Insisting that peace and communal harmony must be ensured, President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said that liberties, freedom and equality were guaranteed in the Constitution and any deviation from these principles would weaken the democratic fabric of the country.
“Every Indian looks forward to the Constitution as the guarantor of liberties, freedom and equality. Any deviation from the principles and provisions embodied in the Constitution would weaken the democratic fabric of the country and jeopardise the social, economic and political well-being of our citizens,” he said in his opening remarks at the 46th Governors Conference.
The President said the Governors and Lt.Governors have the “primary responsibility” to ensure that the affairs of the states and Union Territories are conducted strictly in accordance with the letter and spirit of this hallowed document.
“Prevalence of peace and communal harmony must be ensured,” he said at the two-day conference attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cabinet ministers, 21 Governors and two LGs.
The agenda for the conference includes security-internal and external with special focus on border security in States sharing international frontiers, financial inclusion, employment generation and employability, making skill development programmes effective, sanitation – achieving the goal of Swachh Bharat by 2019 on Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary and issues relating to Fifth and Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India and development related issues of North Eastern Areas.
On the international front, the President said India followed a policy of maintaining peaceful relations with all countries and “all disputes, relating to our border areas or otherwise, should be resolved through peaceful means.”
On the economic scenario, he said India is projected to have the largest workforce in the world by 2025, with a surplus of 47 million workers against a shortage of 56.5 million skilled workers in the world.
“This demographic dividend is a double-edged sword. If their huge potential is tapped, they could become a powerful engine for growth. On the other hand, if we fail to do so, it could create social tension,” he warned.
He said the youth could become creators, innovators, builders and leaders of the future if they get proper education. “We must capitalize our advantage and enhance the employability of our youth through skilling, re-skilling and up-skilling,” he said.
The President stressed that skill development was also important for the success of the Make-in-India campaign aimed at facilitating investment, fostering innovation and making India a world-class manufacturing hub.