Pratibha Patil, shortly after she took oath as President, favoured a sustained economic growth that should be socially inclusive and called for empowering women.
"Our combined endeavour should be to ensure that the rate of economic growth is sustained and it is socially inclusive," she said in her address at the Central Hall of Parliament after she was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan.
She described herself as the Republic's first servant and said her sincere endeavour would be to live up to the high expectations of the people who chose to elect her as President.
Noting that India stood at the threshold of a new era of progress and was moving at an "historically unprecedented" rates of growth, Patil said "it should be our combined endeavour to sustain this growth and ensure that it is socially inclusive."
She said it should be ensured that every section of the society, particularly the weak and the disadvantaged are equal partners in an beneficiaries of the development process.
"We must also ensure that every region of the country participates in and benefits from the process of economic growth," Patil said.
The first woman President said empowerment of women was particularly important to her as she believed that it leads to the empowerment of the nation.
"We must banish malnutrition, social evils, infant mortality and female foeticide," she said while expressing her full commitment to the protection of child rights.
Asking the people to wage a relentless campaign against poverty, ignorance and disease for a better future of the children, she said "we must show wisdom and foresight in protecting our planet and our children, for the good of all living species and future generations."
She said she was committed to the cause of education and would like to see every person to be touched by the light of modern education.
"We must ensure that science and technology serve our needs better, and help us develop a scientific temper that will unleash the full potential of our people, our farmers, our workers, our professionals and our entrepreneurs," she said.
She said the people of the country desire better governance, faster development and a life of peace and security. "We must all stand united in the fight against such divisive and destructive tendencies as communalism, casteism, extremism and terrorism," she said.