Acharya Dev Vrat was sworn in as the 27th governor of Himachal Pradesh in a simple but impressive ceremony held at the Raj Bhawan here on Wednesday.
Chief minister Virbhadra Singh and Vrat's wife Darshna Devi were present on the occasion.
Chief secretary P Mitra read out the warrant of appointment, while Himachal Pradesh high court chief justice Mansoor Ahmed Mir administered the oath of office and secrecy to Vrat who took the oath in Sanskrit.
He is the second governor after Vishnu Kant Shastri to take the oath in Sanskrit. Later, the governor was also given an impressive guard of honour.
On his first day at the Governor House, Dev Vrat sought to stay away from controversy. As such, he parried questions on CM Virbhadra saying that he was not consulted before his appointment.
"With the grace of God, I have got a chance to serve the state of Himachal Pradesh. My message and wish is to see work for the overall development of the state with combined contribution of everyone. I want to see the working of the state set an example for other states," the governor said.
An academician, Dev Vrat also spoke on improving education standards in the state. "Education plays an important role in the overall development of an individual. Only an educated person can resolve any kind of problem," he said.
The governor also focused on the gurukul tradition in teaching. "If the people of the state would like to promote the gurukul tradition, we would put efforts in that field also," he said, while adding, "All great men of the country who worked for the protection, uplift and promotion of the country are my ideals."
He emphasised for adopting new technologies in education. "As I know, Himachal has many universities. Thus, we should work for the improvement of the education system and adopt new technologies. We should also adopt new horticulture and floriculture methods in the state."
Those present on the occasion were Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha speaker BBL Butail, leader of opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal, Himachal health minister Kaul Singh Thakur, industries minister Mukesh Agnihotri, excise minister Prakash Chaudhary, social justice minister Dhani Ram Shandil, rural development and panchayati raj minister Anil Sharma and Haryana ministers Karan Dev Kamboj and Anil Vij.
Chief parliamentary secretaries, additional chief secretaries, judges of Himachal Pradesh high court, Himachal Finance Commission chairman Kuldeep Kumar, legislators, chairmen and vice-chairmen of various boards and corporations, Shimla deputy mayor Tikender Panwar, Lokayukta justice LS Panta, Himachal Pradesh Administrative Tribunal chairman VK Sharma, state election commissioner TG Negi, additional chief secretaries, director general of police Sanjay Kumar, advocate general Shrawan Dogra, vice-chancellors of universities and senior officers of the army and police were part of the gathering.
Know the governor
Born on January 18, 1959, Dev Vrat hails from Haryana. He has done masters in Hindi and history from Panjab University, Chandigarh, and Kurukshetra University, in 1984 and 1996, respectively. He also holds a doctorate in naturopathy and yogic science from All India Council for Naturopathy, New Delhi.
An educationist, Dev Vrat has served for 34 years as Pracharya in Samprati Gurukul, Kurukshetra. He has been actively involved in social activities, including environment protection, promotion of yoga, inculcating moral values among the youth, protection of cow breeds, organic agriculture, promotion of girl education, ayurveda and naturopathy. He has also worked for promoting values like patriotism and awareness of the country's rich culture, especially among children and the youth.
Before the swearing in ceremony began, patriotic songs filled the air in the durbar hall of Raj Bhawan
Dev Vrat took the oath in Sanskrit. He is the second to do so after Vishnu Kant Shastri who served as Himachal Pradesh governor from December 2, 1999, to November 23, 2000
Officers jostled for space with many guests arriving from Haryana
Haryana health minister Anil Vij drew attention of the media and guests alike.