S. Balbir Singh: A flag bearing personality for society and Education
Late S. Balbir Singh was a multi dimensional personality which was equally adapt to the spheres and qualities of an able Educationist, competent Politician, administrator and above all a true humanist. Virtues such as these enabled him to serve our society and education in particular as the President of the Governing Council of Lyallpur Khalsa College for 35 years with unwavering levels of dedication. His extremely successful work in the field of education and thereby changing the face of the Doaba region of Punjab is worth mentioning. It was his initiative regarding technical and Computer based education that proved to be an inspiration leading to Lyallpur Khalsa Educational Institutes achieving new heights and thus becoming today’s prime center of education earning him the untiring respect of every individual concerned with the institutions. He was the first brain to realize the importance of Computer Science education in whole North India. It is due to this ground breaking thinking that Lyallpur Khalsa College is now widely ranked as one of the topmost colleges of this country. His vision ensured the creation of an equilibrium of participations in Academics, Cultural, Research and Sports activities.
S. Balbir Singh was a one of a kind politician who worked tirelessly for the social causes seen by his eyes as worthy of the authorities’ attention. He became an integral part of Gyani Zail Singh led Punjab Government where he successfully performed his duties as the cabinet minister of health. After serving his state with distinction, he then stepped up to the national level with his Rajya Sabha membership in 1992 and his emphatic selection to Lok Sabha in 1999. Representing the public in both the houses of Indian Parliament, he duly raised his voice for issues which at that time was the basic need of the hour. He was also an eminent member of the committee that was responsible for the laying out of National Highways in India. He is also very fondly remembered by Indians living abroad who always felt closely connected to him as the 2-time nominated Patron of the NRI Sabha, working for the welfare of NRIs. I also believe that the widespread development of the Doaba region of Punjab can also be attributed to his policies and vision. Apart from the educational and Political sphere he also contributed heavily in the field of Sports. He is also globally known and appreciated as the founder of the Punjab Kabbadi Association and the current international level recognition enjoyed by Kabbadi owes its roots to the foundation laid by S. Balbir Singh.
The fact that the college has excelled so superbly in the fields of academics, sports and culture as well only goes to highlight the broad visualization of Late S. Balbir Singh. It was his utmost wish to see his staff and students excel in all spheres of life. S. Balbir Singh was an efficient administrator with a vision of not just running educational institutes but to create new levels of educational initiatives which serve the region beyond imparting mere degrees to the students. He duly raised his voice for the colleges of the region and took up their issues and problems to the Governments of the time. His entire life and way of living was based on exemplary and setting examples for others to follow. He successfully launched Lyallpur Khalsa Institutions imparting quality education in the fields of Law, Education and technical education through a collegiate school, Degree college and B.Ed College among others. Under the similarly visionary guidance of Sardarni Balbir Kaur, President, College Governing Council, the management has inaugurated a brand new multi faceted college at Urban Estate, Kapurthala to cater the growing educational needs of the region in addition to the Technical and Engineering College, Jalandhar. S. Balbir Singh’s vision is now also being extended overseas, to the city of Surrey (Canada) as per the plans to construct the first ever overseas branch of a college and subsequently providing another exemplary landmark in the entire educational sphere.
His attention to minute details led to Lyallpur Khalsa College becoming the premier institute it is today and also receiving the ‘Potential for Excellence’ award from the UGC. The college has also received a grant of Rs. 44 Lakh under the DST-FIST (2008) Star College and another grant of Rs 1.75 Crore from the DBT Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India. If Lyallpur Khalsa College, Jalandhar, is now recognized as the premier educational institution of the country and if it is ranked among the three topmost multi faculty degree colleges of entire India it is mostly due to his efforts and the vision he once saw for the college which he duly followed up with his dedicated efforts. The college has already been re-accredited with ‘A’ grade with a high 3.74 CGPA in 4 point scale, by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in the meeting of the Executive Committee. The college has also continued to perform excellently in the field of culture as well. College teams have won top honours in various Youth Festivals organized by the University at National and International level since the session 2014 till the current session of 2018-19 including overall winner’s trophies in 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2018-19 whilst claiming runners up trophy in 2016-17 and 2017-18 and the college also successfully hosted and won the latest edition of the Youth Festival. The current management under the worthy leadership of Sardarni Balbir Kaur has also continued to fulfill the visionary thought of Late S. Balbir Singh by announcing a cash prize of Rs. 51,000 to the ‘Best Player’ in Sports Category chosen by Guru Nanak Dev University and a trophy to the associated college as well.
On the fateful night of 13th February 2008, S. Balbir Singh quietly departed us forever and today despite his physical absence, his presence is deeply felt at every passing moment. One satisfying factor comforting all of us is the care and guidance being provided to the educational institutions group by Sardarni Balbir Kaur who has continued to nourish this educational sapling planted so dearly by Late S. Balbir Singh whilst keeping up the same virtues, dedication and sincerity. As the Principal of this great institution, I am extremely proud to be rendering my services to the everlasting memory of Late S. Balbir Singh.
Dr. Gurpinder Singh Samra
Lyallpur Khalsa College, Jalandhar