Lt Gen (Retd) Gurmit Singh was sworn in here on Wednesday as the new governor of Uttarakhand. The oath of office was administered to Singh by the Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court Justice R S Chauhan at a simple function held at Raj Bhawan. The function was attended by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, his cabinet colleagues Satpal Maharaj, Dhan Singh Rawat, Uttarakhand Assembly Speaker Premchand Aggarwal and a number of senior government officials including Chief Secretary SS Sandhu and DGP Ashok Kumar.
Singh succeeds Baby Rani Maurya, who resigned two years before completing her tenure. Singh, who retired as the deputy chief of the Indian Army, is a highly decorated officer and considered an expert on India-China affairs.
Talking to reporters soon after being sworn in, Singh said: After serving the country as a soldier, I feel proud to have got an opportunity to serve Uttarakhand which is also called ‘Veerbhumi’ where every family has someone in the armed forces”. He said addressing issues related to ex-servicemen, soldiers who lost their lives in the line of duty and their dependents will be among his priorities.
I will try to rise to the expectations (of people) from the governor’s office, he said. “Women of Uttarakhand are self-reliant and courageous. A new chapter of women empowerment will be written in the state by encouraging daughters to join military schools and the NDA,” he said.
Describing Uttarakhand as a sacred land where famous Himalayan shrines Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamunotri, and Gurudwaras Nanakmatta Sahib, Reetha Sahib and Hemkund Sahib are located, Singh said he was fortunate to have been given the opportunity to serve the state and thanked President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Uttarakhand is endowed with great scenic beauty and has tremendous potential in tourism, organic farming, yoga, ayurveda, and food processing-based small industries, he said.
Limitless jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities can be created by promoting these sectors, he added. Singh also paid tributes to Major Somnath Sharma, the first recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC), India’s highest military decoration and Lt Colonel Dhan Singh Thapa, who too received the honour.
Singh saluted soldiers from the state who had won 23 Maha Vir Chakras, 147 Vir Chakras, six Ashoka Chakras, and 19 Kirti Chakras.