Zonal Councils

Zonal Councils

News: Recently, the Minister of Home Affairs chaired the 25th meeting of the Western Zonal Council at Diu.

About:
• They are statutory bodies established by an act of parliament, that is, States Re-Organization Act of 1956.
• The act divided the country into five zones- Northern, Central, Eastern, Western and Southern and
provided a zonal council for each zone.
• In addition to the above mentioned Zonal Councils, a North-Eastern Council was created by a separate Act
of Parliament, the North-Eastern Council Act of 1971.
• The Union Home Minister is the Chairman of each of these Councils.
• 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.
• 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 are also included which include one person nominated by NITI Aayog for each of the Zonal
Councils, Chief Secretaries and another officer/Development Commissioner nominated by each of the
States included in the Zone.

What are functions of the council?
• 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 reorganization of the States under the States ReOrganization Act.

What issues were discussed at the meeting?
• Improvement of banking services in rural areas.
• Monitoring of rape and sexual offences cases against women and children, implementation of Fast Track
Courts for such cases.
• Verification of identity of Marine fishermen in high seas.
• Development of local contingency plan by coastal States for Mass Rescue Operation in high seas and
encouragement of Make in India initiative through Preference in Public Procurement.
• Various issues related to boundary, security, infrastructure transport, and industries pertaining to western
States. 

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