New Delhi: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu said yesterday that India is witnessing a rapid transformation in all spheres and that the Prime Minister’s clarion call of ‘reform, perform and transform’ has given a new sense of urgency and direction to the country, and the Governors should ensure that the momentum is maintained and tangible outcomes are achieved through collective and collaborative efforts.
Addressing the concluding session of 50th Governors’ Conference at Rashtrapati Bhawan on 24 November, Naidu said that Governors, with their vast experience, can play an active role in shaping India’s development path.
The VP said there cannot be a better time than now for us to make our ‘Ek Bharat‘ a ‘Shrestha Bharat‘, and called upon the Governors to promote this spirit of ‘Bharatiyata’.
He drew their attention towards the rich cultural traditions and linguistic, literary heritage of each state, and stressed the need for its preservation.
“You must support efforts to preserve local culture, festivals and food varieties. You must encourage healthy foods and healthy lifestyle. You must encourage the preservation of local art forms and programs that support local artisans and craftsmen,” Naidu told the Governors.
He also asked them to ensure that local languages get their due place in the administration and wherever public interfaces exist.
Calling language the repository of the culture of a region, Naidu urged the Governors to actively encourage state governments to preserve and promote mother tongues and use them as a medium of instruction at least at the primary school level.
The VP also drew Governors’ attention to certain colonial practices which need to be reviewed. For example, addressing high dignitaries as ‘Excellency’ and adopting the cap and gown dress in university convocations can be modified to bring in an essential Indian touch.
Expressing concern over unsustainable water use, the Vice President observed the urgent need for water conservation.
Lauding the Government’s aim to double farmers’ incomes and make agriculture remunerative and sustainable, he mentioned several structural reforms being introduced in the agriculture sector.
Calling agriculture the basic culture of the country, Naidu emphasised a greater need for effective ‘lab-to-land’ transmission of knowledge and promotion of diversification of crops, as well as supplementation of on-farm income through horticulture, dairy, poultry and pisciculture.
The Vice President further said that in the field of higher education, the focus will have to be on encouraging innovation and the continuous quest for excellence. Research and teaching facilities have to be benchmarked against the best in the world, he added.
On the opening day of the Conference of Governors, the Prime Minister had appealed to Governors to inspire the youth, and focus on healthcare, education and tourism. President Kovind had also addressed the Conference, urging Governors to focus on performing their Constitutional duties in the interest of the people’s welfare.
The two-day conference at Rashtrapati Bhavan was presided over by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind. Union Home Minister Amit Shah; Minister of IT & Communication, Law and Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad; Minister of Jal Shakti (Water Resources) Gajendra Singh Shekhawat; Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar; Minister of Tribal affairs Arjun Munda; as well as the Governors of States and Lt. Governors and Administrators of UTs were among the dignitaries who attended the Conference.
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