New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said that a volatile external security environment made it incumbent on the country to upgrade its defence capabilities.
There was a need to continue efforts at resolving all outstanding international issues through "peaceful dialogue and negotiations", he said at the inauguration of the 47th Conference of Governors at Rashtrapati Bhavan here.
"The year 2015 was a difficult year. We faced challenges from a global economic slowdown, climate changes and internal and external security issues. States having international borders were affected by terrorist attacks that had clear external linkages," the president said.
Mukherjee said that the Indian constitution was an enduring document that reflected the country's aspirations and it was incumbent on those holding constitutional positions to maintain the sanctity of this sacred text.
"Our nation has grown from strength to strength since Independence. It is primarily due to our steadfast adherence to the principles enshrined in our constitution," he said.
"It is an enduring document that reflects our aspirations and the avenues to achieve them in an inclusive manner," he added.
Twenty three governors and lieutenant governors are attending the conference, the inaugural session of which was attended among others by vice president Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
The president said as constitutional heads of their respective states, governors can play an inspirational role to ensure the state government's active cooperation for the successful implementation of the central government's schemes like Make in India, Start-up India, Smart City Mission and Swachh Bharat Mission.
Mukherjee also delved into the governors' role in improving the quality of higher education.
"There are over 320 public universities and over 140 private universities in different states. The governors can also play a persuasive role in improving the quality of education in these institutions," Mukherjee said.