President Sees Excellence In Sports As Tool For Nation Building, Clears Way For State To Join Elite IT Club

President laying the IT Park Foundation Stone. Image Credit: Sangai Photo.

IMPHAL, Mar 11: Taking the State to a higher level in the field of Information Technology (IT), President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, who arrived here on her maiden visit yesterday, laid the foundation stone of an IT park and launched the State Wide Area Network (Swan) project at Mantripukhri today.

In an otherwise moribund and done to death rehearsed speech, the President infused a degree of freshness when she brought sports to the fore front and described it as one factor which can help the people of Manipur to join the process of Nation building.

Keeping in line with the spirit of the occasion, the first citizen of the country also attended a video conferencing session with the Deputy Commissioner of Ukhrul, Ashok Kumar today morning.

Addressing the public later, amid heavy security cover, the President said the two projects demonstrate the commitment of the State to harness the benefits of technologies for development and for improved governance.

“The 21st century is a knowledge based world, where new technologies and information systems are the major determinants of growth. Connectivity provided by the Information and Communication Technology (ICT), has played a pivotal role in linking people, institutions and regions within the country and globally,” she said.

The President further said, “I am certain that Manipur will be able to tap the resources of its talented population to become one of the IT hubs in the country.”

Sticking to protocol or maybe out of choice, the President did not make a direct reference to the armed movements or named any particular outlawed organizations in the State but described the situation here as a disturbing trend.

Urging the people to march towards peace and harmony, Pratibha said that there is the urgent need for the people to maintain harmony, reject violence and join the ‘National mainstream.’

The President also acknowledged the sporting prowess of the State and observed that such excellence and dedication can go a long way in Nation building. She also congratulated the State players for taking Manipur to the top spot amongst the States at the recently held 34th National Games at Jharkhand.

“I am sure that Manipur will continue to contribute to Nation-building. In this context, I would like to emphasize that it is only in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility, that sustained development can take place,” she said.

“I would, therefore, urge the people to maintain harmony, reject violence and join the   reject violence and join the National mainstream efforts, for the development and progress of the country. When people work together unitedly and collectively, there is much that can be achieved,” maintained the President.

On the State’s rich bio diversity and its natural beauty, the President said its hills and valley, rivers and lakes including Loktak Lake, green vegetation and trees, its amazing varieties of flowers like the Siroy Lily and animals like the Sangai, have given it a distinct identity. “The path to developments should be accompanied with efforts to retain your traditions and conserve the great bio-diversity,” she said.

Commenting on her interaction with the Chairpersons of the State Social Welfare Board and Manipur Women’s Development Corporation as well as members of some women’s self help groups at Raj Bhavan in the morning, the President said their commitment to work for the welfare of women is commendable. “I also believe that Manipur along with other North-Eastern States, has great potential for development. Regional integration among them, and their cooperation with the countries in South-East Asia, can be useful in not only promoting India’s Look East Policy, but also in bringing benefits to the region, including Manipur,” she said. Governor Gurbachan Jagat, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and Chief Secretary DS Poonia also spoke on the occasion. Meanwhile normal activities in the state were paralyzed on Friday, the second and last day of the bandh called by the MPLF to denounce the President’s visit.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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