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Thread: :::::::.......... Punjab ..........:::::::

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    Default :::::::.......... Punjab ..........:::::::

    Punjab

    Punjab is an Indo-Iranian word meaning "the land of five rivers". Punjab lies at the cross-roads of the great civilizations of the world. The historical area of Punjab was defined to the east from the basin of the river Bias (including Delhi) to the basin of River Indus in the west. To the north it was bounded by the Himalayas of Kashmir and to the south it stretched as far as the plains of Cholistan and Rajasthan. Over different periods of history Punjab has seen its boundaries expand and shrink. The high time for Punjab was during the reign of Mughal emperor Babur (and also during the time of Ranjit Singh more recently) when Punjab along with Babur's empire stretched from Delhi in the east to Kabul and Ghazni to the West. But never in the history, did the boundaries of Punjab shrink so much as they did after the division of Punjab in 1947. Today, on the world map Punjab can be seen as divided into the Indian state of Punjab and the Pakistani province of Punjab. Some facts about Punjab:



    State Capital Chandigarh
    Population ('000s in 1991) 20,282
    Area ('000 sq. km) 50
    Females per 1000 males (1991) 882
    Literacy rate (1991) 58.5%
    Ratio of Urban Population (1991) 29.5
    Net Domestic Product (Rs. million at current prices in 1992-93) 224,990
    Per Capita Income (Rs. at current prices in 1992-93) 10,857
    Principal Language Punjabi

    Blessed with extremely fertile soil, Punjab is watered by the rivers Beas, Sutlej, Ravi and Ghaggar. Ancient Punjab formed a part of the vast Indo-Iranian region. It was subjected to repeated onslaughts from the Persians, Mauryans, Seithians, Parthians, Kushans and the Muslims.

    The 15th and 16th centuries marked a watershed in the history of Punjab. In this period, the Bhakti movement received a great impetus with the advent of Sikhism on the scene. This was a socio-religious movement, which was directed at fighting the evils in religion, and society of the times. However, over a period of time, Sikhism acquired a militant flavour and challenged Mughal rule in northern India. Sikh Gurus like Guru Nanak, the founder of the faith, Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Harkrishan and Guru Gobind Singh, the last Sikh Guru played important roles in the evolution of Sikhism, and also in the history of Punjab.

    With the death of Guru Gobind Singh, the political influence of the Sikhs started dwindling. It was only after the weakening of the Mughal stronghold in Delhi, that the Sikhs reorganised themselves, and formed confederacies to present a united front. The name of Ranjit Singh is prominent among the heads of these Sikh confederacies. He united all the Sikhs, and built a mighty kingdom, which remained invincible for many years. However, his death led to a collapse of this edifice, and after two abortive Anglo-Sikh wars, Punjab was finally annexed to the British empire in 1849.

    India's independence from British rule in 1947, also saw the partitioning of the country and the division of Punjab. Consequently, the state was reorganised twice, and it was only in 1966, that the present Indian state of Punjab came into being in its present form.

    Punjab witnessed heavy destruction and damage during partition, yet it is one of the most affluent states in the country today. The per-capita income of the state is nearly twice the all-India average. The mainstay of Punjab's economy, and the source of its affluence, is agriculture. Nearly 84 percent of the total geographical area of the state is under cultivation. Punjab alone contributed about 62 per cent of wheat, and 50 per cent of rice, to the central pool in the 1994-95 seasons, despite the fact, that it comprises only 1.53 per cent of the area in the country. Besides wheat and rice, the other crops grown in the state are maize, gram, pulses, cotton, oilseeds, sugarcane, potato, onion, mustard and sunflower.

    Punjab's contribution to the industrial development of the country is mainly through its 1,88,000 small scale units which have a capital investment of Rs. 19,730 million. These units produce bicycle parts, sewing machines, hand tools, machine tools, auto parts, electronic items, sports goods, hosiery, knitwear, textiles, sugar, surgical and leather goods. Besides these, there are 475 large and medium scale units with an investment of Rs. 64,200 million. Attracted by the improved investment climate in the state, a number of foreign investors have come forward to set up industries, and to collaborate with the existing units.

    The major city in Punjab is Amritsar, the holy town of the Sikhs. The famous Golden Temple stands in the middle of this city, which is visited by people from all over the world. Other places of tourist interest in Punjab are the Durgiana Mandir and Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, Takhat Kesgarh Sahib in Anandpur Sahib, the Bhakra Dam complex and the Sodal temple at Jalandhar.

    Punjabi festivals are celebrated with great gusto. Vaisakhi (in April) is the most famous of Punjabi festivals. It is of special significance for the Sikhs, for it is on this day in 1699, that Guru Gobind Singh organised the Sikhs into the 'Khalsa'. During Basant (January/February), Punjabis welcome spring, when the mustard fields turn golden and winter is practically over. Punjabis in yellow garments hold feasts and kite-flying competitions, and take part in community singing and dancing. Another great festive occasion is the Jor Mela, when thousands of people gather at Sirhind, in remembrance and devotion to Guru Gobind Singh. Hymns and recitations of the holy epics by folk minstrels and poets come together with the joyous cadences of folk music and the earthy, invigorating rhythms of the popular dances: the exuberant Bhangra and Giddha. Besides the Guru-ke-Langar (free meals) which cater to the throngs of devotees, one can also enjoy scrumptious regional dishes while browsing through a variety of exotic handicrafts, jewellery, traditional weapons and costumes.
    Last edited by nightmare_harry583; 12-08-2007 at 10:55 PM.

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    Traditional Dress of Punjabi's

    A generation ago, the turban was the "crowning glory" of all Punjabis whether Muslim, Hindu or Sikh. Muslims and Hindus have given up their turbans, but it remains, an article of faith for Sikh men. The kurta, a long straight-cut, loose shirt teamed with pyjamas, the loose baggy salwar, or a kind of sarong called a loongi or tehmat makes up the traditional dress for men. Winter sees the rustic Punjabi in colourful sweaters that wives and mothers are so skilled in making. A shawl finishes his ensemble. When the urban, educated Punjabi steps out to work he will be in shirt and pant or a suit—sartorially indistinguishable from his counterparts in the western world. Back home in the evening, he is likely to be found in more traditional dress. The traditional Punjabi shoes, called khuse or juttis retain their popularity with both rural and urban men; they are both elegant and comfortable. Patiala and Muktsar are famous for juttis.



    It is impossible to tell by dress whether a Punjabi woman is a Hindu, Muslim, or Sikh – they all dress in salwar topped by a kameez (a garment that can be fitted like a dress loose like the kurta) and accented by a rectangular scarf about 2.5 metres long called the chunni or duppatta. She’s fond of her sweaters, but she is passionately proud of her collection of woolen shawls. These can be breathtaking. The women of Punjab are responsible for the state’s most famous item of handicraft – the phulkari. This is a shawl completely covered in dense silk embroidery, folk motifs in jewel-tones on an ochre background. Gold is her weakness – brides are loaded with it. The jewelers of Punjab stock an enormous range of designs in bangles, necklaces, rings and earrings, nose-rings, ornaments to pin in the hair, anklets and toe-rings. A particular kind of bangle is the tip-off in recognising Sikh men and women. It’s called a kada is made of steel, and one of the 5 K's that forms part of the Sikh faith.
    Last edited by nightmare_harry583; 12-08-2007 at 10:58 PM.

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    Festivals of Punjab


    The festivals of Punjab have one common objective of bringing people together to participate in the happiness of the occasion. Some of the festivals are as follows :[/COLOR]


    Baisakhi
    Basant
    Diwali
    Dussehra
    Gurpurbs
    Holi
    Lohri


    Baisakhi

    Baisakhi, celebrated with joyous music and dancing, is New Year's Day in Punjab. It falls on April 13, though once in 36 years it occurs on 14th April. It was on this day that the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, founded the Khalsa (the Sikh brotherhood) in 1699. The Sikhs, therefore, celebrate this festival as a collective birthday.

    Sikhs visits gurdwaras (Sikh temples) and listen to kirtans (religious songs) and discourses. After the prayer, kada prasad (sweetened semolina) is served to the congregation. The function ends with langar, the community lunch served by volunteers.

    Processions are taken out, at the head of which are the panj piaras. Mock duels and bands playing religious tunes are part of the processions. Schoolchildren also enthusiatically take part in them.

    For people in villages this festival is a last opportunity for relaxing before they start harvesting of corn. Processions and feasting follow readings of the holy scripture of the Sikhs, Guru Granth Sahib.


    Basant

    Basant is celebrated towards the close of winter in the month of January-February. The weather circle seems to be changing otherwise Basant used to bring a message of softness in the weather in place of the hard cold season. Basant is the time when mustard fields are yellow with it the spring is ushered in. Punjabis welcome the change and celebrate the day by wearing yellow clothes, holding feasts and by organising kite flying.



    Diwali

    Deepawali or Diwali, the most pan-Indian of all Hindu festivals, is a festival of lights symbolising the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. The word `Deepawali' literally means rows of diyas (clay lamps). A family festival, it is celebrated 20 days after Dussehra, on the 13th day of the dark fortnight of the month of Asvin (October-November)

    Continuing the story of Rama, this festival commemorates Lord Rama's return to his kingdom Ayodhya after completing his 14-year exile. Twinkling oil lamps or diyas light up every home and firework displays are common all across the country. The goddess Lakshmi (consort of Vishnu), who is the symbol of wealth and prosperity, is also worshipped on this day.

    This festive occasion also marks the beginning of the Hindu new year and Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god, the symbol of auspiciousness and wisdom, is also worshipped in most Hindu homes on this day.

    Another view is that Deepawali is meant to celebrate the destruction of the arrogant tyrant Bali at the hands of Vishnu when the latter appeared in his Vamana (dwarf) avatar.

    The occasion of Deepawali sees the spring-cleaning and white-washing of houses; decorative designs or rangolis are painted on floors and walls. New clothes are bought and family members and relatives gather together to offer prayers, distribute sweets and to light up their homes.

    In West Bengal, the Deepawali festival is celebrated as Kali Puja and Kali, Siva's consort, is worshipped on this day.



    Dussehra

    Dussehra (tenth day) is one of the significant Hindu festivals, celebrated with much joie de vivre in the entire country. The occasion marks the triumph of Lord Rama over the demon king, Ravana, the victory of good over evil. Brilliantly decorated tableaux and processions depicting various facets of Rama's life are taken out. On the tenth day, the Vijayadasmi day, colossal effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhkarna and son Meghnath are placed in vast open spaces. Rama, accompanied by his consort Sita and his brother Lakshmana, arrive and shoot arrows of fire at these effigies, which are stuffed with explosive material. The result is a deafening blast, enhanced by the shouts of merriment and triumph from the spectators.

    It is significant that the Lord invoked the blessings of the divine mother, Goddess Durga, before actually going out to battle. In burning the effigies the people are asked to burn the evil within them, and thus follow the path of virtue and goodness, bearing in mind the instance of Ravana, who despite all his might and majesty was destroyed for his evil ways. It must be remembered that Ravana was a great scholar and an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, but the very powers that were bestowed on him for his steadfast devotion proved to be his undoing, due to his gross misuse of the same.

    The festival is also celebrated with intense fervour and zest, in West Bengal and Bengalis nationwide, in the form of Durga Puja. The festivities commence on the first night in the month of Ashwin (September-October). The vibrant festivities last for ten days, of which nine nights are spent in worship, 'Navaratri'. The tenth day is devoted to the worship of goddess Durga, who occupies a special position in the Hindu pantheon of gods and goddesses. She is 'Shakti', the cosmic energy which animates all beings. Beautiful idols of the Mother Goddess are worshipped in elaborate pandals for nine days, and on the ninth day, these are carried out in procession for immersion (visarjan) in a river or pond.

    According to a Puranic legend attached to this day, the mighty demon Mahisasur, vanquished the gods and their king, Indra, who subsequently fled, leaving behind their kingdoms. They then approached the Holy Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, who decided to destroy the megalomaniac demon, and thus prayed to the divine mother Durga to do the needful. Equipped with lethal weapons, riding a ferocious lion, the Goddess in all her awesome majesty, vanquished the evil one without much ado. This day, thus, also celebrates the magnificence and omnipotence of Goddess Durga.

    In Tamil Nadu, the first three days are dedicated to the worship of Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth and prosperity, the next three days to Saraswati, Goddess of learning and arts and the last three days toShakti (Durga). In Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, families arrange dolls(Bommai Kolu) on artificially constructed steps and prepare an elaborate spread of lamps and flowers. Women traditionally exchange gifts of coconuts, clothes and sweets. Scenes culled from various stories in the epics and puranas are displayed. Traditionally women and children, and now men too visit their friends and acquaintances during these 10 days. They sing songs, tell stories that the dolls might depict and eat a dish made out of chickpeas (choondal). The whole set up is put up on the very first day of Navaratri. After the Saraswati pooja on the ninth day, the whole set up is taken down on Vijayadashmi. Vijayadashami is an auspicious occasion for children to commence their education in classical dance and music, and to pay homage to their teachers.

    In Punjab, Navaratri is taken as a period of fasting. In Gujarat, the evenings and nights are occasions for the fascinating Garba dance. The women dance around an earthen lamp while singing devotional songs accompanied by rhythmic clapping of hands.

    In northern India, the festival wears the colourful garb of Ramlila wherein various incidents from Rama's life are enacted, as is the destruction of Ravana and Bharat Milap, that is the reunion of Ram and his estranged brother Bharat, on the former's return to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. In the Kulu valley in Himachal Pradesh, the hill- folk celebrate Dussehra with a grand mass ceremony wherein village deities are taken out in elaborate processions. The Dussehra of Mysore, is also quite famous where caparisoned elephants lead a colourful procession through the gaily dressed streets of the city.

    Like other festivals in the country, Dussehra / Durga Puja is an occasion for festivities on a grand scale, which emanate a genuine feeling of bonhomie and warmth.



    Last edited by nightmare_harry583; 12-08-2007 at 11:08 PM.

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    Gurpurbs

    Anniversaries associated with the lives of the Sikh Gurus are referred to as Gurpurbs (festivals). Of these the important ones are the birthdays of Guru Nanak and Guru Govind Singh and the martyrdom days of Guru Arjun Dev and Guru Teg Bahadur.

    Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith, was born in a Punjabi village (which is now in Pakistan) in 1469. His birth anniversary, or Guru Nanak's jayanti, which falls in the months of October-November, is enthusiastically celebrated by Sikhs as gurpurab.

    Gurpurbs witness the culminations of Prabhat Pheris, the early morning religious procession which goes around the localities singing shabads (hymns). These Pheris generally start three weeks before the festival. Devotees offer sweets and tea when the procession passes by their residence.

    The celebrations start with the three-day akhand path in which the Granth Sahib (the holy book of the Sikhs) is read continuously from beginning to end without a break. Conclusion of the reading coincides with the day of the festival.

    On this day the Granth Sahib is carried in procession throughout the village or city. It is placed on a float or a van strewn with flowers. Five armed guards, who represent the panj pyares, head the procession carrying Nishan Sahibs (the Sikh flag). Local bands are hired for playing religious music for the procession. Marching schoolchildren are a special part of the procession. Free sweets and langar are also offered to the general public outside some gurdwaras.

    Sikhs visit gurdwaras (Sikh temples) where special programmes are arranged and kirtans (religious songs) are sung. Langar or community lunch is also arranged in the gurdwaras. The langar is open to people of all walks of life and of all faiths. It is served by local volunteers with a spirit of seva (service) and bhakti (devotion).

    At night Sikhs illuminate and decorate their houses and Gurdwaras with candles and electric lights. This festival usually occurs in the month of November (kartik).

    The Tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, was born on 2 December 1666 in Patna (Bihar). His Guruship is highly significant as he forged the distinctive identity of the Sikhs with five K and called gave the name Khalsa (the pure) to his followers. His birthday, which falls in December, is also marked by prayer readings, kirtans and processions.

    The martyrdom day of the fifth Guru, Arjun Dev, is observed with prayers and processions. On this day stalls are *****ed on roadsides for offering kachi lassi (sweetened milk) to the thirsty passers-by to commemorate the death of the Guru who was burnt to death during the hot months of May and June.

    The ninth Guru, Tegh Bahadur, was beheaded in Delhi. His martyrdom day is also observed with prayers and processions. It occurs in the month of November.


    Holi

    It is spring time in India, flowers and fields are in bloom and the country goes wild with people running on the streets and smearing each other with brightly hued powders and coloured water. This is the festival of Holi, celebrated on the day after the full moon in early March every year.

    Originally a festival to celebrate good harvests and fertility of the land, Holi is now a symbolic commemmoration of a legend from Hindu Mythology. The story centres around an arrogant king who resents his son worshipping Lord Vishnu. He attempts to kill his son but fails each time. Finally, the king's sister Holika who is said to be immune to burning, sits with the boy in a huge fire. However, the prince Prahlad emerges unscathed, while his aunt burns to death. Holi commemorates this event from mythology, and huge bonfires are burnt on the eve of Holi as its symbolic representation.

    This exuberant festival is also associated with the immortal love of Krishna and Radha, and hence, Holi is spread over 16 days in Vrindavan as well as Mathura - the two cities with which Lord Krishna shared a deep affiliation. Apart from the usual fun with coloured powder and water, Holi is marked by vibrant processions which are accompanied by folk songs, dances and a general sense of abandoned vitality.

    Sikhs observe Holla Mohalla a day after Holi . On this day thousands of people gather at Anandpur Sahib to celebrate the day. Hola Mohalla is particularly famous for staging mock battles by using ancient weapons. There is a colourful procession "The march of Nihang "in their colourful robes in the form of armed warriors and exhibit their ardour and enthusiasm.



    Lohri

    Lohri is a festival connected with the solar year. Generally, it is an accepted fact that this festival is to worship fire. This is particularly a happy occasion for the couples who for the first time celebrated Lohri after their marriage and also the first Lohri of the son born in a family. Children visit homes in the neighbourhood and sing songs. One of the famous ones is :

    Sundri Mundri Hei! Hoi!

    Tera Kaun Bechara! Hoi!

    Dullah Bhatti wala! Hoi!

    Dullah Di Dhi viyahi ! Hoi !

    Sher ShaKar pai! Hoi!

    Kuri de Mamme aaye! Hoi!

    UnaNe ChuRi Kuti! Hoi!

    Jimidari Lutti! Hoi!

    Ik kola GhuT Gaya!

    Jimidar Apni......

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    {!♥!`ਸਿਮਰਨ`!♥!} Colonel Mi$$ $aInI's Avatar
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    How sweet
    Thanks for ths info & keep posting
    ╚»¤ ¤«╝

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    >> RaJvEeR << Lieutenant-Colonel nightmare_harry583's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mi$$ $aInI View Post
    How sweet
    Thanks for ths info & keep posting
    Thnx 4 the reply

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    Great Compilation..!

    Repz added

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    THE KING Lieutenant A!'s Avatar
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    Great...very informative....

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    spectecular thread!
    Heads up to u my bro.
    Reps. added!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fastidious View Post
    Great Compilation..!

    Repz added
    Quote Originally Posted by ankilien View Post
    Great...very informative....
    Quote Originally Posted by Harry4u View Post
    spectecular thread!
    Heads up to u my bro.
    Reps. added!
    Quote Originally Posted by saleem View Post




    Thnx Mr. Admin

    Thnx Mr. Mod

    Thnx Harry

    Thnx Saleem

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    Awesome thread...
    Thanks for sharing...:
    Future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.....

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    Repz added
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramanjit View Post
    Awesome thread...
    Thanks for sharing...:
    Quote Originally Posted by Mi$$ $aInI View Post
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    tHNX rAMAN

    tHNX sIMRAN

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    Default Agriculture in Punjab

    Agriculture in Punjab



    Punjab is one of the smallest states of India representing 1.6 per cent of its geographical area and 2.6 per cent of it's cropped area. Punjab's geology has a far reaching impact on its economy. The plain of Punjab was formed by the deposition of alluvium. It has deep and fertile soils. From geological and physiographic points Punjab is divisible into two regions: the hill region and the plain region.

    The hill region is very small and includes Shivalik Hills on the eastern side, moves through Hoshiarpur district toward west. More than 90 per cent of Punjab's area is a flat plain and is a segment of Indo-Gangetic plain.

    A very high proportion of the land is under cultivation because the Punjab plain is free from physical handicaps and deficiency of rainfall has been made up by irrigation facilities. It is only the districts of Ropar and Hoshiarpur that the cultivated area is less than 60 per cent of the total. It is in these districts that considerable land is covered by Shivalik Hills and the beds of seasonal streams that cannot be brought under cultivation. "Land not available for cultivation" covers all such land which is under the hills, beds of rivers and streams, railway lines, roads, canals and buildings.

    Because of favorable physical conditions for crop growth, there is a multiplicity of crops in the state and at any time of the year some crop or other is grown. About three-fifths of the total crops sown are during the winter season, and the remaining in summer. The cropping pattern, however varies a great deal within the state depending upon the availability of moisture and soil conditions.

    Wheat, maize, rice and bajra are the important cereals. Wheat dominates not only among the cereals but in the overall crop pattern. The distribution of rice and bajra is localized. Rice is an important crop in Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Kapurthala districts. Elsewhere it is either grown in the flood plains or in the clay-soiled tracts. Bajra is completely localized in the south-western quadrant of the state, mainly in Batinda, Ferozepur and Sangrur. Among pulses, gram is the outstanding one and covers around 6.6 per cent of the cropped area. Cotton, groundnut, sugarcane and potatoes are the principal cash crops of the state. The distribution of these crops is highly localized.

    Cotton leads in this set of crops and covers around 7.4 per cent of the cropped area of Punjab. The state contributes about 15 per cent to the total production of the country. Ferozepur and Batinda, both account for around 69 per cent of the cotton area of the state. Groundnut, with 4.2 per cent of the cropped area, is the second most important cash crop of Punjab and contributes five per cent to the total groundnut production of India.

    Sugarcane covers about three per cent of the cropped area and is mainly grown in the eastern half of the state. Among oilseeds, the dominance is that of rape, mustard and sesamum. The acreage is, however, insignificant as compared to other crops. Rape and mustard are mainly grown in the drier south-western Punjab, whereas 90 per cent of the sesame crop is localized in the districts of Gurdaspur and Amritsar. Fodder crops grown in the state are many and collectively cover one-sixth of the cropped land. Chari, bajra and gowara in summer, and berseem, senji and lucern in winter are the principal fodder crops.

    The state of Punjab has built up a system of services to support agricultural development. Briefly, these are the departments of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, the Punjab Agriculture University which provides a base for education, research and extension; and the Cooperative Department which provides credit to the farmers.

    In the development of agriculture, the Punjab Agriculture University has played a pivotal role. The impact of this institution on the economy of the state is widely recognized and has been far more spectacular than perhaps anticipated in 1962 when it came into being. This university situated in Ludhiana, has brought about a real revolution in farming techniques and has contributed to increased agriculture production and improvement of the cultivators' economic status. This institution has developed high yielding varieties of wheat, rice, bajra and other crops which has spearheaded Punjab to make the state and the country self sufficient for many key crops.

    Inspite of all this revolution, the standard of living of most of the farmers is still very low. There is more to be done to improve their education, housing and general living conditions.

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