Wellington, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on Friday hailed the contributions made by the Indian diaspora in his country, Indian Weekender newspaper reported.
In his message to the Indian diaspora on the occasion of India’s 69th Independence Day, he said: “As prime minister, I value the contributions Indian New Zealanders are making to the overall success of our country.”
The annual celebrations are an opportunity for Indian New Zealanders to recognise this important event in India’s history. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the long-standing and broad relationship New Zealand and India have,” Key said in the statement.
New Zealand is “lucky to have a vibrant and diverse ethnic culture, and our Indian communities play an integral part in that”. Along side National (Party) MPs Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and Dr Parmjeet Parmar, we are committed to ensuring the voice of the Indian community is heard, Key said.
In his message to the Indian community, Bakshi said: “The Independence Day signifies years of struggle by our countrymen and women who stood for their beliefs and values.”
It also signifies that if we can stand together to achieve a common goal the victory will be ours. We should continue to keep these core beliefs and values in our minds regardless of where we choose live, Bakshi added.
Parmar said that he was very proud of the progress that India has made since its independence.
While we celebrate our vibrant culture, heritage and aspirations during Independence Day festivities, I commend the Indian community in New Zealand for preserving the culture and heritage, he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday the Governors had a crucial role to play within the constitutional framework and they could ensure better implementation of the central schemes for the benefit of a larger section of the population.
Addressing the opening session of the 49th Conference of Governors at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Modi said the Governors could leverage their experience in different walks of life to ensure people get the maximum benefit of various central development schemes and initiatives.
The institution of Governor had a “pivotal role to play within the federal structure and Constitutional framework of our country”, he said.
The Prime Minister said Governors of states with significant tribal population can help in ensuring financial inclusion of the tribal communities as well as in facilitating various government initiatives in fields such as education, sports and others to reach them.
This was in consonance with the message given by President Ram Nath Kovind earlier who asked the Governors to use their position in bringing about changes in the lives of those marginalised and enhancing higher education standards in the country.
The Prime Minister mentioned some key themes of development such as the National Nutrition Mission, electrification of villages and development parameters in the aspirational districts. He suggested that Governors could visit a few recently electrified villages to witness first-hand the benefits of electrification.
Noting that the Governors were also the Chancellors of state universities, he said they could help ensure that admissions, appointments, examinations and convocations were on time.
He said that International Yoga Day on June 21 could be utilized as an opportunity to generate greater awareness about yoga among the youth and the universities could also become the focal point for the celebrations for Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th anniversary.
Modi suggested that planning for the 50th Governors’ Conference next year should begin immediately. This effort should focus on making this annual event even more productive.
Earlier, in his inaugural address at the Conference, Kovind observed that the Governor was “a mentor and guide to the state and an important link in the federal structure”.
“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 ideals and values,” he told the Governors and Lt Governors.
He said the Governors could help in shaping the roadmap for the betterment of lives of the citizens who have not benefited “as much as expected from our development journey”.
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 two-day meet will discuss important issues including flagship programmes, internal security, higher education, skill development, steps taken on the report of Committee of Governors set up during the 48th Conference and commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
It will also 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 Constitution’s Fifth and Sixth Schedule,” he said about the people who need support.
Apart from the Governors and Lt Governors of all states and Union Territories, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, various Union Ministers besides the NITI Aayog CEO and other senior officials were also at the meet. (IANS)