Your Excellency the Governor of Sikkim and the Visitor of SRM University Sikkim, it is my proud privilege to present to you today, Shri Pawan Chamling, Chief Minister of Sikkim and an outstanding patriot of our nation for the conferment of the Degree of Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa).
Shri Pawan Chamling was born at Yangang, in South Sikkim. History has shown that he was born to fly and that he is one of the brightest stars shining in the Indian firmament.
The rise of Shri Pawan Chamling as a new leader of Sikkim in the mid-1990s was destined to bring about a complete change in Sikkim’s approach to her new nationality. He campaigned for ‘Emotional Integration with India’ and openly condemned anti-India feelings, ideology and politics. The honor “Bharat Shiromani” given to him in 1996 appreciates his successful campaign and establishes his position as a distinguished nationalist leader.
Sikkim’s all-around development which has now become a national model can be attributed to Shri Chamling’s unequivocal commitment to “inclusiveness” that forms the backbone of equitable development. He has eliminated social inequality through redistribution and ironed out the socio-cultural differences through recognition. The champion of unprecedented economic and socio-cultural advancement of Sikkim, Shri Chamling started his Chief Ministerial journey with unmatched visionary policies. It was then that he, as his first policy intervention, decided to earmark 70% of the planned budget for the rural sector.
The unparalleled story of poverty reduction followed. The BPL population that was 41.43% in 1993 came down to 8.19% in 2011-12.
Recognition of all lesser known local languages of Sikkim as Official Languages was a giant step taken by Shri Chamling towards ensuring equality in socio-cultural advancement. Today all these languages are taught as part of the academic curricula, giving each community an opportunity to conserve and promote its distinct cultural heritage. Sikkim’s unique social harmony is the tallest socio-cultural milestone of human civilization in the country. An Architect of unique Social Engineering, he pushed the boundaries of the concept of reservation to the utmost wherein the forward classes have been granted reservation in jobs, Panchayats and Urban Bodies along with Most Backward Classes, Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes, and Women. As he rightly says, “Sikkim has now become a land where there is not a single case of a person marginalized because of his/her caste or birth. The Sikkim Government’s ‘inclusive policies’ empower every citizen by way of recognition, reservation/representation, and redistribution.” Remarkably enough, as an ardent advocate of justice for all, he has stretched the concept of inclusiveness way beyond humanity to the tiniest microorganisms because he says “therein lies the sustainable preservation of creation.”
Shri Pawan Chamling is the most prominent feminist in Indian politics. His famous saying “Knowledge and power have no gender” has been duly exemplified by his policies and numerous pro-female schemes. He is the first leader in the State to appoint women in high constitutional positions. Women have been given 30% and 50% reservation in government jobs and the Panchayati Raj Institution respectively.
India’s “Greenest Chief Minister” Shri Pawan Chamling’s eco-innovations such as Smriti Van, Ten Minutes to Earth, Mith (friendship) with Trees, Tree Adoption Recognition of Heritage Tree launched under multiple schemes like Green Year, Green Decade, and Green Revolutions changed the environmental landscape of Sikkim. Sikkim became the first state to implement a ban on the killing of wildlife, sale, and use of crackers and use of plastic bags. Under his leadership, the State has achieved the rare distinction of becoming a First Nirmal Rajya in 2008, first ‘Open – Defecation - Free State’, first Organic State in the world and popular Eco-tourism Destination.
Shri Pawan Chamling understands that reformation and renaissance can happen only if people become literate. His policies aimed at facilitating education of the masses at all levels- from primary to higher education- have seen a phenomenal rise of literacy in the State of Sikkim
Shri Pawan Chamling’s exemplary leadership is marked by farsightedness, exceptional clarity of thinking, innovativeness and pro-poor convictions. His rare leadership vision is inspired by his awareness of both global and local pressing issues and his belief in finding solutions to them through serious engagement and sincere commitment. Shri Pawan Chamling will be the longest-serving Chief Minister next year.
India’s most decorated Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling has won the One World Award 2017, Grand Prix and has been chosen as the Ambassador for Organic Himalaya and Organic World. He has 28 national and international awards. The Sikkim Organic Farming success story is now globally celebrated and all set to be replicated right across Africa and Europe. Sikkim having an overall development growth rate with the third highest per capita income in the country is poised to become a fully literate state by 2018; the country’s first Poverty Free State, Kutcha House Free State and Carbon Neutral Free State.
Ms. Lise Grande UNDP Resident Representative has summarised thus “There is no other Government in the world under similar conditions that have been as successful as Sikkim. The United Nations and the World, salute the Government of Sikkim”
In appreciation of his visionary outlook, single-minded devotion, selfless service and unequivocal commitment in transforming Sikkim to be a literate, equitable, harmonious, environmentally friendly and prosperous modern State, SRM University Sikkim consider it an honor to confer on Shri Pawan Chamling the Degree of Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa).
Your Excellency the Governor of Sikkim and the Visitor of SRM University Sikkim, it is with immense pleasure that I present to you today Shri Pawan Chamling for the conferment of the Degree of Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa).