Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), in a unique directive to its gurdwaras, has asked their managers to limit the voice of loudspeakers to the boundary walls of the gurdwaras so that students preparing for exams are not affected.
In 2005, the Akal Takht had issued an edict to this effect.
The SGPC passed the directions after receiving a letter from Kahan Singh Pannu, director general school education, who urged the religious body to implement the edict.
"No one can use loudspeakers to cause inconvenience to the public. Limit voice of loudspeakers in all religious functions up to the premises of the gurdwara or place where the religious function is held," read the edict passed on November 23, 2005, following complaints from parents, doctors and educationists.
SGPC secretary Dalmegh Singh on Tuesday issued a direction asking the gurdwaras to adhere to the edict. The use of loudspeakers by religious outfits draws criticism from parents during examination days.
As most of the gurdwaras, including those governed by the SGPC, were not following the edict, the DGSE wrote to the SGPC.
For other outfits and violators, the DGSE has asked the SSPs and DCs to invoke various laws of the voice pollution act.
Pannu said, "The time period between January and March is crucial for students and any disturbance can affect their performance in the examination."
"It's a welcome step and I thank the SGPC for issuing directions to all gurdwaras. Religious outfits must realise that education is important to make youngsters good citizens in this competitive world. Otherwise we will lag behind in terms of human resources," said Pannu.
"We are already aware of the rules and are implementing them in gurdwaras. We hope all gurdwaras in villages will also implement the edict. Most of such violations occur in villages," said Gurminder Singh, an SGPC granthi.
"It is the need of the hour, as during morning and evening hours, the use of loudspeakers causes inconvenience to students. We hope other religious bodies would also issue such directions," said Avneet Singh Dhaliwal, a student of Buddha Dal Public School, Patiala.