Lt Gen Jatinder Singh, chief of National Defence Academy in Pune, on Tuesday expressed anxiety over the decreasing number of Punjabis in officer cadre in the Indian military.
Delivering his keynote address during 5th All India Punjabi Conference, he said about 20 years ago, the number of Punjabis, particularly Sikhs, topped in the Indian army but now it has come down to eighth position.
"We have not been facing any problem as regard to recruitment of jawans in the Indian army but the number of officers has come down drastically, particularly from Punjab," he added.
Lt Gen Singh, who was conferred Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) by the President, said the NDA had been producing 2,100 cadets every year and till now they have produced 30,000 officers for the Indian army.
The NDA chief lauded the efforts of the Punjab government in setting up Maharaja Ranjit Singh Preparatory Institute for Military Training in Mohali. He urged the Punjab government to ensure that the best talent among students was trained for the armed forces in the institute so as to make it one of the most prestigious army training institutes in the country.
On this occasion, Lt Governor of Pondicherry, Iqbal Singh said that there was no danger to the existence and survival of Punjabi language anywhere in the world.
Describing Punjabi University as the lighthouse of Punjabiyat in the true sense of the term, he stressed upon the need of establishing trusts all over the country, which could work for the furtherance of Punjabi language, art and culture.
In his presidential address, vice chancellor Jaspal Singh said the changing face of world, under the heavy impact of technology, was casting its impact on every aspect of life, including languages across the world. It was therefore an opportune time to draw a 'decisive blueprint' that could pave the way for weathering any storm that could influence the growth and development of Punjabi.
Punjab Technical University VC Rajnish Arora said all institutions, devoted to the cause of promotion of Punjabi, should work in a cooperative manner rather than following the pattern of one-upmanship.