The President of India,
Shri Ram NathKovind, opened the 48th Conference of Governors at
Rashtrapati Bhavan today (October 12, 2017). The Conference is being
attended by Twenty-seven Governors and three Lt. Governors of States and
Union Territories. The Administrators of the UTs of Dadra and Nagar
Haveli & Daman and Diu as well as of Lakshadweep are also participating
in the Conference as special invitees.
In his opening address, the President said that by participating in this
Conference, Governors and Lt. Governors get a good opportunity to
discuss important issues and share experiences from their respective
States. He stated that Governors play the role of a bridge between the
Union Government and States. The obligation of Governors to preserve and
uphold the Constitution and commit themselves to the service and welfare
of the people is even more pronounced in the current paradigm of
The President said critical milestones and national goals have been set
in the context of the completion of 75 years of independence in 2022.
This period is only five years away, and the Government of India has
resolved to build a society that is safe and secure, prosperous, ensures
opportunity for all, and is a leader in science and technology. Given
the magnitude of this task, it is necessary that the entire country
works unitedly and is on the same page. The five years from 2017 to 2022
are devoted to the creation of New India, one free of corruption,
poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition and unhygienic conditions.
Simultaneously, a strong foundation will also be laid for the coming
generations. In order to ensure ‘Team India’ advances in a single
direction to achieve these national goals, Governors should inspire and
connect all relevant stakeholders in their respective States.
The President said that it is essential to link youth with the process
of nation building. The future of the country depends on the capacities,
moral values and compassion of the younger generation. Special attention
needs to be paid to higher education and skill development at the level
of States. This is particularly true given the challenges of automation
and Artificial Intelligence. The President pointed out that 69 per cent
of Universities in the country fall under the purview of State
Governments, and 94 per cent of all college and university students
study in these institutions.
The President said technology can propel us to reach even difficult and
long-term goals, and help ensure access to quality public services for
all citizens. He also stressed trusting citizens more and gave the
examples of self-attestation of documents by individuals and the easier
mechanism for obtaining a passport. He urged the replication of these
ideas at the level of States, since much of citizen’s interaction with
Government agencies is at the level of States.
The President said that being an intrinsic part of the legislative
system in their States, Governors can provide a new dimension to the
development of their States by communicating with legislators, and
inviting them to Raj Bhavan to deliberate on subjects related to public
well-being. By establishing communication with University Chancellors
and Vice-Chancellors, academicians, social workers and other thoughtful
and enlightened citizens in the States, Governors could help raise the
quality of discussion and debate and provide an impetus to society and
the State government.
The President concluded by expressing hope that this Conference could
help the Union Government and the States work together in the interests
of all citizens, especially young people. The dream of a developed India
will be realised, he said, only when every State develops.
Those participating in the inaugural session included the Vice
President; the Prime Minister; Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics
& Information Technology; Minister of Health & Family Welfare; Minister
of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare; Minister of Human Resource
Development; Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development &
Entrepreneurship; Minister of Railways & Coal; Minister of State (I/C)
of Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region, Minster of State
(I/C) of Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs and Vice Chairman and CEO
of NITI Aayog.
The two-day Conference will deliberate on distinct agenda items in
different sessions. The theme of the opening session was ‘New
India-2022’. The first session of the Conference was addressed by Prime
Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi.There was also a presentation by
Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog, on the elements of ‘New
The second session is on the subjects of ‘Higher Education in States’
and ‘Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to Make Youth Employable’.
In the third session, to take place on October 13, 2017, Governors will
make brief remarks on any special issues pertaining to their respective
States/Union Territories. In the concluding session, a brief report on
the deliberations will be presented by the respective conveners.