Punjab govt to set up university Chair after poet-saint Bhagat Kabir: CM

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Chandigarh, Jun 24 (PTI) The Punjab government on Thursday announced setting up a Bhagat Kabir Chair in Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar and granting Rs 10 crore for the development of Bhagat Kabir Bhawan in Jalandhar.

On the occasion of Bhagat Kabir Jayanti, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also announced that his government will soon disburse Rs 560 crore to landless farm labourers under the government's debt waiver scheme.

The chief minister virtually joined the people of Punjab in paying respects to the 15th century mystic poet and saint Bhagat Kabir, according to a government statement.

The Chair to commemorate Sant Kabir will undertake research on the life and philosophy of the great mystic poet, he stated.

The Bhagat Kabir Bhawan will be built over an area of 0.77 acre, of which 13,000 Sq.ft. covered area would house a community hall with seating capacity of 500.

Of the Rs 10 crore, Rs 3 crore would be spent on the construction and Rs 7 crore towards the land cost, he added.

Participating in the state-level celebrations in Jalandhar from here through video conferencing, the chief minister exhorted people to follow Bhagat Kabir's teachings in right earnest so as to carve out an egalitarian society rising above the parochial considerations of caste, colour, creed and religion.

Singh listed the various welfare schemes for the underprivileged being carried out by his government in line with Bhagat Kabir's philosophy.

These included smart ration card scheme, Ashirwad scheme, Shagun scheme and old age and widow pension, he said.

The government has increased benefits under these schemes and the pension amount will go up from Rs 750 to Rs 1,500 per month from July 1, 2021.

Referring to the post matric Scheduled Caste scholarship scheme, Singh said that the state government had released 100 per cent scholarship funds during the academic session of 2020-21, and had also amicably resolved the issue of pending payments with private colleges.

In line with his government's commitment to help students, especially those belonging to the SC category, to pursue online education amid the COVID-19 pandemic, smart phones had been given to 1.75 lakh boys and girls, with 2 lakh more in the pipeline for distribution this year, said the chief minister.

On the debt relief scheme, he disclosed that all loans up to Rs 50,000 of the SC and BC corporation had been waived. Besides, SC households were being given 200 units electricity free of cost. PTI CHS VSD SMN SMN

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