President Pranab Mukherjee yet again asked Governors to act within the framework of the Constitution and “they must not only be fair but also be seen to be fair”.In his concluding remarks in the two-day conference of Governors on Wednesday, he said that they have been charged with an onerous responsibility–to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.”It is, therefore, imperative that all their actions are within the framework of the Constitution and conform to the highest ideals enshrined in this living document,” Mukherjee said. He said as holders of high offices they must not only be fair but also be seen to be fair.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The President’s mention assumes significance amidst a raging controversy over the role of Governor J P Rajkhowa in Arunachal Pradesh that led to the imposition of central rule. Inaugurating the conference, he had yesterday said all those who hold Constitutional positions should maintain sanctity of the Constitution.”Governors, as the live-link between the centre and the states, can catalyse initiatives. Governors may take up smart solutions in their Raj Bhavans which can serve as technology demonstrators. They may also ask the universities to make use of the ‘Unnat Bharat Abhiyaan’ for developing smart villages. Governors can also sensitise states and union territories about adopting a well-knit strategy to achieve the objectives of the Make-in-India programme,” Mukherjee asked.He said strong monitoring, rigorous follow-up, and validation of progress are essential for the success of the Swachh Bharat Mission.The President said the Governors of eastern states, specially the North Eastern states, should become active participants of the Government’s ‘Act East’ policy.Connectivity of the North Eastern states must be improved by strengthening the road and rail network. There is need for a progressive policy for industrial investment and promotion in the hilly and mountainous states, he said.The entire North-East and the Northern region of the country is highly vulnerable to seismic disturbances. The building codes and regulatory mechanisms for new construction have to be enforced strictly, Mukherjee said.”It needs to be ensured that disaster management procedures are in place and regular drills are conducted,” he said.The President said laudable initiatives taken by some Governors should be replicated in other states. As Chancellors or Visitors of universities at the state level, Governors can play a proactive role in driving quality higher education.”Governors could also examine the possibility of conducting in-residence programmes in Raj Bhavans on the lines of what is organised at Rashtrapati Bhavan,” he said.The in-residence programme is envisaged to encourage the creative and innovative potential of people by helping them stay in specifically-built houses inside the President’s Estate. Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also addressed the concluding session of the conference which was attended by 23 Governors and two Lt Governors.Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, national Security Adviser Ajit Doval, among others also addressed the gathering.
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