Two-day governors’ conference begins at Rashtrapati Bhavan

Act as change-makers to improve lives of marginalized, Prez tells Guvs

NEW DELHI, Jun 4: President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday asked the governors of the states to act as change-makers by improving the lives of the marginalized people and enhancing higher education standards.
In his opening address at the two-day conference of governors and lieutenant governors, which began at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, he said a governor is a mentor and guide for the state government and an important link in the federal structure.
“The people of the state view the office of the governor and the Raj Bhavan as a fount of ideals and values,” Kovind said.
He said there are approximately 100 million people in the country who belong to the Scheduled Tribes.
“As governors you can help in the shaping of a roadmap for the betterment of lives of our fellow citizens, who have not benefited as much as expected from our development journey,” the president said.
Talking about the higher education scenario in the country, the president said 69 percent of total universities in India come under the purview of state governments and about 94 percent 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.
“You can help ensure that admissions of students and appointments of teachers in state universities are completed well in time and in a transparent manner. You can also help ensure that examinations, declaration of results and convocations take place as scheduled. It is for you to inspire state universities to maintain this discipline and integrity,” Kovind said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also attended the opening session. He urged the governors to leverage their experience to help people derive maximum benefits from central schemes, and reminded them of their pivotal role in a federal structure.
The prime minister said that in states with significant tribal population, they can help in ensuring that these communities take advantage of government initiatives in fields such as education, sports and financial inclusion.
He spoke at length about how governors could leverage their experience in different walks of life, so that people derive maximum benefit of various central development schemes and initiatives.
He said the tribal communities had played a key role in the freedom struggle, and this should be recognized and recorded for posterity through avenues such as digital museums.
There was discussion on higher education in state universities and skill development for employability and presentations made by the higher education secretary and the industrial policy & promotion secretary.
The governors and lieutenant governors made presentations on the steps taken on the report ‘Rajyapal – Vikas Ke Rajdoot: Catalytic Role of Governors as Agents for Change in Society’.
Taking part in the discussion, Arunachal Pradesh Governor BD Mishra shared his views and observation during his tour, mostly by road, to various districts of the state.
He informed that there is no state university in Arunachal Pradesh and the higher and technical educational institutions in the state are run by the Centre.
Sharing the views of the students from institutes of higher education in the state he had gathered during his interactions with them, the governor suggested measures for improving the quality of higher education and campus placement opportunities, within the existing human and financial resources of the premiere educational institutions in the state.
He also stressed on revising the syllabi at regular intervals.
The governor mentioned about the adoption of villages by the higher and technical educational institutions in the state.
Informing that there are nine private universities in the state, Mishra said that the state government has enacted the Arunachal Pradesh Private Educational Institutions (Regulatory Commission) Act, 2017, as notified on 25 April, 2017.
Accordingly, the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Commission would be functional to monitor the existing private universities, he said.
Briefing on the best practices in Raj Bhavan, the governor said that to translate words into action, he has initiated a “mission-mode Swachchata Abhiyan” and named it ‘Hamara Elan Swachhata aur Nari Utthan’.
He also informed about the Swachhata Award at the district level to those who maintain cleanliness at their houses, surroundingss and shop frontage.
Replacing lighting system with LED lamps, cashless transaction, felicitation of students at Raj Bhavan for academic excellence, blood donation camp, regular interactions with students from institutes of higher education on preparing oneself towards entrepreneurship and self-employment, campus placement, national security, etc, were also mentioned in his remark on best practices in Raj Bhavan.
Apart from the governors and lieutenant governors of all the states and union territories, Vice President, Union Ministers of Home Affairs; External Affairs, Human Resource Development, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Minister of State (I/C) of Ministry of Culture; and Vice Chairman and CEO of NITI Aayog and other senior officials from various ministries are attending the conference. (PTI, with inputs from Raj Bhavan)