On The ISC Front
The first quarter of 2013 has been auspicious for two reasons. Firstly because our Sikh New Year begins on 14th Mar and secondly because the ISC went on the national map when it became an active invitee NGO to attend the Annual Conference of the Minority Commission of India. We have been active on various fronts but Education remains our sphere of focus.
On the Education Front
The year 2012 - 2013 witnessed a stepped-up effort by the ISC along with the Kalgidhar Trust and other allied organisations. We had managed to obtain from the Central Govt. and distribute through our government approx Rs 85 Crores to needy Sikh students studying in Schools and Colleges of Punjab, with the promise from the Centre of increased allotment if we could muster more applications. We intensified our visits to all rural Institutes and a record near 7 Lakh applications have been submitted for the year 2012-2013. The Director General, School Education and the State Department concerned, have been most co-operative. Funds have been distributed but lapses are there where students have made mistakes in their applications. Our expert, Lt. Col J S Multani, has gone out of his way to solve all cases reported to him. Altogether, it has been hard work but results are most satisfying. We held largely attended meetings in various districts oragnised by a dedicated team of selfless workers.
This is a crucial period for both our centres at MUKANDPUR and MOGA. Examination and competition dates are fast approaching. We are planning crash courses to intensify preparations. With the hard-work being put in by our dedicated staff, we expect to produce good results.
4. So far we have made full use of vacancies available with Guru Nanak VBT Polytechnic Institute, Mohali for imparting skill training in various trades. In fact, this Institute imparts very practical one year training to 10th Class pass students in various trades. Employment/Self Employment are guaranteed to successful candidates. However, students from distant rural areas cannot afford this education in Mohali. We have therefore initiated a project in this regard which will be seriously considered to be started in Mukandpur. If this model is successful, we should be opening such an Institute in MOGA which had already studied this scheme earlier and are busy creating funds to launch it.
Needy Students Support in Professional Institutions
ISC has taken it on itself to help any needy student entering a professional institution who genuinely needs our support. On our list are various students in Engineering Colleges, IIT's, CA Courses and Nursing etc. Members are at liberty to choose and support a student if they so desire. It will indeed be a genuine sewa to our society and will help an individual make good in life.
Last year we had got admitted a group of nine students into the very upcoming Gurukal Vidyapeeth Institute of Technology. Their total tuition fees and 50 % of hostel fees were waived. As a follow up gesture, we have now had to meet the Principal to waive their fees again in the 2nd year in spite of three of them having dropped somewhat and obtained compartments. Col JS Multani keeps a sharp eye on all such students and reaches them in time of need. We are certain that some members will volunteer to join us tackle such situations as our reach gets wide.
To the good luck of our students in Schools and Colleges as well as unemployed young men, there will be a flood of vacancies coming up in government services in various departments. Some declared vacancies are in:
(a) Banking Services
(b) Para Military Forces
(iv) Security Services
We are alerting various rural education centres in this regard. We have also liaised with an established coaching centre in Chandigarh which has promised to train instructors in interested institutions for short periods to provide expert training. We have visited three districts in this regard and have received a very encouraging response.
Visit of the French President
The ISC exerted increased pressure on the PM's Secretariat through the Chairman, Minority Commission, to take up the Turban Issue in France with all seriousness. The Chairman Shri Wajahat Habibullah tried his best to arrange an interview with the PM by an ISC delegation to press the issue. Although the meeting did not go through, but the pressure did produce a somewhat increased dialogue between the Indian PM with the French President during His recent visit. We hope for some progressive results in the future.
Annual Conference of the Minority Commission of India
This was held on 12th and 13th of Mar 2013 in New Delhi. It is an important arena for States to discuss problems of the Minorities in an open forum at the highest level. The Vice President of India inaugurated the meeting and the ISC was probably the only NGO invited from the North.
Our representatives were the Secretary General and our Secretary Lt. Col J S Multani. We very strongly put forth our suggestions for improved aid to Minorities especially in the sphere of Education uplift. This was well taken and the Chairman promised to visit our State to ensure efficient utilization of central schemes and releasing financial allotment in time to minority students in our state. It was indeed a very rewarding visit.
Our HQ anxiously awaits donations from our members to finalise payments due to Kendri Sri Guru Singh Sabha for allotment of prime space of nearly 3500 Sq. Ft to the ISC for our HQ. "Many drops make an ocean" and so we request ALL members and our pious readers to contribute generously to this organisation which serves mankind to the best of their ability.
ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2013, All