Prez says governors are mentor and guide to state govts

Prez says governors are mentor and guide to state govts

President Ram Nath Kovind exchanges greetings with Governors Kaptan Singh Solanki and Ram Naik at the Conference of Governors at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on Monday. PTI

President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday said that the governors were mentor and guide to the state governments and an important link in the federal structure of the country.

“As per the Constitution, the post of governor has an exalted place in the scheme of governance. The governor is a mentor and guide to the state government and an important link in the federal structure,” Kovind said, opening the 49th Governors' conference at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday.

His comment came just weeks after Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala drew flak from the Congress, Janata Dal (Secular) and other parties after the recent state Assembly elections. Vala was criticised for his decision to ignore the Congress and JD (S) claim to form the government in the state and to invite the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to do the same. The BJP-led B S Yeddyurappa eventually failed to prove the majority in the state Assembly and Kumaraswamy took over as the chief minister.

“The people of the state view the office of the governor and the Raj Bhavan as a fount of ideals and values,” said the President.

Speaking during the opening session of the conference, Prime Minister Narendra Modi too said that the institution of the governor had “a pivotal role to play within the federal structure and Constitutional framework” of the country.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her party Trinamool Congress is often engaged in the verbal duel with state Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi, including on the issue of violence during the Gram Panchayet polls.

President on Monday said that approximately 100 million people in the country belonged to the Scheduled Tribes. “A majority of this population lives in regions that are covered under the Fifth and Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India. Governors could help in the shaping of a road map for the betterment of lives of our fellow citizens, who have not benefited as much as expected from our development journey,” he said.

He said that 69% of all universities in the country came under the purview of the state governments. “About 94% of students enrolled for higher education study in the universities. Governors are the Chancellors of most of these universities. In their capacity as Chancellors of state universities, it is for them to provide the necessary impetus and inspiration to these institutions and to enhance the level of scholarship,” said Kovind. “With the instruments of their office and with their rich experience in public life, governors are ideally equipped for this responsibility.”

The President said that governors could help ensure that admissions of students and appointments of teachers in state universities are completed well in time and in a transparent manner. They could also help ensure that examinations, declaration of results and convocations take place as scheduled. It was for them to inspire state universities to maintain this discipline and integrity, he said.

Governors discussed the internal security situation in the country in the presence of the President, Prime Minister and Home Minister. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval briefed governors about the internal security situation.

Niti Ayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar and Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant briefed them about the flagship development initiatives of the government.