Centre-State Relations Current Affairs - 2019
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The 23rd meeting of Western Zonal Council was held at Gandhinagar, Gujarat under the chairmanship of Union home minister Rajnath Singh. The meeting was attended by chief ministers of Maharashtra and Gujarat, ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, administrator of UTs of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli and senior officers from Central and state governments.
Zonal Councils were set up under the States Reorganization Act, 1956 (so it is not constitutional body) to foster Inter-State co-operation and co-ordination among the States. Currently, there are total five zonal councils viz. Northern, Western, Eastern, Central and Southern. They are not constitutional bodies and they are only deliberative and advisory bodies. The Union Home Minister is its Chairman.
Zonal Councils provide a common meeting ground for the States to promote and facilitate coordinated efforts for fostering economic and social development. They are regional fora of cooperative endeavour for States linked with each other geographically, economically and culturally. They are mandated to discuss and make recommendations on matters of common interest in field of economic and social planning, linguistic minorities, border disputes and inter-State transport etc.
Note: The north eastern states are not included in these five zonal Councils. Their special problems are looked after by North Eastern Council, set up under the North Eastern Council Act, 1972. It is also headed by Union Home Minister.