NEW DELHI, Nov 23: The role of governors and lieutenant governors has become important when the country’s emphasis is on cooperative and competitive federalism for the progress of the nation, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Saturday.
In his inaugural speech at the two-day Governors’ and Lt Governors’ Conference here, the President said all the governors have abundant experience of public life and the people of the country should get the maximum benefit out of it.
“The role of the governor is not limited to protection and preservation of the constitution, but they have a commitment to remain persistent in the service and welfare of the people of their states,” Kovind said, adding “ultimately, we all work for the public and we are also answerable to them.”
“Today the governors’ role becomes even more important when we are emphasizing on cooperative federalism and healthy competitive federalism in the interest of the progress of the country,” an official release quoted the president as saying.
While ‘cooperative federalism’ means that the Centre and the state governments, along with representatives of local bodies, formulate similar policies for the betterment of the people rather than working at cross-purposes, ‘competitive federalism’ means states competing among themselves, as well as with the Centre.
The Centre has already started taking measures for competitive federalism by replacing the Planning Commission with the NITI Aayog, and also tabling in Parliament the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission which envisages increase of the central tax revenue share from 32 percent to 42 percent.
Emphasizing the importance of governors’ role, Kovind made an emphatic reference to the welfare of tribals, and said their development and
empowerment is linked to inclusive growth, as well as to internal security of the country.
“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,” he said.
He said optimal use and conservation of water resources is one of the highest priorities of the country.
“We should make the Jal Shakti Abhiyan a mass movement like the Swachh Bharat Mission,” Kovind said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union Home Minister Amit Shah also addressed the inaugural session.
‘Edn system should focus on sustainable livelihood’
During the conference, a sub-group of governors will deliberate on agenda which includes tribal issues, reforms in agriculture, the Jal Jeevan Mission, the new education policy for higher education, and ‘governance for ease of living’.
Participating in the discussion about the new policy in higher education during the inaugural session, Arunachal Governor BD Mishra suggested that the country’s education system “should focus on sustainable livelihoods and economic development, and facilitate socio-cultural wellbeing of the people.”
Faculty members and students of higher education should also engage with local communities and real-world problems, and function in collaborative, inclusive and cross-disciplinary ways, he said.
Sharing his concern over the employability of graduating students, the governor suggested establishing a “career guidance-cum-central placement cell with a full-time senior professor, an entrepreneurship development cell, and linking academics with industry.”
He said education should be linked with employability enhancement subjects, and suggested starting skill-based programmes at the university level.
Mishra advocated providing special fund allocation for “innovation, promotion, execution and integration of start-up policy with the curriculum in higher educational institutions.”
To ensure accountability and discipline, he suggested installing CCTV cameras in classrooms, and biometric attendance of every member of the university community.
The governor also recommended having “multistoried buildings to optimize land use, gender-based education system, and strict regulatory check on mushrooming of commercialized private universities.”
‘Arunachal needs separate cadre’
Mishra also raised the issue of the need for Arunachal to have its own cadre of central services officers, viz, IAS and IPS.
“In the absence of a separate cadre for Arunachal Pradesh, the posting of central services officers to our state is done by the AGMUT cadre controlling authority in Delhi, and our state has no role in that. It, therefore, mostly happens that the central services officers do not have continuity and cannot build up long-term perspectives to enable them to give their best in the service of the people of Arunachal Pradesh,” the governor said.
He requested for early formulation of a central services cadre for Arunachal. (PTI & Raj Bhavan)