Kapurthala (Punjab), Nov 10 (IANS) To mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday announced his government's decision to install a Chair in the name of the first Sikh Guru in 11 universities, including one in Iran.
The Chief Minister made the announcement at a function held at the Punjab Technical University here in the presence of representatives from all the 11 universities, of which seven are in Punjab.
The Chairs proposed by the state government 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), ITM University (Gwalior), RDKF University (Bhopal), JIS University (West Bengal) and University of Religion (Iran).
The Chairs will be entrusted with the task of conducting research on the life and teachings of Guru Nanak, Amarinder Singh said.
The event was held to honour and award '400 Nanak Naam Leva' prominent Punjabis from around the world for their remarkable contribution in various fields.
The Chief Minister expressed happiness at seeing Punjabis making the state and the country proud with their achievements.
Amarinder Singh urged the Punjabis to remember their roots at all times and join his government in helping revive the state and create opportunities for the progress of its youth, who had the power and the inclination to work but lacked opportunities.
"Let us all join hands to give them those opportunities," he said.
Pointing out that it was the responsibility of the present generation to ensure the development of the next, the Chief Minister urged the visiting Punjabis to do their bit by making the youth aware of their duties.
A real Sikh would always listen to the 'baani' of the Guru, he said, calling upon the visitors to spread the 'baani' among their children, whichever part of the world they live in.
Seeking their help in rebuilding Punjab, the Chief Minister asked the prominent Punjabi personalities from around the world to become a part of the campaign to work together to restore the state, which had suffered double partition, to its pristine glory.
He 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 that from happening," he said, adding that the real tribute to Guru Nanak Dev would be to preserve the natural resources for future generations and to make Punjab a clean, green and pollution-free state.
Amarinder Singh also took note of the problem of environmental pollution resulting from stubble burning, and urged all to collectively spread the message of the first Sikh Guru of "Pavan Guru, Pani Pita, Maata Dharat".
The practice of burning paddy straw was affecting the health of all people, including the farmers of Punjab, he added.