Chandigarh, March 7: The Punjab Cabinet, under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, on Wednesday gave its nod to renaming the Department of Welfare of Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes and Minorities, as Department of Social Justice and Empowerment and Minorities’.
The decision to rename the department was taken as the existing name neither carried a positive connotation, nor truly reflected the efforts and endeavour of the government for upliftment of disadvantaged sections of the society. Hence, in consonance with the name of the Central Ministry undertaking similar activities and functions, the Cabinet has decided to rename the Department as the ‘Department of Social Justice and Empowerment and Minorities’, according to an official spokesperson.
The Government of India had changed the name of its Ministry as ‘Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment’ in the year 1998, and consequently many Governments like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh etc have also changed the name of their Department as the “Department of Social Justice and Empowerment’.
The Directorate of the concerned department has also been renamed accordingly as Directorate of Social Justice and Empowerment and Minorities. Concurrently, the post of ‘District Welfare Officer & Tehsil Welfare Officer’ has been renamed as District Social Justice and Empowerment Officer &Tehsil Social Justice and Empowerment Officer.
The population of Punjab is 277.43 lakh, as per the census 2011, which comprises weaker sections of the society that include 31.94 % population of Scheduled Castes and about 16.1 percent of Backward Classes besides Christians, Muslims and other minorities.