CHANDIGARH, OCTOBER 11:Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday directed the Tourism & Cultural Affairs department to finalize the modalities for installation of the bust of legendary French General Jean Francois Allard, who headed the cavalry ‘Fauj-e-Khas’ of Sher-e-Punjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh, in Amritsar.

The directive came during a meeting with a French delegation comprising Henri Prevost Allard, the deputy mayor of Saint Tropez in charge of Tourism & lineal descendant of General Allard, as well as Council president of Sikhs de France Ranjit Singh. Notably, Henri Allard is the fourth generation of General Allard’s lineage.

The initiative, said the Chief Minister, would help inculcate in the younger generation the knowledge of late General’s courage. A befitting tribute to the great military strategist, the bust would serve as a link in further strengthening the close ties between Saint Tropez and Punjab, and between France and India.

The visiting delegation extended an invitation to the Chief Minister to be the Guest of honour at the annual gathering to be held at Saint Tropez in June next year, to propagate the rich legacy of India-French military history. Captain Amarinder thanked the delegation for the same but expressed his inability to attend due to his busy schedule in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

Responding to the request of the delegation, Captain Amarinder however agreed to attend the function to be held in Delhi during December this year for formal announcement of the annual gathering.

The Chief Minister presented to the delegation members his book ‘The Last Sunset’, which chronicles the rise and fall of the Sikh Empire besides the events leading upto Anglo Sikh Wars and the exile of Maharaj Duleep Singh. He also asked them to bring awareness amongst France’s younger generation on how the Punjabis held General Allard in high esteem due to his valiant deeds and enormous contribution in raising Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s army, which ultimately resulted in the creation of the vast Sikh empire.

It may be recalled that the bust of Maharaja Ranjit Singh was installed at Saint Tropez, the birth place of General Allard, in 2016 to promote a sense of goodwill, bonhomie and friendship between the two sides.

On the occasion, the Chief Minister was accompanied by his Media Advisor Raveen Thukral and Principal Secretary Tejveer Singh.


Tript Bajwa inaugurates software 'Secure' to make MGNREGA estimates online

Chandigarh, October 11: The Rural Development and Panchayat Department of Punjab Government has developed online software to bring more transparency & efficiency in making estimates of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Guarantee (MGNREGA) scheme. The Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Mr. Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa inaugurated this online software 'Secure' in the presence of senior officers of the department here today.

Sharing information about this, the Rural Development Minister said that the estimates of work done under MAGNREGA were earlier made through paperwork, but now all estimates of MGNREGA would be made online, which would save time and paper also.

He said that initially this project is being launched as a pilot project in Hoshiarpur district, after that it would be implemented in the entire state.

The Panchayat Minister said that efforts were being made to make the entire system of the department online and paperless. He said that this would not only bring transparency in the working of the department but online system would also help in time bound approvals and undue objections on files. He said that with the implementation of the online system it would also be easier in fixing the accountability of officers / employees.

Amongst others present on the occasion included Mr. Anurag Verma Principal Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayat Department, Mr. Jaskaran Singh, Director and Tanu Kashyap Joint Development Commissioner, Jogender Kumar Deputy Director and other officials of the department.



CHANDIGARH, OCTOBER 11:The Government agencies and private millers have procured 400494.5 metric tonnes of Paddy in Punjab till October 10.

Disclosing this here today, an official spokesman of the Government of Punjab informed that out of the total procurement of 400494.5 MT of paddy from various procurement centres in the State, the Government agencies procured 376768.5.5 MT of paddy while 23726 MT has been procured by the millers.

Giving the details, the spokesman said that PUNGRAIN had procured 109239 tonnes, MARKFED procured 100302.5 tonnes and PUNSUP procured 77919 tonnes while Punjab State Warehousing Corporation and Punjab Agro Foodgrains Corporation procured 38797 and 46684 MT paddy respectively. The Centre government agency FCI has procured 3827 MT paddy.


END of ‘ENDS’ in Punjab

Food and Drugs Administration re-issues a circular prohibiting sale of E-Cigarettes and Heat not Burn devices

Chandigarh, October 11:As a part of Tandarust Punjab Mission, Commissioner Food and Drugs Administration, Punjab Mr. Kahan Singh Pannu has re-issued a circular prohibiting sale of E-Cigarettes and even Heat –not- Burn (HNB) devices.

Giving details, Commissioner Drugs Administration informed that Punjab was the first State in India to declare ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery System /E-Cigarettes) as unapproved under Drugs and Cosmetics Act way back in 2013, when very few people knew about these harmful products.The online sale was also prohibited by Cyber Crime wing Punjab in 2016. Now, an Advisory has been issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India on Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) including e-Cigarettes, Heat Not Burn(HNB) devices, Vape e-sheesha, e-Nicotine, Flavoured Hookah and the like products.

Acting on the Advisory issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Commissionerate of Food and Drugs Administration has issued a circular calling for stopping the sale or import of electronic cigarettes and heat-not-burn tobacco devices. Such devices are a "great health risk" and it is quite possible that children and non-smokers using such products could switch to cigarettes once they get addicted to nicotine.

It is pertinent to mention that seizures have been made from time to time in various districts with most recent being in Amritsar wherein 4 e-cigarettes were seized in July 2018. Other seizures have been made in Jalandhar, Ludhiana ,Patiala, Sangrur, Mohali, Hoshiarpur and Mansa. Although, Punjab is the only state where violators have been awarded conviction in two different cases under Drugs and Cosmetics Act for sale of E-Cigarettes yet the use of e-cigarettes which is also called vaping has risen in teenagers.

He explained that there is ample scientific evidence available about the harms of nicotine and that is the reason it is unapproved under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of India, except as nicotine gums and patches which are approved for cessation. Nicotine is also banned under the Poisons Act and Pesticides Act, so we need not promote an unapproved/illegal product with a known lethal dose of 0.5 mg/ kg body weight for cessation, informed CFDA.