The Punjab Cabinet on Tuesday approved the tabling in the legislative assembly of draft legislation for setting up a sports university in the state. The cabinet also decided to name the university as Maharaja Bhupinder Singh Sports and Science University, after Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s grandfather in recognition of the latter’s contribution to the promotion of sports.
The suggestion for the university’s name was made by Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Sodhi. Though Singh was not in favour of the idea initially, he eventually agreed and a unanimous decision was taken, an official release said.
The Punjab Cabinet had on June 6 approved the Punjab Sports University Ordinance 2019, paving the way for the establishment of the university in Patiala.
Subsequently, a notification in this regard was issued on July 22. The varsity’s academic session would commence from September 1. The university seeks to promote education in the areas of sports sciences, sports technology, sports management and sports coaching, the statement said.
It will focus on education, training and research in areas related to sports based on high standard infrastructure, besides offering professional and academic leadership to other institutions in the field of physical education and sports sciences, it added.
In another decision, the cabinet approved setting up of a State Project Management Unit (SPMU) under the Government of India’s ‘Poshan Abhiyan’ (National Nutrition Mission), to improve the nutritional status of children under 6, pregnant women and lactating mothers in the state, the statement said.
It was also decided to fill up 184 project specific posts at state, district and block level for project implementation. The council of ministers also decided to revert to the earlier system of depositing revenue collected from sale of entry tickets and other sources in all zoos of the state into the Punjab Zoos Development Society (PZDS) account, according to the statement.
The decision has been prompted by the increase in footfalls at the zoos, especially Chhatbir Zoo, thus leading to growing challenges in the upkeep of the zoos, it stated. The bill would mandate PZDS deposit of revenue collected from all other sources at the zoos, such as canteens, parking places, vehicles etc., as well as revenue to be generated in future from food courts or any other source of income.
It will supersede the cabinet sub-committee decision taken on February 5, 2018, directing the society to deposit all proceeds into the state government treasury. Meanwhile, the chief minister decided to hand over the draft Punjab Farmers Policy to a cabinet sub-committee for a detailed study.
The draft, prepared by the Farmers’ Commission in consultation with various stakeholders, was taken up for discussion by the cabinet here. Singh said he had seen the draft and in view of the political implications of some of its provisions, a cabinet sub-committee should be formed to examine the policy and take further decision.
The policy focuses on issues of water management, livestock development, crop diversification, value addition, common lands, crop compensation fund, governance, merger of departments and ministries etc.