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20 Jun 2017

Punjab: Free education for girls from nursery to PhD

Punjab's slew of social welfare initiatives

The Punjab government announced a slew of social welfare measures for various groups. A major step was towards women empowerment: girls will now get free education in government institutions from nursery to PhD.

Reservation for women in panchayat institutions as well as urban local bodies has been increased from 33% to 50%.

In context

Punjab's slew of social welfare initiatives


Free textbooks, new colleges and more

CM Amarinder Singh had several announcements for educational institutions. Students will be entitled to free textbooks.

Government schools will have nursery and LKG classes. The state will get five new colleges.

Moreover, there will be Wi-Fi in 13,000 primary schools and all 48 colleges under the government.

From next month, there will be a special pilot project to promote English in government schools.

Economic help for Dalits and other weaker sections

Till now, Punjab has launched different programs for minorities, including loan waivers of up to Rs. 50,000 for Dalits and economically weak sections. In 2017-18, new initiatives will be unveiled for free houses for the homeless and low-cost housing for the economically weak.

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A new Lokpal Bill that also applies to the CM

Singh announced a new Lokpal Bill, which would apply to not only ministers and bureaucrats, but also the CM.

He brought up the charges against his cabinet colleague Rana Gurjit Singh, saying an investigation was on.

Singh also spoke about harmony, saying those trying to disrupt peace by lodging false cases would be strictly dealt with.

Punjab's specific problems: The war on drugs and SYL controversy

Singh made his government's stand on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link clear: he said they wouldn't allow the canal to be constructed and refused to share water with others. He also lauded his government's achievements in the war against drugs; he warned smugglers of stringent action.

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