The 45th Conference of Governors concluded yesterday (February 14, 2014) at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The two day Conference had as its agenda – external and internal security environment, development issues in Scheduled Areas and North Eastern region, improving the quality of higher education and making disaster management more effective.
The Conference was attended by Twenty-six Governors and three Lt. Governors.
Reports were presented by different groups of Governors on topics such as the Role of Governors as a bridge between States and Centre; Areas under Sixth Schedule of the Constitution; North Eastern Council and related issues; Areas under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution; Role of Governors as Chancellors of educational institutions in improving the quality of higher education and Disaster Management.
Union Ministers of Defence, Finance, Home Affairs, External Affairs, Law and Justice, Tribal Affairs, Human Resource Development, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission and Minister of State (Independent Charge) in the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region addressed the Conference and participated in the discussions.
The Governors and Lt. Governors appraised the Conference of the situation in their States/ UTs and important issues of concern. They made a number of constructive suggestions on how coordination between the centre and states can be improved, security strengthened and development activities speeded up.
The President, Vice President and Prime Minister addressed the concluding session.
In his remarks, the President said the Conference has discussed many pertinent and serious issues. There is need to strengthen our democratic institutions and Constitutional authorities. The Constitution provides enough space for the Governors to act in the best interests of both the Centre and the States. While the Central Government should extend support to Governors by consulting them on critical issues relating to the States and by providing easy access to key Ministries, Governors should use their persuasive skills to build consensus with State Governments on issues relating to the welfare of the people of the States.
The President reminded the Governors that they are the first citizens of their states. They draw their authority from the Constitution and are oath-bound to protect, preserve and defend the Constitution and work towards the welfare of the people of their states.
Describing recent incidents of racial violence involving people from the North East as extremely distressing, the President called for expeditious measures to assuage feelings of the people of North East.
The President said the Ministry of the HRD should examine issues related to the role of Governors as Chancellors/Rectors of state universities in consultation with UGC. It should also keep the Governors fully informed of various schemes launched by it.
Pointing out that Governors from States and UTs with international borders emphasized the urgent need for speeding up the building of border infrastructure, the President called upon concerned authorities to take necessary measures in this regard, including through the establishment of coordination mechanisms.