The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, addressed a civic reception hosted for him in Jaipur, Rajasthan, by the state government today (May 13, 2018).Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the people of Rajasthan have a strong attachment to their homeland, language and human values. In spite of severe challenges over the years, including challenges thrown by nature, the people of Rajasthan have persevered in their quest for social and economic development. They have also enriched their lives with the vibrancy and colours of a great culture, including fairs and festivals, art and literature.The President appreciated the Government of Rajasthan for launching the ‘Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Antyodaya Employment Scheme’ and the ‘Sunder Singh Bhandari EBC Self-Employment Scheme’, named after two illustrious public figures from Rajasthan. He stated that the loan waiver for SCs, STs and other deprived communities – a third scheme launched today – too is a tribute to the principles and ideals of these personalities. He expressed confidence that the people of Rajasthan will benefit from these schemes as well as from other welfare initiatives of the Government of India and the Government of Rajasthan.The President was happy to note that four cities of Rajasthan - Jaipur, Udaipur, Kota and Ajmer – are part of the Smart Cities initiative of the Government of India. He said it was a remarkable coincidence that three centuries ago Jaipur had been designed and built as perhaps the first planned city of modern India. He added that this ability to draw inspiration from one’s heritage for social and economic advance has helped Rajasthan create impressive opportunities in tourism. The state has carved a special place for itself on the global tourism map.The President was happy that efforts were being made to further develop the potential of tourism in Rajasthan and was confident these efforts would generate more jobs and employment opportunities for young people in the state.