Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that governors play a pivotal role within the federal structure of India and asked them to leverage their experience and help people derive maximum benefits from central development schemes and initiatives.

He made these comments while addressing the opening session of the 49th Conference of Governors at Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi.

He said that in states with a significant tribal population, governors can help in ensuring that tribal communities benefit from initiatives in education, sports and financial inclusion. “Tribal communities had played a key role in the freedom struggle, and this should be recognised and recorded for posterity through avenues such as digital museums,” an official statement quoted the prime minister as saying.

Modi also said that universities can become the focal point of the celebrations for the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Modi urged governors, who are also chancellors of universities, to use International Yoga Day on June 21 as an opportunity to create awareness on yoga among youngsters.

He also mentioned development initiatives such as the National Nutrition Mission, electrification of villages, even suggesting that governors visit a few villages that recently received power supply. He then said that the planning for the 50th Governors’ conference next year should begin immediately.