GANGTOK, Nov 3 - President Ram Nath Kovind today lauded Sikkim University for its efforts to develop the intellectual and cultural understanding of the people of the Eastern Himalayas.
Addressing the 5th convocation of the university here, the President said he was happy to note that in a short span of about 12 years, Sikkim University has made serious efforts to develop the intellectual and cultural understanding of the people of the Eastern Himalayas.
He was also happy to note that to promote local languages and literatures, the university is teaching Limbu, Lepcha and Bhutia in its campus. And it has established the Centre for Endangered Languages for conservation of languages, which are facing the threat of extinction.
He said that preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of Sikkim would prove to be a visionary initiative in protecting the special identity of the State.
The President said that Sikkim has a strong possibility to become a model of development for other hill States.
On the strength of conscious citizens, Sikkim is counted among the 10 leading States in the Human Development Index. Sikkim has set an example in education, health, sanitation and protection of wildlife. It has also set an example before rest of the country in organic farming and becoming a clean, pollution-free State.
He said that �we should resolve that our country would also become a harbinger of organic farming and free of pollution much like Sikkim�.
The President, who was accompanied by First Lady Savita Kovind, was seen off by Sikkim Governor Ganga Prasad and Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, among others, at Libing Army helipad here.
From Gangtok, Kovind arrived in Shillong this afternoon on a two-day visit. He was received by Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy at the advanced landing ground of Eastern Air Command headquarters at Upper Shillong. The President will grace the 26th convocation of North-Eastern Hill University in Shillong tomorrow.