Meghalaya Current Affairs

67th plenary meeting of North Eastern Council held in Shillong, Meghalaya

The 67th plenary meeting of North Eastern Council (NEC) was recently held in Shillong, Meghalaya. It was chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The meeting was attended by Union Minister of Development of NER and Governors and Chief Ministers of the north-eastern States.

Key Facts

The meeting discussed development projects of Northeast States. It also reviewed various presentations on matters related to all-round development of NER. The status of NEC-funded projects was also discussed. It also deliberated on livelihood programmes, management of water resources, afforestation and doubling farmer’s income, by 2022, road connectivity, Implementation of Poshan Abhiyan and Ayushman Bharat etc. It also evaluated security and connectivity matters in the region. For the first time since it was established in 1971, NEC discussed topics related to security in the region. It also discussed issues related to Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) and proposed Naga accord.

North Eastern Council (NEC)

NEC is the nodal agency for economic and social development of North Eastern Region (NER) which consists of eight states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. It was constituted in 1971 under North Eastern Council (NEC) Act, 1971 (Thus NEC is statutory body).  In June 2018, the chairmanship of NEC was transferred by Union Cabinet to Home Minister from Minister of Development of NER.

NEC servers as an apex level body for securing balanced and coordinated development and facilitating coordination with NER states. It has been mandated to function as regional planning body for NER. It gives priority to schemes and projects while formulating regional plan for this area benefiting two or more states.

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Gaj Yatra launched in Garo Hills of Meghalaya

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) rolled out ‘Gaj Yatra’, an awareness campaign to protect elephants from Tura in Garo Hills of Meghalaya. It was organised by the Wildlife Trust of India in collaboration with the State Forest Department.

Under this campaign, an elephant mascot will be taken across districts frequented by jumbo herds for generating awareness among the people. It was launched to acknowledged good gesture of villagers from Garo Hills who had set aside part of their community-owned land to create village reserve forests for human-elephant harmony.

Gaj Yatra

Gaj Yatra is 18-month-long national campaign aimed to protect elephants, India’s national heritage animal in 12 elephant range states. It was launched in August 2017 by Environment and Forest Minister Harsh Vardhan on the occasion of World Elephant Day 2017 (observed on August 12).

The campaign is being led by Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). It aims to involve people from all walks of life in conservation of elephants. Under this campaign, WTI is securing 101 elephant corridors across in 12 elephant range states through its Right to Passage project, in partnership with Union government’s Project Elephant, state forest departments and various NGOs. The aim this project is to rehabilitate people affected by man-elephant conflict in corridor areas while ensuring uninterrupted movement of elephants between key habitats.

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