25th Eastern Zonal Council

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    In News

    • Recently, the 25th Eastern Zonal Council meeting was held in Kolkata which was presided over by the Home Minister.

    About Eastern Zonal Council

    • It comprises the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Sikkim and West Bengal.

    What are Zonal Councils?

    • The idea of creation of Zonal Councils was mooted by the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru in 1956 during debate on the report of the States Reorganisation Commission.
    • Functions Of the Councils:
      • Any matter of common interest in the field of economic and social planning.
      • Any matter concerning border disputes, linguistic minorities or inter-State transport.
      • Any matter connected with or arising out of the reorganisation of the States under the State’s Reorganisation Act.

    Composition

    • 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 comprises the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
    • North-eastern Council: The North-eastern States Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya and 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 notified in 2002.

    Organisational Structure of Zonal Councils

    • 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
    • Union Ministers are also invited to participate in the meetings of Zonal Councils depending upon necessity.

    Objectives

    • Bringing out national integration.
    • Arresting the growth of acute State consciousness, regionalism, linguism and particularistic tendencies.
    • Enabling the Centre and the States to co-operate and exchange ideas and experiences.
    • Establishing a climate of co-operation amongst the States for successful and speedy execution of development projects.

    Source: PIB