjab’ programme of the government. 
  • The campaign will be undertaken with the active participation of school management committees, panchayats and local body representatives.
  • Rs 38.76 crore had been provided to the Department of School Education for the construction of 7,152 toilet seats in schools and ensuring water for sanitation in 467 schools.

7. Farmers cultivating land for 12 years to get ownership right

Context: Recently, the Punjab government has decided to allot land to small and marginal farmers, who have been occupying and cultivating it for more than 12 years, at a reasonable pre-determined price.

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  • The Cabinet approved the Punjab (Welfare And Settlement of Small and Marginal Farmers) Allotment of State Government Land Bill, 2020, thus ensuring the protection of interests of both farmers and the government. 
  • The farmer-friendly step will go a long way in settling pending litigations in the court.
  • The previous SAD-BJP government had in 2016 enacted the Punjab Allotment of State Government Land Act 2016 (Punjab Act No. 54 of 2016), but not one parcel of land was allotted to farmers under this Act. The incumbent government has thus decided to amend the law as a one-time welfare measure for small and marginal farmers.

8. Punjab approves 33% reservation for women in state civil services

Context: Recently, The Amarinder Singh government approved 33 per cent reservation for women in direct recruitment for the Punjab civil services, boards and corporations.

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  • The state Cabinet, at a meeting presided by CM Amarinder Singh, approved the ‘Punjab Civil Services (Reservation of Posts for Women) Rules, 2020’ to provide such reservation for women for direct recruitment to posts in government, as well as in recruitment to Boards and Corporations in Group A, B, C and D posts
  • This is one of the crucial step taken by the state government for women empowerment.
  • Earlier, the state had provided 33 per cent reservation for women in panchayats and local bodies.

9. DOCTORS GET EXTENSION

Context: Recently, The Cabinet has decided to grant three months extension/re-employment to Doctors and Medical Specialists from October 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, in view of the Covid crisis.

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  • The decision comes amid continued escalation in Covid cases in Punjab, which currently accounts for more than 1.25 lakh of India’s nearly 72 lakh cases.

10. DESILTING OF RIVERS

Context: Recently, to ensure regular de-silting of major rivers and reduce flood intensity in the state, the Punjab Government has decided to make such de-silting part of the contracts allotted for mining blocks.

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  • The major rivers where de-silting will be carried out as part of the amended contracts are Sutlej, Beas and Ravi, besides seasonal rivulets Ghaggar and Chakki.
  • The necessary amendments to the contracts were approved by the state Cabinet on Wednesday.
  • The Cabinet also gave the go-ahead to the Drainage Wing of Water Resources Department to allot 78 sites in seven blocks to mining contractors. These sites have a total area of 651.02 hectares with 274.22 LMT quantity of sand/gravel.
  • Block-1 includes Ropar district, Block-2 SBS Nagar (Nawanshahr), Jalandhar, Barnala, Sangrur, Mansa, Block-3 Moga, Ferozepur, Muktsar, Fazilka, Bathinda, Faridkot, Block-4 Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur, Block-5 Kapurthala, Tarn Taran, Amritsar, Block-6 Pathankot, Block-7 Mohali, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib.
  • The Cabinet also decided that in future, more river bed stretches that need de-silting would be offered to mining contractors in a similar manner, keeping concession quantity as per the contracts.
  • The Drainage Wing of Water Resources Department has estimated that river beds have got silted up by 5 to 12 feet which, if removed, can significantly improve the capacity of the rivers by 15,000 to 50,000 cusec.

11. PRODUCING QUALITY POTATO SEEDS

Context: Recently, the Cabinet okayed government’s decision to allow production of quality seed potato through tissue culture based technology, using aeroponics/net house facilities, along with the certification of seed potato and its successive generations.

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  • This move would also help incentivize potato production which will lead to greater diversification by bringing more area under potato crop cultivation.
  • Currently, potato crop is grown across an approximate area of one lakh hectares in the state, generating demand of 4 LMT of quality seed potato. However, there is negligible supply of quality seed potato from Central Potato Research Institute, Shimla.

12. TOWARDS SLUM-FREE PUNJAB

Context: Recently, The Cabinet gave approval to notify the rules of the Punjab Slum Dwellers (Proprietary Rights) Act 2020.

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  • Purpose is to give proprietary rights of land to slum dwellers.
  • The Local Government Department has already prepared ‘BASERA – Chief Minister’s Slum Development Programme’ in accordance with Section 17 of the Punjab Slum Dwellers (Proprietary Rights) Act 2020, which outlines the guiding framework for the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) to implement the Act.
  • Punjab has witnessed mushrooming of unauthorized slums on government land in recent decades as a result of influx of migrant population due to growth and development of the urban areas. This has presented the government with the challenge to provide basic amenities.

One Liners

  • The Cabinet has approved the conversion of the Punjab State Vigilance Commission Ordinance, 2020, into a Bill for enactment in the next session of the Vidhan Sabha.
  • The Cabinet has okayed a state employment plan for 2020-22 to fill posts in government departments, boards, corporations and agencies in a phased and time-bound manner. The recruitment will be done on the Central Government pay scales.
  • The government will undertake a massive exercise to re-verify all recently deleted and left-out beneficiaries under the smart ration card scheme to ensure that the eligible persons get the benefits.
  • The Cabinet has approved the conversion of the Punjab State Vigilance Commission Ordinance, 2020, into a Bill for enactment in the next session of the Vidhan Sabha.
  • The Cabinet has okayed a state employment plan for 2020-22 to fill posts in government departments, boards, corporations and agencies in a phased and time-bound manner. The recruitment will be done on the Central Government pay scales.

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