Andhra gram panchayat elections concludes with 81.78 pc voting in fourth phase - The Daily Guardian
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Andhra gram panchayat elections concludes with 81.78 pc voting in fourth phase

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Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India], February 21 (ANI): The polling for the gram panchayat elections in Andhra Pradesh concluded on Sunday with 81.78 per cent polling in the fourth phase, officials said.
According to the officials, the election was held for 2,743 sarpanch posts and 22,421 ward member posts in the fourth phase.
“In all 4 phases, elections were notified for 13,097 sarpanch posts and 2,197 of them become unanimous, no nominations for 10 posts, and elections were held for 10,890 sarpanch posts,” an official statement of State Election Commission (SEC) said.
Further, elections were notified for 13,1,023 ward member posts and 47,459 of them became unanimous, no nominations for 670 posts, and elections were held for 82,894 ward member posts.
Elections were held in four phases on February 9, 13, 17 and 21. The polling percentages in all these phases are 81.67 per cent, 81.67 per cent, 80.71 per cent and 81.78 per cent respectively.
Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Principal Secretary Gopal Krishna Dwivedi congratulated everyone involved in the conduct of elections.
“Today on successful completion of Gram Panchayat Elections in A.P. I would like to Congratulate everyone involved in conduct of Elections – including polling booth level (village level) officers, District Collectors and their teams and CPR and his team of officers at State level,” he tweeted.
Now, the counting of votes is going on for the fourth phase.

Meanwhile, State Election Commission (SEC) has issued a revised election notification for 12 municipal corporations and 75 municipalities/nagar panchayats. Polling for them will be held on March 10, 2021. These elections were stopped midway on March 15, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Elections for Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituency (MPTC) and Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituency (ZPTC) were also stopped midway due to the corona pandemic. The SEC is likely to announce a new notification soon. (ANI)

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AWAKENING THE ‘WARRIORS’ IN WOMEN

We, as women, need to question as to why we inherently believe that men are superior to women, and overcome the illusion to follow successful men and not successful women.

Aveek Sen

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Indian history is replete with evidence that women have been great warriors, playing a vibrant role in protecting the integrity of the nation as well as strengthening their positions in society. Continuing with this tradition, women’s role has been exemplary in contemporary times in all spheres of life, including the armed forces, big enterprises, among others. In this context, an exploration of instances from our history helps us examine the conditions and challenges that women continue to confront in contemporary times. Such historical instances not only provide meaningful answers to a series of unanswered questions and concepts related to gender, but also help in self-introspection of our thoughts and actions.

HISTORICAL SAGA OF WOMEN

The Indian epic, Mahabharata, is often inferred as leading to a great war for conserving the honour of a woman, Draupadi. But what is often forgotten is the series of erroneous and dishonorable conducts by mankind that finally found an outlet through a war triggered by the ‘Chirharan’ of Draupadi.

One such story in the epic was of Sikhandi, who was a Kashi princess named Amba in her previous life, born as a daughter to Drupad, the King of Panchaal. As Amba, she along with her sisters was charioted away by Bheeshma from their ‘swayambar’ to Hastinapur to marry his younger brother instead. Amba expressed her desire to marry Salwa whose garland she carried in her hands. But to her resentment both Salwa and Bheeshma’s brother refused to marry her on the pretext of embracing the former in her heart and contaminated by the touch of Bheeshma. Thus, the dignity of the women was questioned on the grounds of conduct by the men.

Amba went from one court to another seeking a champion to defend her honour since as a woman she was not allowed to fight in those times. But no one dared to stand against Bheeshma. On being reborn, Amba as Shikhandi was determined to avenge the wrongdoing.

One might believe that women are not meant to be warriors and require a man to defend her honour. This is another barrier that must be broken through a historical revelation. No doubt our men dominated the wars, especially the Kurukshetra war which was an all-men war. But there were other wars where women warriors are mentioned as a dominant force such as the wars of Kartikeya who fought with the Asuras at Kurukshetra.

Additionally, history is evidence that women fought shoulder to shoulder with men as equal participants in the struggle against the British rule. The determination and courage of famous women revolutionaries like Rani Lakshmibai, Savitribai Phule and Begum Hazrat Mahal left a lasting impression for generations to come.

Begum Hazrat Mahal, the last begum of Awadh, was considered to be more courageous than her husband, Wajid Ali Shah. Instead of bowing down to the Britishers, she chose to live with self-respect, confidence and took the courage to rebel against the British East India Company during the 1857 rebellion, even though the Nawab was exiled to Kolkata after British took over the kingdom of Awadh in 1856.

Due to her war strategy and leadership, the Britishers were confined to the Lucknow presidency. Begum Hazrat Mahal, mother, queen and a symbol of resistance, had also set an example by strengthening unity among Hindus and Muslims against the Britishers and motivated women to become warriors and join the war. As a woman, she acted as a uniting force for the society.

Despite our rich history of brave women, the role of women in Indian society over time underwent distortions and came to be exhibited as a subject of vulnerability and a symbol of weakness.

WOMEN IN THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD

In the contemporary era, even though the status of women has changed substantially with many setting examples of valiance and efficiency; yet, they are being categorised as vulnerable and weak, the one who needs to be protected and cared for at all times. Knowing or unknowingly, this show of mercy and apathy has sown a seed of doubt, resulting in ‘conflicting’ minds, which often is passed on from one generation to the other. Such mindsets further strengthen the ‘glass ceiling’ effect, preventing women from advancing in the workplace or choosing a male dominated profession despite being well qualified and deserving.

The barrier does not end here. Nevertheless, there are a number of examples where women have broken the ‘glass ceiling’ and achieved name and fame, though the percentage of such women is still marginal. These women have set an example by converting the famous saying: ‘There is a woman behind every successful man’ in their favour, by becoming their own strength with or without the support of a man. But the question that arises here is: Have they encouraged, rather supported and uplifted other women with immense potential as them? Have they strengthened the concept of ‘She for She’ or does ‘She is jealous of She’ still holds greater gravity in our societal mindset?

In retrospect, we need to revisit the progressive thought process of women by tracing our rich history to change stereotypical societal mindset which arrests progress of women. The fact that history is a repository of many unanswered questions related to the major role that women play in Indian society can be seen in the recent excavation of ancient civilisation site in Sinauli (Uttar Pradesh) which revealed that women warriors were skilled in sword fighting, archery and chariot riding equitable to men. This has broken the myth and established that agility of the body, the sharpness of the eye, the sharpness of the mind, dexterity of the hand, quick thinking and intelligence, which are the major factors for winning a fight, whether physical or mental, or whether by a man or a woman. One needs to rebel against the boundaries that the society has prescribed for women and begin the journey of ‘Mahaprasthan’ the path of the great departure from the orthodox, stereotype illusions of societal mindsets.

We as women need to pledge to break these myths and barriers, awaken the warriors within us, question as to why we inherently believe that men are superior to women, overcome the illusion to follow successful men and not successful women and create a platform of thoughts and expressions where ‘He for She’ as well as ‘She for She’ prevails, thus understanding gender equality through both the perspectives.

The writer is Senior Researcher, Public Policy Research Centre, (PPRC), New Delhi.

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Fashion isn’t just about the catwalk or what we see on Instagram, says ace designer Rina Dhaka

In an interview with NewsX, Rina Dhaka, one of India’s most celebrated fashion designers, talks about her journey and changes in the fashion industry over the years, especially after Covid-19.

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Renowned fashion designer Rina Dhaka joined NewsX for an exclusive interview as part of NewsX India A-List. She had burst on to the Indian fashion scene in the late 80s and has showcased her work at the Louvre in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, besides many others accomplishments.

Talking about her incredible journey so far, she said, “When I came around, there was no such career path for people in designing. There was the late Rohit Khosla as a designer and Ritu Kumar in the northeast. But this whole industry as such didn’t exist. Youth is all about innovation and that was the need of our hour—our means me and my contemporaries like Rohit Bal and Tarun Tahiliani. We all came around at that time and were very heady. There was no concept about money, it was all about creativity, craft and trying to pursue some kind of fashion. In fact, at par with the rest of the world, there was really no design industry, even in the West. There were high-street stores like Selfridges and Bloomingdales in America. Designers, as a category of clothing, came about the same time as us. And look where it is today. We have schools of fashion, students coming out of these great schools every year and there is a booming trade and industry. When we found the FDCI, we were just nine members. Over a cup of chai every evening and a few laughs, we created this body. Today, it has millions of followers on Instagram and runs successful events like fashion weeks which can help designers in India and internationally come together and get work. So, yes, fashion has really come a long way and my journey is that journey too.”

Expressing her views on how the landscape of the fashion industry has changed over the years, especially with the inclusion of issues that matter to young people like body positivity and inclusivity, she said, “Lakme approached me to do a plus-size show and we did the casting. This was two or maybe two-and-a-half years ago. There were 300 models who came for the audition which we announced only an hour before. Fabulous, body-positive, not shy, very confident—frankly, they could do runways anywhere. These are plus-size models. And one of the girls I picked out from the crowd was Sakshi. She has gone on to be on the cover of every national magazine. Today, she is India’s most celebrated model. Now in fashion weeks, we have to have a better ratio of plus-sized models as well. This is where the journey of inclusivity has gotten us, and the noise that we made in the years prior to that has brought us here. I’m really happy that it’s no more about a size eight, which is called a sample size, and about passion. Today, a sample size is also a plus size.”

When asked about the difficulties faced by the fashion industry in the past one year and whether things are coming back to normal, she responded, “For all of us, who have been designers and my contemporaries, we are always in competition, running to the next season. We’re always pressured against what we call a deadline, and the deadline has the word ‘dead’ in it! It really is that you have to die before you finish the clothing. You are really as good as your last collection or your last show. But the year was hard. Everything was shot and costs were high. The demand totally shrunk. My very old client, who always has to buy something new that I have to offer, who is also like my muse, said, ‘Rina, what have I been doing with my life? Where am I going to go wearing these coats? I don’t know what I’m going to do, I have no need. I have decided not to be an active consumer anymore’. This was what the industry faced, especially a luxury industry like ours. In terms of exports as well, there were a lot of uncertainties and fears with stores closing down, customer and buying patterns and needs changing. ‘How do you reinvent yourself’, was something we all learnt. We’re on that journey now. I must say we’re like roaches, we will survive, because our trade has taught us such. So, you can’t write us off as yet. We will just go through this.”

On a concluding note, she shared a piece of advice for young designers, saying, “Have a strong health. Don’t ever ignore your health because you need it. A lot of these children go out and eat food on the roadside and all. There were a lot of interns who would get jaundice because of the water in the early days, although not now because they are more aware maybe. Secondly, fashion isn’t a fashion show or a catwalk, behind-the-scenes or what we see on Instagram or social media or television. In reality, it is quite dreary and dreadful. It is a pursuit. You go into these dirty lanes following your garment or where it’s made to get things done. One has to be prepared for the monotony of such a daily life, one that you need to pursue to stay in the grind of completing your work.”

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CHALLENGES TO FULL-SCALE ADOPTION OF BLOCKCHAIN IN INDIA

India is still facing several roadblocks on the way to adopting blockchain technology more wholeheartedly. In order to embrace the technology and keep up with the world, the government needs to identify and address concerns like data privacy, define regulations and laws, and build the architecture and skill sets required.

Paridhi Maheshwari

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With more than 30,000 blockchain innovators and practitioners across India, blockchain technology has emerged as a transformative source of innovation and disruption. The technology has been widely recognised across the world and more so for its applications related to governance in the public domain. The core features of blockchain such as providing transparency and a platform for auditability in governance are the reasons for the technology gaining wider acceptance both within the public and the private sector.

As per a recent report on “National Strategy on Blockchain, 2021” by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India, potential blockchain applications of high interest to the nation include farm insurance, transfer of land record, identity management, pharmaceutical supply chain, duty payments, power distribution, e-notary service, e-voting, agriculture and other supply chains, digital certificate management, IoT device management and security, public service delivery, digital evidence management system, electronic health record management, and microfinance for self-help groups.

Some of the global efforts by countries to embrace and promote blockchain technology include the Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) initiative of China that provides developer tools with a focus on standardization across public networks, the European Blockchain Partnership for developing a secure and resilient European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI), the Smart Dubai initiative by the UAE for becoming the “first city fully powered by Blockchain by 2021”, the UK’s food standard agency deploying blockchain for tracking the distribution of meat, the USA’s food and drug inspection authority deploying the technology in health data processing for a transparent supply chain, Brazil using the Ethereum network for eVoting, and Switzerland using the same for digital IDs.

Although blockchain has grown immensely and large corporations and the government in India are deploying the technology for several use-cases, there are numerous challenges. The major technological challenges are related to scalability and interoperability issues. Security and privacy of sensitive data are a major concern that hinders its growth, which is exacerbated by a lack of awareness, education, and skill set among its users.

One of the features of blockchain technology is that the data stored on the chain is recorded on every node on the network, making it difficult to maintain the privacy of data required as per the data protection laws such as Section 43A of the IT Act. Extensive research and development are being carried out in providing solutions to align with data protection laws and to protect the privacy of the users. Different forms of blockchain such as permissioned and private blockchain also exist to control the level of privacy in different elements of the data recorded. The “Right To Be Forgotten’, a prominent feature of the Draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, cannot be satisfied due to the inherent core functionalities of blockchain which include a permanent record of data and accessibility of transaction history.

Privacy concerns around data ownership and sharing are ever-growing. Blockchain can be designed to be either public, private, consortium or hybrid. But, it is crucial to direct and design what part of the data remains on-chain and off-chain to avoid sensitive data of stakeholders involved in a transaction being exposed. For achieving higher interoperability across similar applications, it is imperative to create data standardization and process standardization across similar applications.

One of the major applications of blockchain is in the supply chain industry but there is a lot of resistance by domain experts to deploy the technology due to trust issues, lack of infrastructure, or simply a lack of understanding of the technology itself. Many blockchain platforms exist today but a lack of understanding of their core functionalities and how they can function together remains a major hurdle for higher blockchain adaptability. It is crucial to educate and spread awareness of different functionalities of blockchain such as security, flexibility, scalability, etc. of open source blockchain platforms. Blockchain can be deployed in several industries and provide solutions to many use-cases. However, continuous production deployment can be only achieved if users are made aware of how the technology provides solutions to a specific domain.

As more and more people are connected to the blockchain network, the processing speed can significantly decrease since copies of the blockchain are maintained on each node every time a new transaction is added to the block. Its decentralised architecture can be slower than traditional systems, thus, there is a need to work upon a system upgrade that will allow faster synchronisation of transactions if more people are to be connected to the blockchain.

The data storage mechanism of blockchain is “append-only” which means it cannot be modified, replicating on the nodes and this demands higher storage capacity. As more blocks are added to the chain, the issue of scalability becomes more relevant. Scalability is a major roadblock in the full adoption of technology due to factors such as the configuration of the blockchain platform, consensus mechanism, block size, network bandwidth, processing power requirements, privacy requirements, architecture, and data storage. These factors can be addressed by improving the design architecture of its network and platform.

Since blockchain is distributed in nature, allocating resources to the network and node infrastructure varies and depends on the cost of maintaining the network, its security, and other essential requirements. Optimum allocation of resources is needed as lower resource allocation in such cases could highly affect the performance of the entire system.

Cryptocurrency mining uses consensus mechanisms such as proof of concept which requires the expertise of data scientists, making its adoption rather difficult. A combination of domain and technology expertise is a rare skill set to find and a lot of blockchain projects remain unsuccessful and incomplete due to resource constraints. If the skill set is not acquired timely, India could fall behind in the complete adoption of blockchain and remain unsuccessful as compared to the rest of the world.

Banking regulations require non-repudiation via in-person verification which is difficult due to challenges in implementing technological solutions to blockchain-based cryptocurrencies. Due to the lack of details regarding digital signatures, which is a core part of the blockchain, in Schedule I of the Information Technology Act, 2000, for transactions related to wills and negotiable instruments, immovable properties, etc., the application of the technology becomes difficult.

Since every entity in the network including the user and the node owns a private key, public key, and certificates, it is imperative to use Certificate Authority (CA) to maintain the privacy of data. Depending upon the nature of the targeted application, the choice of CA can be determined, and licensed CA could be used for transactions requiring signing using certificates.

Decentralized finance (DeFi) is poised to expand in India, providing opportunities for the unbanked and underbanked population of the country. DeFi provides financial services through a decentralised network and provides use cases such as cross-border remittances. As per a study by the World Bank, the average transaction fee is 7.45 percent, even for cross-border remittances in India, with traditional banks charging even higher fees. By embracing DeFi, such charges can be as low as 0.5 percent or even lower, benefitting millions of Indians transferring money to India.

But the state of regulations and compliance for blockchain and especially cryptocurrencies is still ambiguous in India. Currently, there are speculations that the Government of India is to introduce a bill in the Parliament to ban cryptocurrency transactions in India. The concerns are fuelled by the existence of money laundering activities that can be exacerbated through the usage of cryptocurrencies. However, it should be noted that due to its decentralised nature, the solution does not reside in banning the industry but in imposing tighter regulations and through increased taxation.

The Government of India is also talking about introducing its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) and there are many advantages to it. CBDC makes tax evasion more difficult and allows higher monitoring of illicit activities. It allows disruption of banks and clearing houses, also limiting the guarantee that is required to be provided by commercial banks. It becomes easier to monitor monetary policy, allowing for a direct control of the money supply and for using tools such as helicopter money, and also makes privately controlled money systems more transparent and secure. By providing low-cost bank accounts, CBDC provides higher financial inclusion to every citizen of the country. However, it should be noted that CBDC should exist in harmony with other cryptocurrencies to reap the full benefits of the technology.

In a nutshell, the adoption of the technology in India would accelerate when the regulations are well-defined by the Government of India, more awareness and training is provided for the required skill set in the industry, more universities and corporations offer courses and practical training to improve existing blockchain architecture and systems for battling scalability, privacy and security concerns around the technology.

Dr Badri Narayanan is the founding director of Infinite Sum Modelling, Seattle and a senior economist with University of Washington, Seattle. Pankhuri is an economist and serves as a Blockchain Expert at the United Nations and International Standard Organization (ISO). The views expressed are personal.

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India’s first forest healing centre inaugurated in Uttarakhand’s Ranikhet

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DEHRADUN: First Forest Healing centre of the country was inaugurated on Sunday at Ranikhet in Kalika Uttarakhand.

The forest healing centre has been developed by the Research Wing of Uttarakhand Forest Department after research on healing properties of the forests and its revitalising impact on overall health and well being. It is spread over an area of around 13 acres. Chief Conservator of Forest (Research), Sanjiv Chaturvedi, said, ‘’It draws inspiration from Japanese technique of forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) and ancient Indian traditions and that basic theme is, be silent, go slow, think less and feel more.”

He further said that it involves many activities like forest walking, tree-hugging, forest meditation and sky gazing. He said, it has been found that because of typical molecular vibration patterns of trees, tree-hugging has a beneficial impact on the increase in the level of feel-good hormones like oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine, creating the pleasant effect and in countries like Iceland forest department has been making efforts to facilitate this activity for benefit of health purpose of local citizens.

This healing centre has been established in a pine-dominated forest as it has been found in various studies that coniferous like Pine trees emit certain oil compounds to safeguard themselves from various microbes and pathogens, which are called phytoncides. It has been found in various researches that these compounds help to multiply natural killer (NK) cells in our blood, which help in fighting infections and cancerous growth and enhance overall immunity.

Another important activity in this healing centre in forest meditation which is distinct from the traditional meditation system of controlling thoughts or concentrating the awareness on some particular point. This practice is based more on immersing oneself in silence and the ambience of the forest without making any extra effort.

Another activity is sky gazing which involves having a gaze at the swaying canopy above and the ever-changing sky. This uncommon view offers a new perspective as well as deep relaxation.

The healing centre maintains a register in which visitors share their experience. Various self-explanatory boards explaining these four activities in a simple language has been placed at the very entrance and also the instructions for leaving behind the phone, camera or any other destruction and also resist talking if people move in groups. For forest meditation and sky-gazing exercise, tree platforms have also been created.

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HARYANA VILLAGERS NOT WILLING TO HAVE LIQUOR SHOP ASKED TO SUBMIT PROPOSAL

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CHANDIGARH: Haryana Deputy Chief Minister, Sh. Dushyant Chautala while interacting with mediapersons here on Sunday said that any Gram Sabha of the state that does not want liquor vends to open in its village, can pass the proposal and send it to Haryana government through its Deputy Commissioner by March 15, 2021.

He said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the financial year started from May 19, 2020 instead of April 1, due to which this time it will start from May 20, 2021. At present, all the gram panchayats of the state have been dissolved, so those who don’t want liquor vends to open in their villages can pass their proposal in the gram sabha by March 15 and send it to the government through the Deputy Commissioner.

While sharing the details of the last two years, Dushyant Chautala, who also holds the portfolio of Excise and Taxation Department, said that 3048 proposals were sent to the government by the Panchayats for the closure of liquor vends in 2019-20, out of which only 57 proposals were accepted and 48 proposals were rejected, while the remainder were left out due to some objections. He said that during the year 2020-21, 898 proposals were received through Deputy Commissioners, out of which 430 villages were such where there was a complete ban on opening of liquor vends. Of those proposals, besides there were 468 cases in which multiple FIRs had been filed relating to sale of illicit liquor, due to which there was a ban on the sale of liquor there.

Sh. Dushyant Chautala said that during the last year, in the third-quarter, revenue of Rs. 1421 crore was collected, whereas in the third-quarter of this year, Rs. 1734 crore was collected as revenue. He said that it is noteworthy that 97 percent of the revenue collected in the last financial year was completed by the third quarter of this financial year. He said that by the end of the financial year, revenue collection is expected to be more than the target revenue. In the third quarter, additional excise duty to the tune of Rs 330 crore has been collected while Rs 140 crore has been collected as COVID-cess, he added. He said that a total of Rs 977.94 crore has been received as additional revenue in the last three quarters, which is an increase of about 19.85 percent over the previous year.

The Deputy Chief Minister said that while on one hand the State Government is making every effort to enhance the excise revenue in the state, on the other, there should be a complete ban on the sale of illicit liquor. While sharing the statistics of sale and penalty of illicit liquor during the last five years, he said that in the year 2016-17, a total of 619 cases of illicit liquor were seized on which a fine of Rs 12.83 crore was imposed. Similarly, in the year 2017-18, a total of 549 cases were seized, and a fine of 25.45 crore was imposed. A total of 567 cases were seized in the year 2018-19 and a fine of 18.44 crore while a total of 590 cases were seized in the year 2019-20 on which a fine of 3.69 crores was imposed. He said that the State Government has taken strict action during the current excise year 2020-21 and so far, 668 cases of illicit liquor have been siezed and a fine of Rs 90.13 crore has been recovered. He said that while the total revenue of Rs. 6361 crore was collected last year, this year revenue of Rs. 6214 crore has been collected until March 4, 2021, while this excise year will be till May 19, 2021. So, this year’s revenue is likely to be higher than the previous year, he added.

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PUNJAB CM ORDERS IMMEDIATE ACTION ON NEW SEVEN-POINT AGENDA 2022

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With a “record-breaking” 84.6% of the manifesto commitments already accomplished, and the promise of fulfilling the remaining in the next one year, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday directed all ministries and departments to move aggressively and proactively to push for the realisation of the 7-point ‘Agenda 2022’ he had unveiled in the Vidhan Sabha on Friday.

The agenda, aimed at ensuring total protection of people and their properties in an environment of peaceful co-existence conducive to saving the lives and livelihood of all Punjabis against all odds, is centered around citizen welfare through a holistic focus on overarching development of the state. The overarching goal of the agenda is to ensure the development of a ‘Kaamyab & Khushal Punjab’.

The futuristic agenda, which has set the stage for his government beyond the current term of his government, is designed to meet the aspirations of the people of Punjab, Captain Amarinder had announced in the Vidhan Sabha on Friday while sharing with the House his goals ahead. Cognisant of the fact that this would need more time, he had said, during his speech in response to the discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the Governor’s address in the Vidhan Sabha, that “I am sure that the people of Punjab are conscious of this.” He had also expressed the confidence that the people of the state will not be carried away by the “false promises and euphoric claims of some leaders who are completely detached from Punjab and Punjabiyat,” but would continue to repose confidence in his transparent and responsive government.

The 7-point agenda that encompasses the Chief Minister’s promises are to fully protect the Zarr and Zameen of the State at any cost. Ensure peaceful co-existence (Shantmayee Samaj) for all in the State. Save lives and livelihood (Jaan and Jahan) of all Punjabis against all odds or situations. Reach out to every needy person (Zarrorat Mand) to alleviate his economic miseries, and provide them their due benefits under the socio-economic programmes of the government. Empower youths (Sashakt Naujawan) of the State by enabling them to stand on their own feet. Ensure adequate food, and shelter at affordable prices (Sasti Roti and Pakki Chhat) for all deserving populations of the State; and develop every village, and town of the State in a manner that everybody gets an equal opportunity to live a quality life.

Pointing out that of the 546 commitments/promises made to the people of Punjab in the manifest during the 2017 elections, his government had fulfilled 455, the Chief Minister also assured the House that the remaining promises of his Government will also be fulfilled in the time left at its disposal.

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