In News: Northern Zonal Council was held recently.
- Three states and as many Union Territories discussed issues of river water sharing, safety of women, setting up fast-track courts, cyber security and the issue of strengthening rural banking with union Home Minister during a meeting of the Northern Zonal Council in Jaipur.
- Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) asked the states to resolve the issues amicably and through discussion.
- Ministry stressed to take a cordial approach to the issue and find a time-bound solution.
- Discussion stressed that all stakeholders should come together to establish a strong cooperative mechanism for development, for which purpose the regional councils were created
- Meeting also stressed upon the States and Union Territories to conduct awareness campaigns on cyber-vigilance through various mediums
- It was also decided in the meeting that a committee chaired by the Union Home Secretary, along with all departments concerned and state governments, will prepare a strategy to deal with growing menace of cybercrime.
- Zonal Councils are the statutory bodies.
- They are established by an Act of the Parliament – States Reorganisation 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.
While forming these zones, several factors have been taken into account which includes:
- The natural divisions of the country
- The river systems and means of communication
- The cultural and linguistic affinity
- The requirements of economic development, security and law and order
- 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.
- Its members include Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura and Sikkim.
- These are advisory bodies that make recommendations with regard to any matter of common interest in the field of economic and social planning between the Centre and States border disputes, linguistic minorities, inter-State transport or matters connected with the reorganisation of States.
- Chairman: The Union Home Minister is the Chairman of each of these Councils.
- Vice Chairman: 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.
- Members: 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: One person nominated by the 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.
Functions of the Councils:
- 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 Reorganisation Act.
Source: Indian Express
Previous Year Question
Q.1) Which of the following bodies does not/do not find mention in the Constitution? (2013)
- National Development Council
- Planning Commission
- Zonal Councils
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
- 1 and 2 only
- 2 only
- 1 and 3 only
- 1, 2 and 3