Amarinder announces Chair in name of Guru Nanak for 11 universities

Sanjay Ganjoo

Kapurthala, Nov 10 (PTI) To mark the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism's founder Guru Nanak Dev, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday announced his government's decision to install a Chair in the name of the Guru in 11 universities, including one from Iran.

Singh made the announcement at an event at Punjab Technical University here, in presence of representatives of all the 11 universities, of which seven are in Punjab and three spread across other parts of India.

The Chair will be entrusted with conducting research on the life and teachings of Guru Nanak, according to an official statement.

The 550th birth anniversary of the Guru falls on Tuesday.

Punjab's Tourism Minister Charanjit Singh Channi said the Chairs would be established in Punjabi University, Patiala, IK Gujral PTU Jalandhar-Kapurthala, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Technical University, Bathinda, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, Chandigarh University, Gharuan, Chitkara University Rajpura, Akal University, Talwandi Sabo, besides ITM University Gwalior, RDKF University, Bhopal, JIS University, West Bengal, and University of Religion, Iran.

The event was held to honour and award 400 prominent Punjabis from around the world for their contributions in various fields. The chief minister expressed happiness at seeing Punjabis making the state and the country proud with their achievements.

Singh exhorted the Punjabis to remember their roots and join his government in creating opportunities for the youth, who lacked opportunities in the state at present.

'Let us all join hands to give them those opportunities,' he added.

Pointing out that it was the responsibility of the present generation to ensure the development of the next, Singh urged the visiting Punjabis to make the youth aware of their duty.

'A real Sikh would always listen to the 'baani' of the Guru,' he said.

He also pointed to the depleting ground water table to warn that, as per assessments, Punjab was likely to turn into a desert in the next 25 years.

'We have to prevent this from happening,' he stressed, adding that the real tribute to Guru Nanak Dev would be to preserve our natural resources for future generations.

Singh also talked about environment pollution, resulting from stubble burning, and urged all to collectively spread the message of the first Sikh Guru of 'Pavan Guru, Pani Pita, Maata Dharati'. Burning paddy straw was affecting the health of all people, including the farmers, he added.

Noting the historic importance of the occasion, he said his government had, in the past few weeks, organised 72 programmes to propagate the philosophy of Guru Nanak Dev.

The chief minister visited Kartarpur in Pakistan and paid obeisance at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib on Saturday, and said he would definitely try to visit the historic gurdwara again. PTI SUN ABHABH