Aizawl: President Droupadi Murmu on Friday said the Himalayas, its fragile ecology and flora and fauna are “our priceless heritage and we must conserve them for generations to come”.

She said Mizoram has the highest forest cover among all Indian states, providing an ideal home for extraordinary and rich biodiversity.

Addressing the Mizoram Assembly, the President said that India’s ties with the neighbours, especially in South-East Asia, are of high value to us.

“India’s ‘Act East Policy‘ places emphasis on the northeast for improving India’s ties with the extended neighbourhood in the Asia-Pacific region. Once an economic initiative, the policy has now gained strategic and cultural dimensions too.

“Mizoram benefits from, and also contributes to, the nation’s endeavour to engage with the neighbours in the region,” Murmu said.

Noting that the topography of the hilly region poses special challenges for development; the President said that yet Mizoram has done remarkably well on all parameters, especially when it comes to human development.

She said that connectivity is bound to be the biggest factor in realising the potential of such a region.

The development of village roads, highways and bridges not only helps in meeting the education and healthcare goals, but also unleashes economic opportunities, added the President.

Murmu also said that the Mizoram Assembly has played a pioneering role in going digital by adopting NeVA (National e-Vidhan Application).

She said that in Mizoram, women are an empowered lot in every sphere of life, be it sports, culture or business.

“There should be an increased representation of women in public life particularly, among lawmakers in the state,” Murmu added.

After a two-day visit to Nagaland, the President came to Mizoram on Thursday and after attending a series of programmes, including addressing the 17th Convocation of the Mizoram University and the Mizoram assembly, on Friday she left for Gangtok.

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