Punjab’s first Mega International Food Park inaugurated at Dabwala Kalan

Punjab’s first Mega International Food Park was inaugurated at Dabwala Kalan, in Fazilka District Punjab under the aegis of Mega Food Park Scheme. It was inaugurated by Union Food Processing Industry Harsimrat Kaur Badal in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal.

This food park is constructed on 55 acre land and has additional facilities for processing milk and milk products besides packaging vegetables and fruits.

Initially it will provide employment for more than 700 local youth and later more will be employed in the park once other companies establishes their units in this facility.

Mega Food Park Scheme: This scheme is based on cluster approach and on hub and spoke model. It aims at facilitating the establishment of a strong food processing industry backed by an efficient supply chain, which includes collection centres, central processing center (CPC) and cold chain infrastructure.

This scheme envisages one time capital grant of

  • 50 per cent of the project cost (excluding land cost) subject to a maximum of Rs 50 crore in general areas.
  • 75 per cent of the project cost (excluding land cost) subject to a ceiling of Rs 50 crore, in difficult and hilly areas including north east region and J&K.

Copper and brass crafts of Punjab’s ‘Thatheras’ on UNESCO heritage list

The traditional brass and copper craft of utensil making among the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Punjab is being inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, 2014.

It was announced at UNESCO’s 9th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage in Paris, France.

Key facts about Thatheras

  • The craft of the Thatheras constitutes the traditional techniques of manufacturing brass, copper and kansa (an alloy of copper, zinc and tin) utensils.
  • They have a unique ethnic and historical identity with an oral tradition that underpins their skill.
  • The name of the community – ‘Thatheras’ is identical with the name of the element.
  • These craft utensils of Thatheras have both utilitarian and ritualistic value.
  • The tradition of using the metals is recommended by the ancient Indian school of medicine, Ayurveda.
  • Skills of the Thatheras have been orally transmitted from one generation to other generations.
  • During the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1883) – the great 19th Century Sikh Monarch, the Thatheras crafts colony was established in Jandiala Guru, Punjab. Thus, Jandiala Guru became an area of repute due to the skill of the Thatheras.

Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity: The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity is made up of those intangible heritage elements that help demonstrate the diversity of this heritage and raise awareness about its importance.

It encourages dialogues between communities worldwide that practice traditional metal craftsmanship to manufacture handcrafted products that are both useful and beautiful.

Punjab government bans flavored tobacco and e-cigarettes

Punjab government has banned the sale of flavoured tobacco and e-cigarettes with immediate effect throughout the state. This decision was taken in at a state-level coordination committee held in Chandigarh  as various firms were bypassing Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003 by selling flavoured, scented tobacco and e-cigarettes in the state.

Under the new notification, even e-commerce companies can be booked as e-cigarettes contain nicotine in chemical form.

State-level coordination committee had expressed concern over sale of cigarettes near educational institutions, especially colleges and coaching institutes. They have strictly imposed ban on sale of tobacco within 200 metres of educational institutions.

Thus, Punjab has become the first state in the country to ban e-cigarettes and users of any other electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS). Under these new regulations, promoters will be prosecuted under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act for selling unapproved drugs and could end up serving a year in jail.


It is a battery-powered vaporizer which has the feel of tobacco smoking.  They do not produce smoke like regular cigarette but rather an aerosol (mist), which is inaccurately referred to as vapor. They have a heating element that atomizes a liquid solution known as e-liquid. E-liquids are usually a mixture of propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine, and flavorings. Using an E-cigarette is called Vaping.