Congratulating Chandigarh for improving its Swachh Survekshan ranking from 66th last year to 12th this time, President Droupadi Murmu on Saturday exhorted the city residents and administration to work hard to bag the top spot next year.
The President, who arrived in Chandigarh on Saturday for her two-day maiden visit, was speaking at the civic reception hosted in her honour at the Punjab Raj Bhavan.
“I have told them to work hard to get in the first five positions in cleanliness next year,” Punjab governor and UT administrator Banwarilal Purohit also chipped in.
The President further said, “Today, Chandigarh has commendable achievements on many parameters of development. I have been told that Chandigarh ranked first among Union territories in Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.”
She said, “Chandigarh has become an education hub, with establishment of multiple medical, engineering, management, higher education and other institutes of research. I am sure that according to the National Education Policy, all these educational institutions will provide modern education to the young generation and enable them to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Chandigarh has also made its name in the field of sports, entertainment and industry.”
The President added that Chandigarh held special significance by being the capital of both Punjab and Haryana: “People from both states come to Chandigarh for education, employment, medical treatment and many other reasons. Therefore, Chandigarh occupies a very important place in the lives of people of Punjab and Haryana.”
‘Give women equal opportunities’
Speaking about women empowerment, the President said, “In Indian culture, we worship divinity in the form of Durga, Laxmi, Kaali and Chandi. We pray to Gramdevi before entering villages. Men and women are two equal stakeholders of our country. They should be given equal opportunities to move ahead.”
She noted that today women were marching forward in all areas with determination and hard work. “In villages also, nowadays girls are being given more opportunities to study and make their careers. From serving in border areas to being fighter plane pilots, women today are present everywhere,” she said, adding that it was the responsibility of society to encourage both girls and boys to move forward in life and help the country march ahead.
Among others present on the occasion were Union minister Som Parkash, National Commission for Scheduled Castes chairperson Vijay Sampla, Haryana governor Bandaru Dattatreya and Chandigarh mayor Sarbjit Kaur.
President to attend PEC’s convocation today
On Sunday, the President will be the chief guest at the annual convocation of Punjab Engineering College (PEC) that is being held after a two-year Covid-induced hiatus. However, students’ parents will not be allowed to attend the ceremony.
The president is expected to arrive at PEC at 10.40 am and address the convocation at 11.30 am. A total of 669 BTech, 168 MTech and 34 PhD degrees will be awarded. This year, PEC has also decided to award two honoris causa degrees to Ajay Kumar Sood, the principal scientific adviser (PSA) to the Government of India, and UT adviser Dharam Pal.