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On the ISC Front
– Annual General Meeting –

Lt Gen Kartar Singh*

The AGM of the ISC was held at the Conference Hall of the Shivalik Public School, SAS Nagar on Saturday 26th Apr, 2008 from 10 AM to 5 PM. Members from Chandigarh, Panchkula, SAS Nagar attended in strength. Our Ludhiana and Jalandhar Chapter were represented by their delegations. The Delhi and Amritsar Chapters sent goodwill messages.

The agenda included a welcome address by the Convenor Dr Kharak Singh, Review of Events 2007-08 by Lt Gen Kartar Singh and presentations by Heads of Advisory Councils, namely, Dr Sardara Singh Johl, Giani Harinder Singh, Dr Charan Kamal Singh and S Malkiet Singh Rahi. ISC Chapters at Ludhiana and Jalandhar held their presentations accompanied by a film on the efforts being made by the Vanjara Trust for their uplift of downtrodden Vanjaras. The CEO and his staff presented the budget for the year 2007-08 followed by Guru Ka Langar. The afternoon session was opened to members with their comments and suggestions followed by the ISC Advisory Councils charting out their programmes for 2008-09. Their session was concluded with a summing up and a vote of thanks by Lt Gen Kartar Singh.
Unfortunately, Dr Kharak Singh, our respected convenor was indisposed and could not attend the Seminar. However, he sent an inspiring message which was read out to the audience by Gen Kartar Singh. It is also being published separately in this issue.

The presentations by Heads of Advisory Councils covered their activities in the past one year and visualized the activities for the coming year. These were debated by the audience during the time allotted as Members' Forum. Useful suggestions that emerged may be summed up as below:

Coaching Schemes
All members felt that we should raise more funds for these schemes and open more coaching centres. They highly appreciated the success of the two schemes at Mukandpur and Khant Manpur. Dr S S Johl felt that very few of our boys are successful in competing for the IAS and IIT examinations. He suggested that we start coaching in this direction too.

TV Channel
Dr Charan Kamal Singh spelt out in great detail the Project Report he has formulated to enable the ISC to launch its own TV Channel. The financial outplay too has been clearly spelt. He felt that with an initial outlay of approximately three and half crore, we could launch this project, which, he felt, would thereafter be self-financing. He recommended the names of some Sikh experts whom he had contacted and could be included as members of our project. The audience felt that this was well within our reach as funds could be raised from our members once the CEO has obtained permission from the Home Ministry to raise funds from foreign countries. In fact. S Bhupinder Singh, an NRI member from the UK who was attending the AGM volunteered to start the project once we were ready.

Follow-up of Sansar Sikh Convention of 15 Dec, 2007
The Advisory Council on Religious Affairs would need to follow up the Resolution passed during the above convention for tackling the menace of drugs/liquor vends, female foeticide, casteism in our gurudwaras and preservation of Sikh identity, especially amongst the youth. A call was given by Gen Kartar Singh for volunteers from amongst members of the ISC to take up field work in their respective districts. These field workers could work with the babajis and sants who attended our meeting. Gen Kartar Singh felt that Babaji Sewa Singh was doing an excellent job at Khadoor Sahib in this direction and we could study his model so as to render assistance to others.

The following policy matters were presented to the House by the CEO for formal approval:
(a) The present Executive Committee, which is drawn from various sections of society has done a commendable job so far. It is therefore recommended that the House extend the tenure of the present EC by one more year with the inclusion of Col Jagtar Singh Multani as an additional member. He has already performed devotedly as Assistant CEO and would be officiating as acting CEO during out-of-station visits of the CEO.

Resolution - 1
The august house at this AGM held at Shivalik Public School on Saturday 26 April 2008 hereby approves unanimously the continuance of the present Executive Committee of the ISC for one more year. It also approves the inclusion of Col J S Multani as a member of the Executive Committee.

Proposed by: - Dr Sardara Singh Johl, M No 103
Seconded by: - Er. Tarlok Singh Nag, M No 355

Approved Unanimously
(b) Lt Gen Kartar Singh proposed that with a membership reaching 380 members, it would be appropriate to compose a Governing Council of 100 members. This may be done by consensus in the Executive Committee. Members were also requested to send in names of members who are able to devote time for ISC activities on a regular basis.

Resolution – 2
The august house attending the AGM held on Saturday 26 April, 2008 at Shivalik Public School hereby approves the CEO’s suggestion to form the Governing Council of the ISC with 100 members. This should be implemented by the Executive Committee by consensus keeping in mind suggested names proposed by members within two months. A meeting of the new Governing Council may be convened at a convenient date thereafter.

Proposed by: Dr Tejpal Singh Chawla, M No 306
Seconded by: S Pritam Singh Kohli IAS (Retd.), M No 295

Approved Unanimously
(c) Accounts: The summaries of unaudited account for the 2007-08 were read out by Col J S Multani. These had already been placed on the notice board for perusal by members. Lt Gen Kartar Singh clarified the following policy matters:

(a) Income Tax laws lay down that we spend at least 85% of the donation received in the GNEF and ISC funds at the end of the financial year. Failing this we are liable to pay income tax on the balance amount.
(b) On advice of our lawyers, we have opened a Corpus Fund and are transferring all membership subscriptions to this fund. In addition, a certain percentage of the GNEF is also being transferred each year to the Corpus Fund towards a future Building Fund. This is to enable us to build a Corpus for the future projects and construction/acquisition of an independent HQ organisation.

Resolution - 3
The August House of the ISC which met on Saturday 26 April 2008 at Shivalik Public School, Mohali and unanimously approved the passing of the Accounts for the year 2007-08 as presented by Col J S Multani. They highly appreciated the work done by the ISC HQ and expressed confidence in the CEO and his HQ staff. The House also approved the transfer of members’ subscriptions and an appropriate percentage of the GNEF to the Corpus Fund to cater for future expansion of the ISC HQ.

Proposed by: Bhai Ashok Singh, M No 6
Seconded by: Dr Kashmira Singh Sekhon, M No 308

Passed Unanimously

Conclusion
On the whole the AGM was a success as all members present took an active part in various discussions on important issues. We now have a good idea about members’ views for initiating various projects, mentioned above, in the coming year.

We would very much like to lay emphasis to start our own TV Channel at the earliest besides strengthening our contacts with other Sikh Organisations. We will reach out to all Sikhs the world over with programmes relating to Gurbani, Sikh culture, history and ethos, music, entertainment, sports, etc. Our youth can be attracted by interesting programmes which relate to our rich heritage and the heroic exploits of our ancestors. As a follow up to the presentation in the AGM by Dr Charan Kamal Singh, the Advisory Council IT, Press and Publication met various experts and arrived at the following concrete decisions:

(a) The ISC will apply for a license from Government of India within the next quarter. The Government of India normally takes 6 to 8 months to process applications.

(b) Meanwhile, the ISC Executive Committee along with the Advisory Council will approach selected members to sponsor our case with donationS. We need to raise Rupees Twenty five lakhs initially which is well within our capacity to achieve in this short period.

(c) Once FCRA permission is granted, the ISC will raise the required Rupees Three & half crores to launch the Channel. ISC is planning to send a delegation abroad for this purpose. However, we are confident that Sikh Society is so pro-active, that donors will be forthcoming even before our delegation goes abroad.

An Appeal
The Executive Committee of the ISC appeals to all members in India and abroad to come forth and act as sponsors for our vital need of an independent TV Channel. This step alone will place us in a position where all Sikhs can take collective decisions. We invite you all to join us in this venture. Waheguru Ji is with us and we shall project Sikhism in its true perspective for ‘Sarbat Da Bhalla’.


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