With immense pleasure, I inaugurated the academic and administrative block of Government Pharmacy College, Sajong, Rumtek today. This is the first Government pharmacy college in the State, where 60 students are already pursuing B.Pharma course from July 2018. Courses are provided free of cost to the students and now we want to make it free even at post graduate level when the courses are introduced in future. Along with providing educational opportunities to our students, the institute has created numerous employment opportunities and business avenues for the people.

Speaking to the students, I informed them that our government has always given top priority to education, with emphasis on modern and quality education. Education has been made free up to college level and recently we have gone a step further by making it free in State University also. Sikkim is the first and only state to implement such a policy. Our main objective is to make education accessible to all and give equal opportunity to each and everyone to become educated irrespective of their economic background. This will ensure that there is no disparity of any kind and as a consequence lead to the development of our society, for I firmly believe that real development can take place only through education.

There are more than 50 pharmaceutical companies, 500 hotels and 5000 home- stays functioning in the State. I suggested that the students of Pharmacy College and Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) after the completion of their studies can to take over all the administrative and managerial posts available in these fields. To avail such posts, they have to be skilled, innovative and competitive. Our students must remember that the Government has implemented a policy, wherein 90% of seats are reserved for the local candidates for jobs in the private sector. They have to cash in on this benefit.

Today, being International Women’s Day, I spoke on the steps taken by the Government for women empowerment and today we can safely say that Sikkim is a gender-discrimination- free State, where their rights are guaranteed. With 33% reservation in Government jobs and 50% reservation in panchayats and urban local bodies, we see maximum women representation in all fields. We all know about the long struggle and hardships that the women folk had to endure since time immemorial being treated as the weaker sex. But our sisters in Sikkim have been unfortunate to be provided with respect, security and facilities for their upliftment, that too without them asking for it. Everyone should appreciate that the women in Sikkim have become advanced and empowered within the shortest possible span of time. The equality and freedom that our women folk enjoy is not found anywhere else. Abraham Lincoln had said.”All men are created equal.” But I would like to add and say,” All men and women are created equal”. And therefore the womenfolk deserve equal treatment and facilities for them to march ahead.

I announced a grant of Rs 3 lakhs each to Pharmacy College and IHM and also for free distribution of laptops to the students of both the institutes.