Punjab signs knowledge-sharing agreement with Delhi : The Tribune India

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Punjab signs knowledge-sharing agreement with Delhi

The 2 states will ‘cooperate for framing and implementing public welfare programmes in various fields on the basis of reciprocity and mutual benefit’

Tribune News Service

Ruchika M Khanna 

Chandigarh, April 26

The Punjab government on Tuesday signed a knowledge-sharing agreement with the Delhi government, wherein the two states will “cooperate for framing and implementing public welfare programmes in various fields on the basis of reciprocity and mutual benefit”. 

The agreement was signed between chief ministers Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann.

The two leaders announced that this was a historic agreement that would allow free  flow of ideas for growth of both the states.

They said that since Independence, no state learnt from another but kept re-inventing its own plans for growth and development.

“We propose to change that,” said Kejriwal, adding that his government was willing to share its “Delhi model” with any state willing to replicate it.

Mann, while referring to Kejriwal as a ‘krantikari’ CM, said, “Changi gall jithon vi sikhan nu mile, sikh laini chahidi hai (I am willing to go anywhere to learn anything that will help my state grow).”

The agreement mentions that the two states will cooperate on 18 priority areas: pubIic heaIth; pubIic education; environment and pollution control; water supply and sanitation; tourism and hospitality; housing; urban development; welfare of SCs/STs/OBCs/minorities; sociaI security; women and child development; employment and labour welfare; nutrition; pubIic works; governance reforms; power; citizen sevices; industrial development and investment promotion and fiscal stability.

The agreement says the cooperation between the two states will include any other area decided mutually between them. The agreement, according to official sources, is being signed taking into consideration the close and historic, social and cultural relations between the people of the two states; the need for systematic and balanced development of respective states for mutual benefit of people of the states; recognising the importance of mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields of public welfare; and with conviction that cooperation in respect of various public welfare programmes will be to their mutual advantage. 

Earlier in the day, as news of the signing of the agreement spread, it invited the opposition's ire. Leader of Opposition Partap Bajwa in a tweet said this was akin to inviting the British to safeguard the Maharaja as requested by the Lahore Durbar in 1846. This is an abrogation of responsibility on part of the Punjab government towards its people. Mann, however, dismissed the objections. 

Incidentally, this comes close on the heels of a visit by top officers of the state to Delhi, to hold meetings with the AAP supremo, before the rollout of the 300 units of free power to all. Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann was not present at the meetings.

The document further says that the extent of cooperation between the two states shall include, but is not limited to developing, inclusive and people-centric infrastructure and facilities; research and development activities; creation of centres of excellence in various fields; capacity building and skill development; sharing knowledge and expertise; supporting exchange programmes for human resource and skill development; domain awareness, including exchange of information and best practices, capacity building and strengthening of support centres and institutions.

After it is signed, the two states shall undertake all activities in accordance with respective laws.

“Cooperation between the two states under this agreement may be conducted in the form of exchange of information and documentation; exchange of visits by experts, scholars and delegations; visits by officers and ministers; collaborative and joint projects; other forms of cooperation as may be mutually agreed upon.

There would be joint organisation of seminars, workshops and meetings involving experts, scientists, private companies and other relevant agencies that the two states deem appropriate for developing human resource and skill. The two states shall respond promptly to each other's request for use of the knowledge acquired for economic benefit of the state making the request.

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