Eastern Zonal Council meeting
Recently the 25th ‘Eastern Zonal Council’ meeting has been organized in Kolkata. The meeting is presided over by the Union Home and Cooperation Minister.
- Zonal councils are not constitutional bodies. They have been established by an Act of Parliament, ie the States Reorganization Act 1956, hence they have the status of a statutory body.
- Under this Act, the country is divided into five Zonal Councils – Northern, Central, Eastern, Western and Southern.
Several factors have been taken into account while creating these zones which include:
- Natural division of the country, river system and means of communication, cultural and linguistic relations
- Need for economic development and security and law and order, etc.
- In addition to the above Zonal Councils, a North-Eastern Council was created by the Parliament through the North-Eastern Council Act of 1971.
- Its members include Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura and Sikkim.
- Organizational Structure of the Kshatriya Councils:
- The Union Home Minister is the chairman of all the councils.
- The Chief Ministers of the states included in each Zonal Council act as the Vice-Chairman of the Zonal Council of that Zone, by rotation, for a period of one year at a time.
- Its members include the chief minister and two other ministers nominated by the governor from each state and two members from the union territories included in the council.
- Each Zonal Council has a Chief Secretary nominated by NITI Aayog and another Officer/Development Commissioner nominated by each State included in the Zone as Advisor.
- Realizing the national integration of Zonal councils. Stopping the development of intense state consciousness, regionalism and special type of tendencies.
- To enable the Center and the States to collaborate and exchange ideas and experiences.
- To establish an environment of cooperation among the states for successful and speedy execution of development projects.
Functions of Councils:
- any matter of general interest in the field of economic and social planning;
- any matter relating to border disputes, linguistic minorities or inter-state transport;
- Any matter relating to or arising out of the reorganization of States under the States Reorganization Act.
Source – PIB