On Tuesday morning, President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the 47th Conference of Governors at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The two-day conference is being attended by 23 Governors and Lt. Governors of different states and union territories.
In the meet the Governors are discussing a host of issues which include security with special focus on terrorism and insurgency, jobs for youth, implementation of Centre’s flagship programmes, quality of higher education and Act East Policy in the development of the North East region.
In his opening address at the conference, the President spoke about the challenges faced by Indian states in the year gone by. He named a few challenges like climactic changes, global economic slowdown and internal and external security issues, especially for states that share international borders.
Speaking about the drought conditions that India faced for two consecutive years because of insufficient monsoon, the President appealed to all to address the issue of farmers’ distress.
Relief to farmers should receive top priority, said the President in his inaugural address.
He also added that Indian agricultural research institutions should look to develop drought-proof varieties of food grains and other food commodities.
President Mukherjee also spoke about the role of a Governor in improving the quality of education in their states.
Governors must play a persuasive role in improving the state and private educational institutions, said the President.
“It is incumbent on us all who hold constitutional positions to maintain the sanctity of Constitution,” said the President.
“We must make our disaster management systems more scientific and keep them in a state of preparedness to minimize damage and provide relief when nature’s fury strikes,” said the President while talking about the unprecedented floods that submerged Chennai in November 2015.
President Mukherjee also spoke at length on PM Modi’s flagship schemes like Make-in-India, Start-up India, Smart City Mission and Swachh Bharat Mission. According to the President, successful implementation of these schemes can only happen when they run in close partnership with state governments.
As the constitutional heads of their respective states, Governors can play an inspirational role to ensure their active cooperation, President Mukherjee said.
Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several union ministers including Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj were all present at the conference.
(With inputs from PTI)