Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today categorically said that SYL was not merely a political issue for us rather it was an emotive issue, which should be tackled on the top priority with utmost sensitivity and caution, as river waters was the lifeline of every Punjabi especially the farmers. Talking to the media persons on the side lines of the first convocation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University held here at its campus, the Chief Minister said that Punjab had been discriminated on every issue be it political, social, economic or even religious by the successive Congress governments at Centre and it was denied its rightful share in river waters during the water distribution done thrice in over past five decades in brazen defiance of an internationally and nationally accepted riparian principle. Rebuking the Congress leadership for accusing SAD-BJP alliance government deliberately raking up the issue of SYL in wake of the forthcoming assembly polls in 2017, the Chief Minister said that we the people of Punjab were the custodian of the river waters in the state and won’t allow to share a single drop of it with any state as Punjab didn’t have spare water to share with anyone. Mr. Badal asked the Congress to stop politicking over this sensitive issue and unnecessarily criticizing the SAD-BJP alliance, which had already made its stand clear to everyone that their leadership was prepared to make any supreme sacrifice to save our waters. He assailed the Congress for accusing the alliance government for raising the SYL issue as a run up to 2017 state assembly elections. Mr. Badal castigated the Congress party for eulogizing former Chief Minister and President PPCC, Capt. Amarinder Singh as the ‘savior of waters’ for passage of Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004 whereas in reality this legislations was nothing but an unintentional admission of guilt by the Congress government for betrayal with the people of Punjab on river waters. In his convocation address, the Chief Minister said the state government would soon come out with the policy within legal framework to regularize the services of its adhoc/contract employees for ensuring job security to them. He said he had already deputed the Chief Secretary, his Principal Secretary and Advocate General to find ways and means to regularize the services of these employees. The Chief Minister also expressed concern over the sheer exploitation of well qualified youth by hiring their services on paltry amount of salaries especially in the private sector. He further said that all the vacant posts of doctors and teachers would be filled soon to ensure smooth functioning of the hospitals and schools across the state. Mr. Badal also felicitated the students and their parents on this joyous occasion and wished them a bright career ahead in their life. He said that quality and purposeful education was the foremost aspect, which shapes the overall personality of a person. He said that thus it was the bounden duty of the state government to provide the best education to the students at all levels be it at elementary, middle, high and plus two level. He mentioned that 400 middle schools would be upgraded to high schools and likewise 400 schools would be upgraded from high to senior secondary. Apart from this we have already initiated several steps to ensure quality education to the students by opening meritorious schools with an objective to afford level playing field to the economically poor but bright students to enable them to compete with their peers from public and convent schools in urban areas. To further motivate them to excel in the field of professional higher education in the streams of medical and engineering, the state government has recently taken a path breaking decision to bear the entire expenditure of their education and made budgetary provision of Rs.10 crore in the current budget. As many as 478 students from different streams in graduate and post-graduate were awarded degrees during the convocation besides 10 students were honoured with university medals for their outstanding academic record. On the occasion, Ex-Army Chief and Chairman Chiefs-of-Staff, General (Retd.) Bikram Singh and former IFS S. Bhagwant Singh Dalawari were conferred honorary degrees of Doctor of Science and Doctor of Literature, both (Honouris Causa) respectively for outstanding services rendered by them in their fields. Earlier, the Chancellor and President SGPC Jathedar Avtar Singh highlighted the future plans of the university to emerge it as one of the leading universities at the global level. Likewise, Vice-Chancellor Dr. Gurmohan Singh Walia mentioned the major achievements and activities in the field of academics and sports. Prior to the convocation, the Chief Minister presided over a meeting of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Fourth Centenary Memorial Trust and gave approval to initiate those projects, which were needed to be completed on priority and authorized the building committee to prioritize the projects so that they could be taken up accordingly. The trust also gave go ahead to get the revised master plan prepared to ensure integrated development of the campus. The trust also discussed the ways and means for resources mobilization to generate additional funds for making it economically viable and financially sustainable. Prominent amongst others who were present on occasion included Ex-Army Chief and Chairman Chiefs-of-Staff, General (Retd.) Bikram Singh, Secretary UGC Dr. Jaspal Singh Sandhu, Chancellor and President SGPC Jathedar Avtar Singh, Vice-Chancellor Dr. Gurmohan Singh Walia, Chairman Punjab State Backward Classes Commission Prof. Kirpal Singh Badungar, Member Executive S. Nirmal Singh Joula, S. Bhupinder Singh Anand, Ex-Chief Secretary S. Rupinder Singh Mann, Secretary SGPC S. Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, Member SGPC Bibi Kiranjot Kaur, S. Amarjeet Singh Sidhu, IAS (Retd.) (all members of the trust), former Member Rajya Sabha S. Tarlochan Singh, MLA Bassi Pathana Justice (Retd.) Nirmal Singh, Ex-MLA S. Didar Singh Bhatti, Vice President SAD S. Jagdeep Singh Cheema, SAD District President S. Ranjit Singh Libra besides several members of the SGPC.