The two-day Conference of Governors and Lt. Governors commenced today (November 23, 2019) at Rashtrapati Bhavan with the inaugural address of the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind. This is the 50th such Conference held in Rashtrapati Bhavan and the third Conference presided over by President Kovind.
In his opening address, the President said that Governors have very important role in our constitutional system. In an emphatic reference to welfare of tribals, he said that development and empowerment of tribals is linked to inclusive growth as well as to our internal security. Governors can give all the proper guidance by using the constitutional powers given to them, to improve the lives of these people, which have remained relatively behind in terms of development.
The President said that today, the Governors’ role becomes even more important when we are emphasizing on Cooperative Federalism and healthy Competitive Federalism in the interest of progress of the country. He said that all Governors have abundant experience in public life. The people of the country should get maximum benefit of this experience. Ultimately, we all work for the public and we are also answerable to them. He emphasised that the role of the Governor is not limited to the protection and preservation of the Constitution. They also have a constitutional commitment to remain persistent in the service and welfare of the people of their states.
Speaking about agenda items of this year’s conference, the President said that preparation of this conference has been done in accordance with the new work culture of New India so as to make the conference more useful and goal oriented. Five subjects of national importance were chosen after discussion with senior governors.
The President said that optimal use and conservation of water resources is one of the highest priorities of our country. We should make the Jal Shakti Abhiyan a mass movement like the Swachh Bharat Mission.
The President said that the goal of our new education policy is to make India a ‘knowledge super power’. In order to materialize this ambition, all our institutions of higher education should make every effort to promote research and innovation. Governors, as Chancellor, also perform the responsibility of guardianship. Therefore, they are expected to give proper guidance to the future generations in their efforts to acquire skills and knowledge.
The Prime Minister and the Union Minister for Home Affairs also addressed the inaugural session.
Subsequently, sub-group of governors will deliberate on agenda items which include tribal issues; reforms in agriculture; Jal Jeevan Mission; new education policy for higher education; and governance for ‘Ease of Living’. Apart from Governors/Lt. Governors, these breakaway sessions will be attended by Union Ministers and officials of concerned Ministries.