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Union Home Minister Chairs the meeting of Western Zonal Council

Utkarsh Classes 28-08-2023
Union Home Minister Chairs the meeting of Western Zonal Council Committee and Commission 6 min read

Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Shri Amit Shah chaired the 26th meeting of the Western Zonal Council on 28th August, 2023 at Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The Western Zonal Council comprises the states of Gujarat, Goa, Maharashtra and the Union Territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu. 

The meeting is being organized by the Inter State Council Secretariat under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, in collaboration with the Government of Gujarat.

Issues will be discussed under the meeting

  • The Zonal Councils hold discussions on a wide range of issues including infrastructure, mining, water supply, environment and forests and state-restructuring, as well as direct benefit transfer (DBT), wider expansion of telecommunications/internet and issues of general regional interests.
  • Many issues of national importance are also discussed in each meeting of the Zonal Councils. These include speedy investigation of cases of sexual offence/rape against women and children, Implementation of the Scheme of Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) for expeditious disposal of rape and POCSO Act cases, facilitation of banks/India Post Payment Bank branches within 5 kms in each village, addressing malnutrition among children through Poshan Abhiyan, reducing drop-out rate of school children, participation of government hospitals in Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana and issues of general interest at national level.

About the Zonal Council

The idea of creation of Zonal Councils was mooted by the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru in 1956 when during the course of debate on the report of the States Re-organisation Commission, he suggested that the States proposed to be reorganised may be grouped into four or five zones having an Advisory Council 'to develop the habit of cooperative working” among these States. 

In the light of the vision of Pandit Nehru, five Zonal Councils were set up vide Part-III of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956. So the Zonal council is a statutory body.

The present composition of each of these Zonal Councils is as under:

The Northern Zonal Council, comprising the States of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Union Territory of Chandigarh;

The Central Zonal Council, comprising the States of Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh;

The Eastern Zonal Council, comprising the States of Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Sikkim and West Bengal;

The Western Zonal Council, comprising the States of Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra and the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli;

The Southern Zonal Council, comprising the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry.

The North Eastern States i.e. (i) Assam (ii) Arunachal Pradesh (iii) Manipur (iv) Tripura (v) Mizoram (vi) Meghalaya and (vii) Nagaland are not included in the Zonal Councils and their special problems are looked after by the North Eastern Council, set up under the North Eastern Council Act, 1972. The State of Sikkim has also been included in the North Eastern Council vide North Eastern Council (Amendment) Act, 2002.

Composition

  • Chairman - The Union Home Minister is the Chairman of each of these Councils.
  • Vice Chairman - The Chief Ministers of the States included in each zone act as Vice-Chairman of the Zonal Council for that zone by rotation, each holding office for a period of one year at a time.
  • Members- Chief Minister and two other Ministers as nominated by the Governor from each of the States and two members from Union Territories included in the zone.
  • Advisers- One person nominated by the Planning Commission for each of the Zonal Councils, Chief Secretaries and another officer/Development Commissioner nominated by each of the States included in the Zone
 

Inter State Council

Zonal Council

Type 

Constitutional under Article 263

statutory body under the State reorganisation Act of 1956.

Chairman

Prime Minister 

Home Minister

Number 

Depends on issue between state

5 in number

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