SAS NAGAR (MOHALI) – Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today asked the Ministry of Defence, GoI to immediately change its criterion of population based recruitment quota so that the valiant people of Punjab who had a rich legacy in the Indian Military since its inception, should not be denied an opportunity to serve in the Armed forces.
Addressing a state level rally of ex-serviceman here after laying a foundation stone of Sainik Sadan and its Bhumi Pujan, Mr. Badal said that he had already taken this issue with the Government of India several times at different forums even with the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh also. Mr. Badal said he had also taken up this issue with the Union Defence Minister Mr. A.K. Antony recently in a meeting at New Delhi and demanded these parameters for the population based recruitment must be done away with and the selection in defence forces should be only allowed on the basis of abilities and capabilities of the aspirants, a like in the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) and other state civil services.
He said that our defence personnel have inherited the indomitable spirit for self sacrifice from our great Gurus. He said the SAD-BJP government was committed for the overall welfare of the ex-servicemen and we were indebted to them for their outstanding contribution to defend the national security.
On the occasion, Mr. Badal announced to raise an eco-batalian in the state to preserve and protect the environment from the pollution. He said that the state government had taken several landmark initiatives to revive the trend for recruitment of our youth in the national defence forces, which had been considerably declined in the past. He mentioned two NCC battalions for boys and girls were being established at Ropar and Malout. The Chief Minister further said that to motivate the state’s youth to join the Defence service by setting Maharaja Ranjit Singh Preparatory Institute for Military Training at Mohali, which had been made functional and the first batch was being imparted training. Likewise, a network of C-PYTEs across the state had been imparting training to our youth to enable them to be gainfully employed in defence forces and nearly 30 % of the trainees from these centres had been recruited in the Army. He said plans were afoot to upgrade the C-PYTEs into Institutes so that they could impart training to our unemployed youth in far more efficient and result oriented manner. He also appreciated the role of Punjab Ex-Servicemen Corporation (PESCO) in the rehabilitation of Ex-Servicemen. Mr. Badal also stated that our government had launched a unique scheme to encourage our youth to join defence services first of its kind in the country by honoring the cadets hailing from Punjab, who have been selected in the Indian Military Academy and National Defence Academy with a cash award of Rs. One lac.
Earlier, the Defence Services Welfare Minister Capt. Balbir singh Bath in his welcome address, said that the state government was making all out efforts for the welfare of the Ex-Servicemen so that they could lead their life with self-respect and dignity. He said the upcoming War Museum in the memory of our brave soldiers who made supreme sacrifices in defending the security of our country would be soon dedicated to the nation.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone of `Sainik Sadan` to be built over an area 1.77 acres at a cost of Rs. 4 Cr. here in Phase-X, which would be completed in 18 months. He also awarded cash prizes to seven ex-servicemen out of them one posthumously amounting Rs. 42.5 lac besides also gave away three appointments letters for Government jobs to the next of kin killed in the army operations.
Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included Principal Secretary Defence Services Mr. C. Roul, Brig. Raj Kumar from Western Command, Chairman PESCO Mr. U.S. Sidhu, MLA Dera Bassi Mr. Jasjit Singh Bunny, Director Sainik Welfare Lt. Col. Harvinder Pal Singh.