The General Secretary of Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Committee, Sarwan Singh Pandher, on Wednesday, urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government to discuss their issues or allow farmers to proceed to Delhi to hold a protest peacefully.
To prevent migration of Punjabi youth to foreign countries for higher education, industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (Assocham) has suggested Punjab to rope in well known foreign universities, particularly from the US, Canada and UK to set up their campuses in India.
“Since not all students aspiring for quality education can afford to go abroad and there are limited number of A-grade institutions within the country and the state, Punjab should take a lead and collaborate with some top foreign universities, preferably from Canada, the UK and the US,” Assocham president, Sandeep Jajodia said.
“We should allow them to set up full-fledged campuses here, which would mean that best of education can be imparted within the country at one-third or one fourth of the cost which is spent by the aspiring students,” he added.
Jajodia said though the policy parameters for opening doors for foreign universities largely fall within the purview of the Centre, states like Punjab can take a lead in working with the Union government to bring the best of the foreign universities within the country.
“The favourite destinations for students and young professionals are Canada, the USA, the UK and other European countries. While, the state surely gets remittances, those choosing to stay within the country and the state are bereft of adequate opportunities in upgrading their skills, education and gainful employment,” he said further.
The Assocham chief said there are several other areas which give distinctive advantage to Punjab and in all these areas, the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can be roped in to be part of the overall supply chain, rather than operate in isolated manner.
For instance, the organised retail need not always be big time hyper stores; the neighbourhood kirana (retail) shops can become part of a well-integrated supply chain with the help of modern IT applications.
Likewise, SME traders and manufacturers of textiles in Ludhiana need to remodel their businesses with the help of the state government and policy support of the Centre, in terms of becoming more cost competitive and quality-oriented.
Sectors like food processing and dairy products would be transformational for the farmers and entire rural landscape. Besides cooperatives, the private sector entrepreneurs should be involved in the value-additions in the entire agri-chain.