“There is a need to generate employment at doorsteps by spreading industry in the rural areas of Punjab.” This was stated by Dr SS Johl, Chancellor, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda ,while delivering his talk on ‘Socio-Economic Stress in Rural Sector: Some Policy Options’ at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today. Dr Gurdev Singh Khush Foundation for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences organised the lecture and an award ceremony at the PAU. As many as 11 grants were give to scientists and students, and 56 merit scholarships were awarded to the undergraduate students of PAU and Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) were awarded on the occasion. Besides, one team award was bestowed on Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Patiala for excellence in transfer of technology. Dr Gurdev Singh Khush, father of rice revolution; Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, vice-chancellor, PAU; Dr Khem Singh Gill and Dr Manjit Singh Kang, former vice-chancellor, PAU; and Dr AS Nanda, vice-chancellor, GADVASU, were also present. Dr Johl said, “Two-third operational farms are under stress in Punjab. They do generate enough income and gainful employment, capital starved, cannot meet social and economic needs, incapable of making investments, cannot adopt improved technology, indulge in drugs out of frustration, and cannot afford good education and health benefits.” Farm suicides are also a matter of concern, he observed. Dr Johl emphasised on generating employment in farm and non-farm sector. Besides, he stressed on creating service centres in public and private sectors with multiple machinery, implements and inputs. This will be a boon for marginal, small and medium farmers, he observed. Suggesting creating simple support complexes like playgrounds in villages and library with good books, Dr Johl underlined the need for developing farm-level entrepreneurship, and encouraging hub and spoke system of production, processing and marketing. These policy options will give regular employment and income to the farmers and their families; and lead to no or low diversion of loans, he added. PAU HOLDS TALK FOR FRENCH STUDENTS The Department of Agricultural Journalism, Languages and Culture, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) organised a lecture on “Cross Cultural Competence” for the students of French courses at the PAU. The lecture was held in collaboration with the French Literary Club. Speaker Professor Mayank Anand from Punjabi University, Patiala, shared his personal experiences about various cultures of the countries, he had visited. It helped the students understand the importance and the need to acquire cross cultural competence. Emphasising the need for global cultural awareness, Prof Anand said cultures of different countries have many similarities and dissimilarities and difficulties posed by the differences make it necessary for an individual to have a better cross cultural understanding. Dr GK Sangha, dean, College of Basic Sciences and Humanities; Dr Jagdish Kaur, head, Department of Agricultural Journalism, Languages and Culture; Dr JS Bains, Dr KS Grewal and Dr NK Sharma attended the lecture. Harpreet Kaur Bains, assistant professor, (French), coordinated the programme and later proposed the vote of thanks. The lecture was well received and was followed by a question-answer session.