-- 08 March,2018

Mohali, March 8: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and British High Commissioner Dominic Asquith met here on Thursday for discussions on cooperation in the fields of industrial modernisation, skill development, food processing and setting up of cold chain facilities in the state, with the two also brainstorming on ways and means to check illegal immigration from Punjab into the UK.

An official spokesperson disclosed after the meeting that the Chief Minister and the High Commissioner agreed on the need for concerted measures to crack down on rogue travel agents who were instrumental in facilitating illegal immigration, generally leading to immense problems and sufferings for the innocent and gullible victims.

Industrial modernisation was also high on the agenda for the talks, which focused on the use of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence as a tool to boost the development of industries in the state. The two agreed to work closely on this, with the Chief Minister underlining the massive investment potential triggered by the new Industrial Policy in Punjab.

The Chief Minister was keen on collaboration in the field of skill development, which he said was a major priority for his government. He apprised the High Commissioner that, apart from setting up a Skills University, the government had also mooted a proposal to utilize the ITIs for conducting skill development classes in the evenings. With the education system in the state still lagging in both qualitative and quantitative terms, skill development had emerged as an important alternative to make the youth employable, said Captain Amarinder.

The talks were also focused on promotion of clean energy in the development of cold chain facilities, as well as through replacement of petrol and diesel vehicles with electric vehicles, said the spokesperson.

The two also agreed on further cooperation in the areas of agriculture and food processing. The Chief Minister expressed concern over the plight of the farming community in the state and sought investment support from the UK for the creation of more avenues for the farmers for adoption of new technologies and facilities to boost their revenue earnings.

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