Addressing the 49th conference of Governors and Lt. Governors in Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday, President Ram Nath Kovind asked them to act as change makers by improving the lives of marginalised people and enhancing higher education standards.
The two-day conference, which will discuss important thematic issues in various sessions, started on Monday. The conference will also see briefings and presentations on flagship programmes of the Government of India as well as on internal security.
In his opening address, he said a governor is a mentor and guide for the state government and an important link in the federal structure.
“As governors you can help in the shaping of a road map for the betterment of lives of our fellow citizens, who have not benefited as much as expected from our development journey,” the president said.
Saying India is blessed with the largest youth population in the world, President told the august gathering “you are guardians of our youth in the sense that you can inspire young people to absorb the right moral values and you can motivate them to both pursue modern education and remain sensitive to our Indian ethos”.
Talking about the higher education scenario in the country, the president said 69 per cent of total universities in India come under the purview of state governments and about 94 per cent of students enrolled for higher education study in these universities.
With governors as chancellors of most of these universities, Kovind said, they should provide the necessary impetus and inspiration to these institutions and enhance the level of scholarship. It is equally essential to keep the academic curriculum updated to maintain the contemporary relevance of education, he said.
The President also sought suggestions from the governors on celebrations for the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The Centre has decided to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi over a 24-month period commencing October 2, 2018.
The first Conference of Governors was held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in 1949. It was presided over by C. Rajagopalachari, then the Governor General of India.
This year, presentations will be made by the Vice Chairman and the CEO of NITI Aayog as well as by the National Security Advisor. A special session on Union Territories will also be held on Tuesday to discuss status of implementation of various flagship programmes.
President Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will address the concluding session.
(With agency inputs)