President Ram Nath Kovind addressed the 49th conference of Governors and Lt Governors at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday.

In his address, the President said that a Governor acts as a “mentor and guide” to elected governments in the states.

“A Governor is a mentor and guide to the state government and an important link in the federal structure,” he said at the conference which was also attended by vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He said that the two-day conference is being held to help the Governors become aware of the programmes and policies implemented for the benefit of citizens who have been left behind in the race for development.

“Central focus of this year’s Conference has been to sensitise all of you to programmes being implemented for the benefit of those of our fellow citizens who have been left behind in our development journey, and to hold an in depth discussion on these programmes,” he said.

The President asked the Governors to work for the improvement of people’s lives in the 115 aspirational districts of the country where developmental works are currently moving at a rapid pace.

“As Governors you can 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,” President Kovind said.

He pointed out that approximately 100 million people in India 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 of India,” he said. The Fifth and Sixth Schedule lists areas having a sizeable tribal population and lays down specific provisions for administration and control of such areas.

The President also asked the Governors to help ensure that examinations, declaration of results, convocations, and admissions take place on time in government universities of which the Governors are Chancellors.

“Sixty-nine per cent of all universities in our country come under the purview of state governments and around 94 per cent of students enrolled for higher education study in these universities. As Chancellors, it is for you to provide the necessary impetus and inspiration to these institutions,” he said.

“You can help ensure that admissions of students and appointments of teachers in state universities are completed well in time and in a transparent manner,” he said.

Urging the Governors to present their suggestions for the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the President said, “There would be no better way to cherish Gandhiji’s memory than to strive for genuine and meaningful social transformation.”

The Centre will be commemorating Gandhi’s sesquicentennial birth anniversary for a 24-month period starting 2 October 2018.

On the eve of the Conference, the President had met all the Governors and Lt Governors over tea in Rashtrapati Bhavan.