President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday asked the Governors to work towards improving the security and welfare of women in the states.
Addressing the 44th Conference of Governors, Pranab said there was a pressing need to bring about a change in society’s mindset so that women are treated with dignity and respect.
Maintaining that India is a nation of youth, he said the country could reap the demographic dividend by providing proper education and skills.
“It is proposed to create an additional enrolment capacity of 10 million students, including one million in open and distance learning streams, by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan. Since bulk of the enrolment takes place in state institutions, the role of Governors as chancellors of the state universities assumes significance,” he said.
Referring to the day-long discussions that he had with vice-chancellors (V-Cs) of 40 central universities last week, Pranab asked the Governors to organise similar meetings with V-Cs of state universities. “Our institutions of higher education must create an enabling ecosystem, which encourages research, innovation and entrepreneurship. They need to evolve from their present role as knowledge providers to knowledge creators and promote wealth generation. Excellence to compete in a highly competitive global society should be developed and joint efforts should be focused to build an enlightened citizenry and promote a knowledge society,” he said.
Noting that the 14th Finance Commission was set up last month, Pranab asked the Governors to pursue the constitution of State Finance Commissions (SFCs) with adequate staff, ensure timely submission of the SFC reports to the Governor and timely action by the government on such reports.
Pranab wanted Governors to pay special attention to Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, a scheme focusing on sanitation and drinking water facilities in gram panchayats.
He also stressed the urgent need to strengthen delivery systems of government programmes.