President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday asked Governors to use their position in bringing about changes in the lives of those marginalised and enhancing higher education standards in the country.
"As Governors, you can help in the shaping of a roadmap for the betterment of lives of our fellow citizens, who have not benefited as much as expected from our development journey," he said in his inaugural address at the 49th Conference of Governors and Lt. Governors.
"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 and an important link in the federal structure.
"The people of the state view the office of the Governor and the Raj Bhavan as a fount of ideas and values," Kovind said at the annual conference being held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The central focus for this year's conference is to sensitise the attending state heads to the programmes being implemented for citizens who have been left behind in the country's developmental journey.
The conference will discuss important issues including flagship programmes, internal security, higher education, skill development, steps taken on the report of Committee of Governors constituted during the 48th Conference and commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The two-day meet will discuss schemes being run in the 115 aspirational districts across the country to help Governors better understand and enable them to guide the stakeholders in the welfare schemes for the poor, women, Dalits and tribals, farmers and young people, said Kovind.
"There are approximately 100 million people in our country who belong to the Scheduled Tribes. A majority of this population lives in regions that are covered under the Fifth and Sixth Schedule of the Constitution," Kovind said reminding them of the people who need their support.
He said that 69 percent of all universities in the country come under the purview of state governments where the Governors are the Chancellors, where about 94 percent of students have enrolled for higher education.
In their capacity as Chancellors, Governors must inspire these institutions and enhance the level of scholarship, he said. They could help ensure admissions, appointments, examinations and convocations were on time.
Apart from the Governors and Lt. Governors of all states and Union Territories, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Union Ministers besides NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and other senior officials would also be present.