President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday asked the governors of states to act as change makers by improving the lives of marginalised people and enhancing higher education standards. In his opening address at the two-day conference of governors and lt 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 road map for the betterment of lives of our fellow citizens, who have not benefited as much as expected from our development journey,” the president said. He said India is blessed with the largest youth population in the world.
“As governors, you are guardians of our youth – in the sense that you can inspire young people to absorb the right moral values and you can motivate them to both pursue modern education and remain sensitive to our Indian ethos,” Kovind said.
Talking about the higher education scenario in the country, the president said 69 per cent of total universities in India come under the purview of state governments and about 94 per cent 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.
The president said it is equally essential to keep the academic curriculum updated to maintain the contemporary relevance of education. “As governors of your states, it is for you to engage the youth and motivate them to use their academic achievements for the welfare of society and of our country. We need to strive collectively for a better life for our coming generations,” he said.
Kovind also sought suggestions from the governors on celebrations for the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. “There would be no better way to cherish his memory than to strive for genuine and meaningful social transformation,” he said. The Centre has decided to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi over a 24-month period commencing October 2, 2018.
“Gandhiji gave us an unfailing talisman. He said that to judge the efficacy of any action we contemplate, we should ask ourselves if it would be of help to the weakest, poorest and most disadvantaged person we know. We must keep this talisman in mind and I would welcome suggestions from all of you to put Gandhiji’s ideals and values into practice,” the president said.