The 50th annual Conference of Governors began with an inaugural session at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi today. 17 first time Governors and Lt. Governors, including the Lt. Governors of the newly formed union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, are participating in the Conference. Hon’ble President of India, Vice President of India, Prime Minister, Home Minister and Jal Shakti Minister were amongst those who were present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister while noting the long history of the Conference beginning from 1949 when the first Conference was organised, highlighted the present 50th edition of the Conference as a unique occasion to evaluate the achievements and outcomes of the past Conferences as well as to chart out a road-map for its future direction.
He stated that the institution of Governor has a special role to play in realising a cooperative and competitive federal structure. This Conference provides an opportunity for Governors and Lt. Governors to exchange views and learn from each other’s experiences as well as to adopt international best practices best suited to each state and union territory’s distinct and diverse needs and requirements. Prime Minister said that due to their administrative structure, Union territories can emerge as a role model in terms of development.
The Prime Minister observed that as India celebrates the 75th anniversary of its independence in 2022 and the 100th anniversary in 2047, the role of the Governor in bringing the administrative machinery closer to the people of the country and showing them the correct path becomes even more important. As we celebrate 70 years of the framing of the Indian Constitution, Governors and state governments should also work towards highlighting the service aspects of the Indian Constitution, in particular the duties and responsibilities of the citizens. This will help to bring about participatory governance in the truest sense.
Prime Minister observed that as we celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Governors and Lt. Governors could utilize this occasion to project the abiding relevance of Gandhian thoughts and values, an important bedrock of our Constitution. In their roles as Chancellors of universities, Governors could help inculcate the values of nation building amongst our youth and help to inspire them towards greater achievements.
The Prime Minister concluded his remarks by requesting Governors and Lt. Governors, as they work to discharge their constitutional responsibilities, to listen to the needs of the common man. Prime Minister urged the Governors to work towards upliftment of the under privileged sections of the population, including the scheduled tribes, minority communities, women and the youth, which includes working with state governments and utilizing the existing schemes and initiatives.
Prime Minister made a special mention of health-care, education and tourism sectors where there were new opportunities waiting to be harnessed for job generation and betterment of the poor and down-trodden. He pointed out that Governor’s office could also be used for specific objectives like spreading awareness about Tuberculosis and making India free of this disease by 2025.
Prime Minister also expressed his happiness that this edition of the Conference would see innovative detailed ‘break-out’ discussions in five sub-groups on specific issues and challenges namely tribal issues, reforms in agriculture, Jal Jeevan Mission, New Education Policy and Governance for ‘Ease of Living’; whose reports will then be discussed in the larger format by all participating Governors and Lt. Governors.