Gobindgarh, 14 Feb (IPR): Chief Minister Pawan Chamling was conferred with a Doctorate of Literature (Honoris Causa) by the Desh Bhagat University here at Gobindgarh in Punjab today.
The honour was conferred on him for his ‘exceptional vision, deep commitment and continuous efforts to uplift the weaker section, backward class and women; for his leadership and good governance with moral and spiritual wisdom’.
While delivering his keynote address, the Chief Minister congratulated the students who have just received their degrees and medals and also complimented the Desh Bhagat University on its contributions to the field of education and is today seen as one of India’s proud educational institutes.
The Chief Minister informed that State Government in Sikkim has made tremendous progress in the education sector duly earmarking 20 percent of state budget under education sector which is the highest expenditure in India so far.
Talking about free education upto college level, the Chief Minister mentioned two unique programs of the Sikkim government like the Chief Minister’s Meritorious Scholarship Scheme at class V level and Chief Minister’s Free Scholarship Scheme for Sikkimese students admitted in world’s top 20 Universities.
The Chief Minister further said that Sikkim has become the most literate state in the country with the literacy rate of 96.72 percent, life expectancy of 73.15 years and per capita income of Rs 3,41,000 at present.
Sikkim is the cleanest state, first Open Defecation-free State of India, most peaceful and safest tourist destination state. During the period of 1993 and 2013, forest cover in Sikkim increased to 47.34 per cent from 43.95 per cent in 1993.
Sikkim became the only state in India to have increased its forest cover in the past two decades.
“As a governmental response to growing unemployment, we recently launched a unique program–One Family One Job under which employment to 20,000 were given on 12 Jan, 2019 ensuring 99 percent reach, covering all households in Sikkim,” the Chief Minister informed.
Talking about Organic farming, the Chief Minister said that Sikkim has a unique identity as the First and Only Organic State in the world and recounted some of the advantages of organic farming as sustainable farming system.
In the fast changing world, the Chief Minister advised students to update themselves with emerging world knowledge on a daily basis as modern advancement in bio-engineering is about to change the course of evolution itself.
He thanked the University Chancellor, Pro-Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and faculty members for conferring upon him the honour. He also remembered the people of Sikkim who have entrusted upon him the responsibility to lead the state as their Chief Minister for the last over 25 years.
The Chief Minister was also invited to join the Chancellor and Chief Guest to felicitate different individuals for their achievement in different fields. Among them were conferment of honoris causa to former President, Pranab Mukherjee [in absentia], Padma Shree HR Shah, Surjanaran Patro (Cabinet Minister of Orissa), Lt. General Shokin Chauhan, Lov Verma, Priti Verma (Punjabi Cinema Actress), Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal, VR Shankara, Dr Huzaifa Khorakiwala.