Aizawl, May 5: Noting that Mizoram is abundantly blessed with natural resources and a wide variety of flora and fauna, President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday said that the rich bio-diversity in the state offers vast opportunities for research and development.
Delivering his address at the convocation ceremony of Mizoram University (MZU) near here, Kovind, who arrived in Aizawl in the morning, also said the northeastern region of the country has immense potential for development of trade due to its strategic location.
“Although land-locked, with no access to sea, Mizoram has huge potential for development of trade as it shares international border with Bangladesh in the west and Myanmar in the east, besides interstate boundaries with three Indian states — Assam, Manipur and Tripura.
“The agreement that was recently signed by India and Bangladesh for development of international trade ‘haats’ along the international border will lead to better trade and connectivity,” he stated.
He pointed out that the Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project (KMMTTP), work for which is underway, will contribute to the economic development of the northeastern states.
“I hope more such projects are identified and encouraged for holistic development of the northeastern states and our neighbouring countries,” the President said at the convocation.
The KMMTTP, an India-Myanmar bilateral project, aims to connect West Bengal’s Kolkata with the northeast via Sittwe seaport in the neighbouring country’s Rakhine state.
Kovind also urged the state government to accord priority to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and help enable the country meet its global commitment.
He lauded Mizoram for scoring 60 on NITI Aayog’s SDG index against the national average of 57.
The President laid emphasis on skill development, research and innovation-based activities.
“Mizoram has rich bio-diversity, offering vast opportunities for research and development.
“I see great opportunities for youth in the areas of floriculture and bamboo-based enterprises. The eco-system for start-ups was never as inspiring as it is today….. I can see this trend of becoming job creators gaining ground among the young population,” he said.
Koving lauded the faculty members of MZU for the efforts they put in to educate students. He also congratulated students on their academic achievement.
A total of 7,830 students, more than 50 per cent of them being females, have been awarded degrees during the ceremony. (PTI)