Published On: Thu, Feb 12th, 2015

Make cooperative federalism a reality, says President to Governors

1797416_625867390846579_4483362897941178372_nNew Delhi: The 46th Conference of Governors concluded today (February 12, 2015) at Rashtrapati Bhavan. In his concluding remarks, the President said Governors and Lt. Governors have an important role to play in making cooperative federalism a reality. They are all people with great experience in public life. They occupy an important space in our constitutional structure. They also function as a sentinel of the Constitution and a live link with the Union. It is expected from them to make a positive contribution in strengthening the partnership between the Centre and the States.

The President said the authority that Governors/Lt. Governors exercise is based on a moral premise, and as long as the exercise of that authority is confined to the boundaries of the Constitution, he did not see the possibility of any diminution of their role.

The President appreciated the Union Home Minister’s suggestion to actively involve the Governors in the internal security related apparatus and requested him to consider convening separate meetings with groups of Governors having similar problems i.e. North Eastern States, coastal States, States with international borders and LWE affected States. He also suggested that the Raksha Mantri may, similarly, involve Governors of States having an international border in a focused interaction on border and security issues.

The President was happy to note that as per directions of the Prime Minister, eight Union Ministers, including Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State, will tour the North-East every fortnight to review the works related to their Departments and also participate in important events taking place in the region. He expressed the wish that Governors of Eastern States, specially the North Eastern States, should become active participants of the Government’s ‘Act East’ policy and requested External Affairs Minister to consider convening a separate meeting with the Governors of these States to sensitize them on the finer aspects of this policy.

Pointing out the importance of education in transformation of the country, the President urged the Prime Minister to examine the possibility of progressively increasing spending on education from 3.8% of GDP at present to 6% of GDP in the coming years. He also urged the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and all Central and State level agencies to ensure coordination with Governors to enable them to contribute to the achievement of targets of skilling and up-skilling 500 million Indians by 2022.

Pointing out that objectives of Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan cannot be achieved without peoples’ participation and the involvement of NGOs and RWAs, the President urged the Governors and Lt. Governors to spread the message of sanitation in their States/UTs and ensure that we attain the goal of Swachh Bharat by 2019 i.e. Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary.

The Prime Minister also addressed the concluding session.

The two day Conference had as its agenda- (a) security- internal and external with special focus on border security in States sharing international frontiers (b) financial inclusion employment generation and employability- making skill development programmes effective (c) sanitation – achieving the goal of Swachh Bharat by 2019 on Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary and (d) issues relating to Fifth and Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India and development related issues of North Eastern Areas.

The Conference was attended by by Twenty-one Governors and two Lt. Governors.

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