Shillong, Jan 26 : Meghalaya celebrated the 71st Republic Day amid tight security across the state. Security and police forces were deployed at all strategic points. Frisking of passers-by was carried out at different places to detect movement of armed ultras. Unfurling the tri-colour here in Polo ground, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma appealed to all the citizens to collaborate with the government is working on our ambitious development agenda.
“Let us all rededicate ourselves to the values and principles enshrined in our constitution. Let us redouble our efforts to achieve greatness for ourselves, for our communities, for our State and our country,” he said. Informing that the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 was passed by the Parliament exempting the 6th Schedule areas of the State, Sangma said the State government has passed a resolution in the Special Session of the Assembly held on December 19, last to implement the “Inner Line” under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 to ensure further protection and safeguard the interests of the people of the State.
He said the matter is being pursued with the Central government for approval. Stating that the overall internal security situation during the year 2019 was peaceful, Sangma said the National Days were observed in a befitting manner and all socio-cultural and religious festivals were celebrated with traditional fervour and gaiety.
“The militancy situation in the state is completely under control. A few militant groups have expressed their desire to come over the ground for talks with the government. The government reiterates its stand that the doors are open for dialogue provided that the groups give up their unlawful activities,” the Chief Minister said.
Laying out the broad vision and the plan of the government for the overall development of the State in the short, medium and long-term, Sangma said, “Our vision 2030 is to transform Meghalaya into a high-income Indian state and to improve the well-being of every single citizen of the State.” “Our vision has six core pillars - Human development, Primary sector rejuvenation, Infrastructure expansion, Entrepreneurship promotion, Environmental protection and Governance reform. A lot of work has happened on each of these pillars in the last two years and we have a clear plan to move forward in the next three years.
We are building on our strengths and overcoming the challenges,” he informed. Stating that one of Meghalaya’s greatest strengths is youth, Sangma said, “75 per cent of Meghalaya’s population is below the age of 34 and 37 per cent is in the age group of 15-34 years. We understand that this huge resource needs to be empowered with quality education and skills to realize their full potential.” He said a lot of emphases is being placed on secondary and higher education, on skill development and entrepreneurship. In secondary education, he said Ekalavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) are planned to be set up in all the blocks of the State.
Eleven such schools are already sanctioned at Rs24 crores per school. The land has been identified for the construction of these schools and DPRs are under preparation.
Moreover, he said many initiatives are also being planned for higher education, of particular importance is the idea of Community Colleges. He added that these community-managed institutions will provide higher education at the doorsteps of the rural population with financial support from the government. (UNI)