'Must end ragging'

Said Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on a concluding note at the 43rd Conference of Governors in the Capital

The 43rd Conference of Governors concluded at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday, with President, Pratibha Patil suggesting the setting up of a Committee of Governors to evolve mutually beneficial models for farmer-industry partnership, focusing on rain-fed farming areas. The committee would make suitable recommendations, and would also formulate a concept paper to bring about an "evergreen revolution to harness the full potential of the agriculture sector", the President said in her concluding remarks.

Dr Manmohan Singh

Varsity blues

Covering other issues, the President said there was a recommendation by Governors to provide an enabling climate for them to discharge their statutory duties as Chancellors of state universities in a more positive and effective manner, and imparting clarity on the expected interface between governors and central universities in general, and as chief rectors, in particular.

Speaking on different agendas, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said the immediate challenge before us today is to sustain high growth while keeping inflation in check. "The world economy is slowing down. The locomotive economies of USA, Western Europe and Japan are struggling with sluggish growth prospects and instability. There is growing uncertainty in West Asia and North Africa. We face rising oil and commodity prices in international markets. We need to take into account all these factors while formulating our strategies for sustaining our growth processes," Singh said.

Inflation woes
The Prime Minister also expressed concern on rising food prices. "The key to tackling rising food prices lies in increasing productivity and production in agriculture and allied sectors. We have taken a number of steps in this direction in the Eleventh Plan and these will be further strengthened in the Twelfth Plan. Meanwhile, our government and the Reserve Bank of India will continue to take the required fiscal and monetary measures to ease inflationary pressures," Singh added.

Internal insecurity
Showing his concern towards Left wing extremism, Singh said, "Left wing extremism continues to pose a major threat to our internal security. Steps that need to be taken to tackle the problem include deployment of additional central forces, raising specialised forces and giving training to state police in counter-insurgency. The extent of success, however, will depend on co-ordination between the centre and states and between different states."

The Prime Minister also touched upon the problem of ragging. Referring to the issue he said, "The governors, as chancellors of the university system, have a special responsibility to ensure that this menace is rooted out completely. It must be made clear to authorities of educational institutions, other enforcement agencies and the student community that there will be zero tolerance in this regard."

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