February,10,2016: President Pranab Mukherjee while inaugrating two day 47th Governors Conference at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi, in the light of recent controversies relating to the role of Governors, said that,”It is primarily due to our steadfast adherence to the principles enshrined in our Constitution. It is an enduring document that reflects our aspirations and the avenues to achieve them, in an inclusive manner. It is incumbent on us all who hold constitutional positions to maintain the sanctity of this sacred text”.
The President’s call assumes significance against the backdrop of a raging controversy over the role of Governor J P Rajkhowa in Arunachal Pradesh that led to various developments culminating in the imposition of President Rule in Arunachal Pradesh.
President further added that,”We have faced challenges from the global economic slowdown, climatic changes, and internal and external security. States having international borders were affected by terrorist attacks that had clear external linkages. Volatile external security environment makes it incumbent on us to upgrade our defence capabilities. At the same time, we have to continue our efforts at resolving all outstanding international issues through peaceful dialogue and negotiations,” the President said in his inaugural address at the conference attended by 23 Governors and Lt Governors of the states and union territories”.
Terming it as a difficult the last year that saw terror attacks with “clear external linkages”, he further said the country has to continue efforts to resolve all outstanding international issues through peaceful dialogue and negotiations.
The President said India is suffering the worst effects of drought with two consecutive deficient monsoons. Another dry spell is likely to impact agricultural production further. Farmer distress has to be addressed on a war-footing. The newly-launched Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana aims at providing effective risk cover to farmers using technology. This and other measures to provide relief to farmers should receive top priority. To develop climate resilience, we must task our agricultural research institutions to develop drought-proof varieties of food grains and other food commodities.
The President said for successful implementation of Government’s schemes like Make-in-India, Start-up India, Smart City Mission and Swachh Bharat Mission, these have to 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.
The President said citizens of this country have a right to lead a healthy, happy and productive life. This right appears to have been breached by the distressing pollution levels in our cities. Mitigation of the dangers to environment calls for holistic changes whose permanence can only be ensured if people become active participants. Governors can play a catalyzing role in such efforts.
The President said ,”There are over 320 state public universities and over 140 state private universities. Governors can also play a persuasive role in improving the quality of education in these institutions”.
The agenda for the two-day Conference of Governors includes (a) Security- Internal and External with special focus on terrorism and insurgency activities; (b) Creating jobs for youths: special focus on skill development for school dropouts; (c) Implementation of flagship programmes of the Government like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Housing for all by 2022 and Smart Cities; (d) Improving quality of Higher Education; (e) Giving impetus to “Make in India” programme and employability and (f) Act East Policy and development of North Eastern Region.