The elections to elect president of Panjabi Sahitya Akademi (PSA) were held on Sunday. Sukhdev Singh Sirsa, 55, has been elected new president of the Akademi. Sirsa is chairman of Punjabi studies at Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, and has written many books in Punjabi on various subjects.
The members participated in the elections in large numbers. These elections are held every two years and only members are eligible to vote.
The voting started at 9am and culminated around 3pm, followed by the results that were declared during the late evening hours.
Tarlochan Singh, a theatre artiste and a member of the PSA, said, "I feel proud of Panjabi Sahitya Akademi, which has made constant efforts to keep Punjabi alive. I hope the new president with his team will take the spirits of the association and its aims to new heights."
The outgoing president Gurbhajan Singh Gill shared that there were a total of 1,600 members. Currently, the core issues and aims of the organisation included promotion of Punjabi language, literature and culture and galvanising Punjabi writers and poets through awards and helping them to publish their books, promotion of Punjabi books among all age groups, involving educational institutions to popularise Punjabi among youth and most importantly demanding the government to start postal stamp of the Akademi, which had completed 60 years in serving Punjabi, he added.