Overall Best District JalandharThere are a number of fables about how Jalandhar got its name. One has it that it was named after a mythical demon king from the Mahabharata. Another claims that it was the capital of the kingdom of Lord Rama’s son, Luv. But the most plausible reason,Overall Best District JalandharThere are a number of fables about how Jalandhar got its name. One has it that it was named after a mythical demon king from the Mahabharata. Another claims that it was the capital of the kingdom of Lord Rama’s son, Luv. But the most plausible reason is that it gets its name from its location. Situated between two of Punjab’s major riversthe Sutlej and the Beasthe district is not just the approximate centre of present-day Punjab but is also the largest city in the state’s central region, Doaba, which also describes its location between the two rivers.The district, and particularly Jalandhar, has long been a centre of learning, with a number of reputed colleges and institutions of higher learning established here. Through the years, it has also been a major centre of publishing, with most leading vernacularHindi, Punjabi and Urdunewspapers setting up offices in the city. So, it wasn’t without reason that following Partition in 1947, Jalandhar was made the administrative headquarters of Punjab, from where most of the refugee relief programmes were run.Also, since Independence, the district has become a major industrial hub and a leader in leather goods, sports goods and hand tools. In fact, it’s called the sports capital of India’, with local manufacturers making an astonishing array of sophisticated sporting equipment of international standard.Besides having the best infrastructure in Punjab (see Best District for Infrastructure), Jalandhar also scores high in education, with steady, year-on-year improvement in school examination results. This is likely to improve further with the recent approval for 20 smart schools at a cost of Rs 1,833 crore. The district administration has signed an MoU worth Rs 126 crore with the Tata Group to establish a new skill development centre.advertisementJalandhar also does well in healthcare. In fact, it has reported among the lowest infant mortality rates (IMR) and maternal mortality rates (MMR) in the country. There are 21 state-run hospitals apart from some 186 private medical institutions here.And since May 2018, air travel to Jalandhar from Delhi has become a reality, with the launch of civilian passenger flights to Adampur, where a civilian terminal is now operational at the Indian Air Force base. Traffic has picked up, with flights registering an average occupancy of 90 per cent.Most improved District Pathankot Pathankot is embracing technology to help its citizens. (Photo: Sandeep Sahdev)Formed in 2011, Pathankot has progressed well. The district hospital was adjudged No. 1 in an inter-district evaluation in 2018. New initiatives, like door-to-door collection of garbage, sanitary napkin vending machines in schools, Make in Punjab’ helping local self-help groups showcase their products via a web-based app, are all doing well. An integrated beverage plant from PepsiCo will give 4,000 jobs to local youth.Most improved District (special category) FerozepurFerozepur is among 117 districts included in the Aspirational Districts Programme anchored by the Niti Aayog. In an evaluation done under the programme, Ferozepur ranked 43rd. It scored high in education (81.3) and basic infrastructure (88.2) and hit close to the halfway mark in health and nutrition and financial inclusion.The district is the first in Punjab to host an online portal for consumer disputes redressal and has also adopted Gujarat’s eMamta project that is used to track the health and immunisation status of mothers and their infant children. The administration has also computerised all the agricultural mandis in the district as well as individual details of over 150,000 beneficiaries of social security pension schemes. As for e-governance initiatives, the Suvidha Centre at the deputy commissioner’s office complex takes in an average 700 applications every working day.EDUCATIONBest District Rupnagar Photo: Sandeep SahdevRupnagar boasts a literacy rate of 87.3 per cent, significantly higher than the state average of 75.8 per cent. Efforts over the past few years have seen learning levels in schools climb from a dismal 35.9 per cent to 78.3 per cent. Deputy commissioner Sumeet Jarangal says the district was divided into 36 education clusters, which were monitored individually. The administration also worked to upgrade infrastructure, and 26 schools are now equipped with smart classrooms’ and another 135 will be added by March.Rupnagar also has an excellent road network, with a number of national highways connecting it to Himachal Pradesh. A largely rural district with just 26 per cent of its population in towns and cities, agriculture is the mainstay of the district’s economy.Most Improved District Amritsar The state’s flagship programme, Parho Punjab, Parhao Punjab’, has been extended to Amritsar and the district has shown considerable improvement in its pass percentage for classes X and XII. It offers a host of choices to students seeking higher education in the fields of medical sciences, humanities and technical education. At 76.3 per cent, the literacy rate of the district is higher than many others.advertisementHEALTHBest District Hoshiarpur Hoshiarpur’s preventive and curative’ services via an established network of state-run medical institutions has been a boon for the people. The district health department has had some success in rolling out national and state health programmes. Its campaigns to counter vector-borne diseases, tuberculosis, blindness, leprosy and HIV have been effective.The district is prone to vector- and water-borne diseases but concerted efforts, supported by the public, have brought down incidence of these ailments by an impressive 60 per cent. The administration has been able to improve the sex ratio at birth (SRB) and raise the number of institutional deliveries to 96 per cent. A focus on the poorest of the poor has paid dividends.Most Improved District Gurdaspur Punjab’s third most populous district has 164 medical institutions in rural areas and 14 larger ones in urban areas. This is in addition to six urban and two rural specialised medical establishments. But Gurdaspur’s healthcare infrastructure isn’t without problems, including shortage of doctors and medical staff. There has been a push to conduct special camps and doorstep campaigns, like infant vaccinations and awareness campaigns for expectant mothers on the benefits of delivering babies in public hospitals.The district also has 52 ayurvedic, three Unani and six homeopathic medical establishments run by the state. Delivering quality healthcare in remote border areas has been a challenge, but efforts are on. nINFRASTRUCTUREBest District Jalandhar Jalandhar is only the second district to boast an airport, the Adampur civil airport. The six-laning of NH-1, NH-70 and NH-71 running though Jalandhar is near completion. The district has water supply schemes in almost all its villages and all arable land (about 23.6 million ha.) is irrigated. Urban renewal projects, including an integrated command and control centre, traffic decongestion and solar power in all state buildings, are on the anvil.Most Improved District FazilkaFazilka has picked up pace in infrastructure development in recent years. The missing railway line between Fazilka and Abohar towns was completed in 2012. All national and state highways passing through the district have been four-laned. Fazilka town has a brand new multi-discipline sports stadium and Punjab’s first multi-modal integrated bus terminus’. It also boasts a spanking new district courts complex and new police lines. A 100-bed cancer hospital is fast nearing completion. Social initiative Sanjha Chullah now runs 52 community kitchens for the poor.WATER AND SANITATIONBest District Barnala Like most of Punjab’s young districts, Barnala, formed in 2006, has done well. An essentially agricultural region, it has potable drinking water supply schemes in nearly all its 124 villages as well as 95 per cent of its urban centres. Irrigation, largely via tube wells, is available to its 260,000 arable hectares. The district has performed exceptionally well in implementing the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin, achieved with a community-led total sanitation approach.advertisementBesides camps to educate people, a novel government initiative was rolled out where households got help in constructing toilets-cum-baths. The efforts soon yielded success and Barnala was declared Punjab’s sixth open-defecation free (ODF) district last year. A 20 MLD sewerage treatment plant is also in the works.Most Improved District Mansa Mansa’s groundwater is severely brackish and unusable, so residents have to rely on whatever they can harvest from the scanty rainfall and canal water from the Sutlej river. Despite this, the district has performed exceedingly well in ensuring water supply and sanitation to its 110,584 rural and urban households.The administration has built 162 rural water supply schemes and, to ensure that everyone has access to clean drinking water, all 237 villages have been given RO (reverse osmosis) plants. More than half the households in the district have domestic water connections. A Rs 16.02 crore World Bank project is underway to build 12 new waterworks to bring potable water to 66 more villages. In terms of sanitation too, the district has performed very well16,635 of the targeted 17,628 household toilets have been built and are in use already.AGRICULTUREBest District Ludhiana Ludhiana is among the top two districts in wheat and paddy production, with farmers recording the highest productivity from their holdings. The district has some 72,000 operational farms. Punjab Agricultural University’s extensive programmes here like new agro technologies, alternative crops, kisan melas etc. have been the bedrock of Ludhiana’s success.Most Improved District Sas NagarSAS Nagar’s proximity to Chandigarh and other urban centres has spurred agricultural growth here. Farmers benefit from the round-the-year demand for vegetables and other fresh produce, including milk. Even the most marginal cultivators are able to bypass commission agents and earn profits by directly retailing produce at daily farmers’ markets in Chandigarh and SAS Nagar.The rising demand for organic producefruits, vegetables, grain and pulsesis also a boon. Several farmers have invested in polyhouses to grow non-seasonal and exotic vegetables.INDUSTRYBest District Fatehgarh Sahib A metal factory that supplies to the RailwaysThe district’s steel industry is on a revival path. Officials say some 300 sick units have reopened, aided by the government’s new industrial policy that offers tax incentives for both new investments and reviving sick units. The state industry department has signed agreements worth Rs 602 crore for the revival of 41 sick steel units. The revival of 300-plus steel units in Mandi Gobindgarh has given a fillip to factories making sewing machine parts, centrifugal pumps, bus and truck bodies and mining machinery.Most Improved District LudhianaLudhiana constitutes the oldest and biggest industrial hub of the state. Besides hosiery and textiles, the district has thousands of units serving as ancillaries to larger units manufacturing machine tools, cycles, sewing machines and auto parts.Among the world’s biggest bicycle manufacturing centres, Ludhiana is set to grow further with the recent announcement of a 300-acre Cycle Valley’ in the district. The district produces 60 per cent of all tractor parts in the country as well as a large portion of car and two-wheeler parts, including exports to auto majors like Mercedes and BMW. It also manufactures most of the sewing machines, hosiery machines and machine tools.The wide range of products manufactured includes agricultural implements, steel re-rolling machines, steel pipes, electric fans and motors, as well as highly precise surgical instruments. The spread also includes edible and industrial oils, leather tanneries and shoe and soap manufacturers.LAW AND ORDERBest and Most Improved District Pathankot Pathankot is generally a peaceful place except for the fact that it shares some 45 km of its border with Pakistan. It’s a tortuous boundary, with the Ravi river alternating in and out of Indian territory as many as six times, making surveillance very difficult. As a consequence, the Pathankot border has become a convenient infiltration point for terrorists. In fact, most terror attacks since 2015 are believed to have been carried out by terrorists who entered India through the Bamiyal sector in Pathankot.The heightened threat prompted a high-level security review and a series of new standard operating procedures (SOPs) was put in place to prevent such strikes in the future. Reports say there have been at least two infiltration attempts by Pakistan-backed terrorists in the past six months. Both were successfully dealt with.SERVICESBest District Kapurthala Seva Kendras have been very successfulKapurthala has done well in delivery of citizen-related services. It has 20 seva kendras under the e-district project, offering a host of servicesfrom birth and death registration to caste certificateswithin walking distance of people’s homes. Close monitoring by the district administration has ensured that the seva kendras are among the most efficient in the state. The centres successfully addressed 240,889 applications last year. District officials also held camps to make villagers aware of the facilities at these centres.There are also eight saanjh kendras attached to major police stations providing 43 services including character verification for passports, licence for weapons, loss of SIM cards and other verifications. The saanjh kendras disposed 85,262 applications in the past year. The district also boasts 20 colleges and 791 schools, including the iconic Sainik School at Jagatjit Palace, and 86 banks. nMost Improved District Sangrur Among Punjab’s oldest districts, Sangrur scores high in several sectors compared to the newer districts. State government data shows that Sangrur is No. 1 in timely delivery of services under the state’s e-district project. The 31 seva kendras in the district provide 279 government services, 89 of which can be availed both online and at the physical premises of the seva kendras. From August 2016 to January 18, 2019, the district administration successfully handled 98.5 per cent of the 386,855 applications that came before it. Periodic training and refresher courses for the seva kendra staff have also helped them speed up the new services rolled out through the centres.Besides delivering key services virtually at the doorstep in every village, Sangrur also scores well in higher education, with 17 state-run and trust-run colleges. The district also has 14 big and small hospitals and 50 bank branches.PROSPERITY Best District Sas NagarSAS Nagarcommonly known as Mohaliis a commercial hub close to the state capital and Union territory, Chandigarh. Conceived as an industrial township, the district is relatively more urban than the rest of the state. Mohali has come to be known as the Silicon Valley of the region because of the concentration of several IT units and many others manufacturing electronic goods.There are more than a dozen large and medium, and 55 small-scale electronic units producing television sets, transformers, electronic sockets, mini computers, electronic telecom equipment, dish antenne and computer peripherals. Many major pharma companies have also set up units here. The infrastructure has led to several units being set up to produce industrial items, food and beverages, textiles, chemicals and chemical products.The concentration of large and medium industrial units collectively represent an investment of more than Rs 1,000 crore, providing jobs to 18,000 workers. The presence of big companies like Mahindra & Mahindra, Godrej, Punjab Communications Ltd and Phillips has triggered the establishment of scores of ancillary units.In the small-scale sector, SAS Nagar has more than 1,300 units employing over 25,000 workers. These units manufacture a wide range of products, including railway components, automobile and tractor parts, sanitary fittings, furniture items, PVC pipes, chemicals, corrugated boxes, rubber and silicon material, precision parts, among other things.Of late, the district has emerged as a hub for higher education with the opening of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) and a branch of the Indian School of Business (ISB).Most Improved District Tarn TaranTarn Taran earned notoriety in the 1980s and early 1990s as the undeclared capital of Khalistan’. By the mid-2000s, the district had earned bigger infamy as one of the worst affected by drug abuse. But there’s been a turnaround with a crackdown on drug abuse and cheating in school exams. The administration has been involving the mothers of students to rid the district schools of the education mafia involving private coaching academies and touts.An essentially rural and agricultural area, Tarn Taran has upped its per capita income from Rs 52,294 in 2008-09 to Rs 89,894 now, given the average land holding here of 3.2 hectares. What is working is the opening of industries, including the 550 MW GVK thermal power station, sugar mill and distillery by Rana Sugars, an array of rice mills and other industries that have come up taking advantage of the incentives for border districts. Tarn Taran is also in the top 10 districts of the country in the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ initiative of the Centre.
Nintendo lost a lawsuit today that could see it forced to pay out many millions in royalties to Dutch electronics company Philips. The reason? A patent owned by Philips relating to motion control that Nintendo has infringed with its Wii games console.Philips hasn’t been publicly specific about what exactly the patent covers, but it relates to “motion, gesture and pointing control.” The company has been licensing this patent to both games consoles and set-top box manufacturers for years, but Nintendo refused to sign up for and pay the license when Philips pursued such a deal back in 2011. So Philips did the only thing it could: sue Nintendo.Philips won the court case in the UK, but it has three more ongoing including one in the US. Philips wants “fair compensation” for its patent, suggesting a small royalty fee on every Wii sold, and possibly every Wii U, too. If Philips wins the other cases, then Nintendo may end up paying out a royalty to cover all 101 million Wii consoles sold to date. That’s going to be a huge chunk of change even if the license is only a few cents per console.It seems highly likely Nintendo will appeal the decision and Philips will need to continue to fight and wait for the royalty payment. With potentially millions on the line and now a decision in its favor, I doubt we’ll see the Dutch company throw in the towel. You also have to assume a win in the UK will be quickly integrated into the other ongoing lawsuits as proof Nintendo is infringing.
The colours that ruled Day 1 seemed to have stayed on through most of the collections witnessed on 27 March as well.The day kicked off with Myoho by Kiran & Meghna, Prama by Pratima Pandey and Vaishali S. My Village by Rimzim Dadu and Kallol Datta’s 1955 came next followed by Anand Bhushan, Nachiket Barve, Amit GT, Charu Parashar, Ashima-Leena, Malini Ramani, Nikasha and finally the new wunderkind of Indian fashion – Rahul Mishra.Malini Ramani’s explosive collection of glam blacks accentuated with silvers, golds, pinks and reds and Nikasha’s pretty pastels for Bibi got our attention on Day 2.