TODAY -

Speech of Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio at 28th Biennial General Conference of Naga Students' Federation

Wokha, 9th May 2019



Speech of Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Neiphiu Rio at the 28th Biennial General Conference of the Naga Students’ Federation on 9th May 2019 at Bhandari Town, Wokha

1. Address & Opening remarks

o Respected Chairperson for today’s inaugural session and Convenor of the Programme Committee Mr. Vipopal Kintso,
o Respected NSF President Mr. Kesosul Christopher Ltu and his colleagues,
o Mr. S. Supongmeren Jamir, Convenor of the Organising Committee,
o Respected special guest Mr. L. Dikho, Honorable Minister, Government of Manipur,
o Mr. Tongpang Ozukum, former NSF President and Honorable Minister in the Government of Nagaland,
o Honorable Advisor Government of Nagaland and the MLA from this area, Mr. Mmhonlumo Kikon,
o Special invitees, Honored Guests, Representatives and citizens of Bhandari Town
o All presidents and Office bearers of the federating Units of NSF
o Rev. Nyanchumo Lotha, Executive Secretary of the Lotha Baptist Churches Association, and other Church Leaders, Public Leaders, Senior citizens.
o Mr. Sepili L. Sangtam, President of the Eastern Naga Students’ Federation and his colleagues.
o Mr. LipemoTsopoe, President and colleagues of the Lotha Students Union (the Host),
o Mr. ………….., the representative from the North East Students Organisation(NESO),
o Participants and delegates of the General Conference
o Ladies and Gentlemen,

Introduction:

1. I thank God Almighty for giving us this wonderful day and enabling me to be in your midst in this 28th Biennial General Conference of the Naga Students’ Federation. On this auspicious occasion, let us remember and honour all the pioneers who made untold sacrifices to enable you to carry the mantle today. I believe that the vision and commitment of your predecessors will inspire you to do the same for your successors and the student community.

2. From its inception, the Federation’s pioneers had struggled hard and faced every obstacle – from the most difficult times of the Naga movement to every problem – they braved the odds and established the Federation for the future generations. Their vision to bring the Nagas together and uphold oneness and unity, preserve and promote Naga culture and tradition, fight for the welfare of the student community and concern for social issues throughout the years is laudable and I acknowledge them and appreciate all the sacrifices and contributions.

Congratulating & Appreciating NSF

3. I congratulate the NSF executive body and the organizing committee for organizing this conference in a grand and memorable manner. The NSF is the apex body of the students’ community across all Naga areas and it is one of the most respected civil society organisations. Apart from elevating the welfare of the students and the youth, the federation has made significant contributions to Naga society in multiple aspects.

The NSF has reflected the voice of the people whenever any situation arose. The NSF is indeed a movement, and we can all say with confidence that this movement has greatly contributed towards the unification of our people beyond man-made boundaries. I must place on record, the appreciation of our people for the NSF, as this organisation has always risen to the occasion whenever the Naga people have called.

The NSF has also given our people some of our finest leaders across different spheres including civil society and in the political arena. Even now, one of the youngest members of the Nagaland Assembly and the State Cabinet Mr. Tongpang Ozukum is a former NSF President.

4. The NSF Conference which takes place every two years is one of the highest gatherings of the student community from not only Nagaland State but also from across Naga tribes that transcends man-made boundaries. Indeed, this is a significant event that precedes all factors and unifies our people, while building up a common feeling of being Naga. I am sure each and every participant, especially the delegates, will have many positive takeaways from this conference and the experiences gained in the course of the next couple of days will have a lasting impact on your lives.

Motivating the youth

5. Time and again it has been said that the youth and the students fraternity are the backbone and foundation of all societies. It goes without saying that you will be the leaders, policy makers and policy implementers of our society in the near future. In fact, the whole world is witnessing more and more young minds emerging at the forefront of leadership roles in all spheres of human activity.

We too, want our youth and the students fraternity to have the confidence and courage to aim towards reaching the highest levels. In today’s world, there is nothing that should not be out of reach for any individual, and the single factor of merit should be the determining reason why a person succeeds.

Naga Political issue

6. At the top of the PDA government’s agenda is the resolution of the Indo-Naga political conflict. Our people have suffered for too long and the political conflict has created challenges and hurdles for generations in realizing their ambitions. My government has taken significant steps in playing the role of an active facilitator in the ongoing peace process so that unity and reconciliation and a final honourable, inclusive and acceptable settlement comes at the earliest.

7. The Nagaland Legislative Assembly unanimously passed resolutions recognizing the sacrifices and sufferings of the Naga nationalists and their families. Consecutive governments have formed the Nagaland Legislative Assembly’s Joint Legislators Forum. The cry of the Naga people is for resolution of the conflict through a negotiated settlement that is honorable and inclusive. Unity amongst all sections, over-ground and amongst the national organisations, is the need of the hour.

8. Nagas are at a crucial juncture in our history. Unless we live in peace and arrive at a political solution, our future may not be bright. We should not only support the peace process but we have to make sacrifices by rising above individualism, clanism, tribalism and instead uphold Nagaism.

9. While on the issue of peace and political solution, it is sad to note that we are unable to find the way forward in unified manner in our civil society movement. From the tribal hohos to the women and tribal organisations, we still do not have unified platform that will carry the Naga voice in a manner that transcends tribes, districts, states and countries.

In this context, I appeal to the leaders and the guardians of the Naga voice and the Naga aspiration for peace, to come together for the greater cause of our people by setting aside all differences and polarizations. It is only through unity and oneness that the Naga voice can gain strength and through which we can achieve our aspiration of real and honorable solution. We must overcome the our differences and rise to the occasion, for the sake of the present and future generations, with the sole intension that we all aspire for the Naga people to survive, rise and shine.

Students, youth and the society today

10. Students and youths are the strongest pillars of a society. Our future is the Youth and therefore, how you play your role will be the determinant of how the future spans out. Therefore, it is imperative to identify, understand and address the real issues and challenges we face today.

(a) Education:

11. If you look at the recently declared HSLC results 2019, you will find that altogether 15,835 (Fifteen Thousand Eight Hundred Thirty-Five) qualified. This is 68.29 % overall passed.

12. Similarly for the HSSLC examinations, the overall pass percentage in Arts Stream was 74.44%, Commerce Stream 74.68% and Science Stream 81.37%.

13. As against this we find that across the country under CBSE for Class X, the overall pass percentage was 91.10%. Girls outperformed boys once again with a pass percentage of 92.45 percent against 90.14 % for boys.

14. The real cause of concern is the overall decreasing pass percentage in NBSE in our State as compared to CBSE schools. Further in our State, we observe that Private Schools have performed better than Government institutions in Science and Arts streams in Class XII.

15. Another notable feature this year has been the exemplary performance of two Naga girls who are amongst the toppers in CBSE Class XII exams in Uttarakhand and Assam. This only proves that Naga students can perform and achieve the best as anyone else, we just need the right motivation and support along with hard work of the students.

16. I congratulate all the successful students and call upon all Naga students to deliberate on ways and means to improve performance of Naga students.

(b) Employment:

17. After your studies are over, it is only natural to seek for jobs to sustain your livelihood. The present trend is to seek for Government job but the Government sector is saturated. Every year we see a large number of jobseekers as well some dropouts, who also seek jobs. In today’s world, just having degrees or academic qualifications is not sufficient to get jobs – one needs to have the right skills and attitude along with education to be able to find jobs. Most private sector jobs require specific skills and it is essential that we undertake skill development to help our youth get jobs that are available.

18. If you take a look at the NPSC Preliminary examination 2018 for NCS, NPS, NSS & Allied Services Examination, 11,160 candidates appeared the said exam for just 62 posts. This is equivalent to 180 persons applying per post! The 65th Batch Police Recruit Constables passing out parade was held on 19th February 2019. 402 candidates applied but only 390 qualified.

These included 4 Post Graduates, 33 Graduates, 50 Class XII passed, 114 matriculates, 189 under matriculates. The educational requirement for constable post is Class VIII passed. So this is the level of competition in our State. Therefore, you need to work extra hard in your studies and your chosen field of work, remain focused and maintain consistency in order to achieve success.

19. At the same time we see the downward trend in number of Naga students qualifying for civil services examinations conducted by UPSC. In order to help deserving Naga students compete with the best in UPSC examinations we have taken an initiative of sponsoring Naga students to undergo professional coaching in the best institutions that help prepare students for Civil Services examinations.

Role of students and youths

20. One must also understand that degrees alone may not get you anywhere. In order to escape poverty and unemployment, we need basic skills to sustain our livelihoods. It is necessary for the non-formal education sector to facilitate the learning of life-relevant knowledge and skills, especially for disadvantaged and marginalized groups.

21. The motto “work and eat” should be centric to any endeavour you embark upon. No work should be too great to undertake, nor should it be too low to take up. A change in our mindset is the urgent need of the hour. At the same time, we should be futuristic in our approach. Unless we work ourselves without depending on others, the problem of migrant workers depleting our economy will always continue.

This becomes even more dangerous with the influx of illegal immigrants. This is a real-time threat not only to the Nagas, but to the entire nation as well. When the general workforce is local based, then the financial circulation will remain within the local sphere and turn our economy into a vibrant economy.

22. I am aware that the NSF has been seriously concerned towards this end and has been actively engaging in checking the influx of illegal immigrants in the State. On our part, the Government is doing its best to tackle this issue effectively and I hope that the people will extend cooperation to the Government in the matter as this concerns each and every one of us and our future generations.

23. Remember, even after almost 56 years of Statehood, we are still a consumer economy. You have to think big, take brave decisions, start small, work relentlessly, and set benchmarks where others fear to tread. Nagas should be made known not only for our hospitality, but even more so for our work culture.

24. The State Government is in the course of implementing various programmes and policies to empower the people with emphasis on start ups and entrepreneurships, eco and cultural tourism, sports, music, arts etc and many other sectors where we have massive yet untapped potential.

We have committed to bring change for the better in the State and we have accorded priority to the betterment and improvement of basic infrastructure such as roads, water supply, electricity and empowerment of the people through youth activities, economic upliftment particularly the rural farmers. However, all these changes can come about effectively only when we work together. One should not depend only on the Government for change, but each and every one of us must do our part for the betterment of our society and State to see real change.

Global responsibilities – plastic free

25. Even though we are a small state with a small population, our responsibility towards the environment and towards global concerns is no lesser than any other people. Our government has banned use of plastics and we are making all out efforts to ensure that use of single use plastic is eradicated. Even as the global community struggles with pollution of the environment, especially the oceans due to plastics, we too are faced with polluted rivers and streams and our towns and country-sides are littered with plastics.

We need to reverse this trend by conducting our lives and our behavior in a responsible manner. We should not trash and litter, we should avoid plastics and we have to support all measures that are environment friendly. Here, I want to challenge the youth and the students to lead by example and be the main factor behind changing the dynamics of how we live our lives. Let us make the slogan “Clean and Green Nagaland” a reality.

Conclusion:

26. Before I wind up, I would like to remind you that as elders and forerunners of the younger generations, your leadership by example will influence and shape the future generations. All these action plans for a better and more vibrant Naga society cannot be turned into a reality without organisations like the NSF. It is incumbent upon you to ensure that you can implement these words into actions.

Each student should learn the basic responsibilities of becoming a responsible citizen. As we grow up, we have to repay our family and society by contributing positively to the community because privilege comes with responsibilities. Therefore, it is your duty to educate your younger generations so that they become conscious, responsible and model citizens who will bring pride and glory to the Nagas as a whole.

27. In conclusion, I once again congratulate the Naga Students’ Federation for conducting this 28th General Conference and when you depart from this place, I hope you will take back not only good memories, but life’s lessons and missions to do your bit in transforming our society for the better. I am optimistic that you will leave a legacy which your successors will be proud of when their time to lead comes.

Thank you and God bless.

KUKNALIM




* This Press Release was sent to e-pao.net by Chief Minister's Office, Nagaland who can be contacted at mediacell(DOT)cmo(DOT)ngl(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This Press Release was posted on May 10 2019

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