Zonal Councils Current Affairs - 2020

Eastern Zonal Council Meet to be held in Bhubaneswar

The Eastern Zonal Council meeting for the states of Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand is to be chaired by home Minister Amit Shah. The meeting is to discuss cases of rape against women, sexual offences, prevention of cattle smuggling in the India-Bangladesh Border, etc.

Highlights

The Home Minister will discuss with the Chief Ministers of all the 4 participating states. The minister will also review the status of the amendments of Code of Criminal Procedure. Under the amendment, the time limit of the completion of investigation of criminal cases were limited to two months. This was done through the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2018

Previous Councils

In the recent meetings of Western Zonal Council and Northern Zonal Council, the Home Minister directed the state police review pending cases as quickly as possible. The Council also instructed to update case details at Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences. It is an online portal that helps states to undertake real-time monitoring, managing and completion of cases, especially rape cases in 2 months.

Zonal Council

Zonal Councils are statutory bodies constituted under States Reorganization Act of 1956. According to the act, India is divided into 5 zones and a council has been set up for every zone. The zones include Northern, Eastern, Western, Southern and Central. In 1971, the North Eastern council was created.

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24th Meeting of Western Zonal Council held in Panaji

The 24th Meeting of Western Zonal Council held was held in Panaji, capital of Goa. It was chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Goa being host state, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was its vice-chairman. It was attended by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and representatives of Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli.

About Zonal Councils

They are statutory bodies set up under States Reorganization Act, 1956 (thus, they are not constitutional bodies unlike Interstate Council) to foster Inter-State co-operation and co-ordination among the States.

These councils are mandated to discuss and give recommendations on any matter of common interest in field of socio-economic planning, border disputes, linguistic minorities or inter-State transport etc.

They provide common meeting ground for States to promote and facilitate coordinated efforts for fostering economic and social development. They serve regional fora of cooperative endeavour for States linked with each other geographically, economically and culturally.

There are total five councils were created as per States Reorganization Act 1956.

  1. Northern Zonal Council: Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, National Capital Territory of Delhi (UT) and Chandigarh (UT).
  2. Central Zonal Council: Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
  3. Eastern Zonal Council: Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand.
  4. Western Zonal Council: Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra and UTs of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli
  5. Southern Zonal Council: Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telnagana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (UT).

Composition: All zonal councils are chaired Union Home Minister. Chief Ministers of States as Vice-Chairman of respective zone on rotational basis, each holding office for period of one year at time.

North Eastern Council

North Eastern States Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram,) Meghalaya, Nagaland and Sikkim are not included in above five Zonal Councils. Their special problems are looked after by North Eastern Council, set up under North Eastern Council Act, 1972. I

Composition: It is also chaired by Union Home Minister. Minister of Development of North East Region (DoNER) is its Vice Chairman. Governors and Chief Ministers of all these eight North Eastern States are its members.

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