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- The Union Home Minister chaired the Southern Zonal Council meeting in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
- The meeting was attended by;
- The Chief Ministers of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu.
- The Lieutenant Governors of Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- The Administrator of Lakshadweep.
- Chief Secretaries of Southern Zonal Council States, Union Home Secretary, Secretary Inter-State Council Secretariat and other Senior officials of State and Central Ministries and Departments.
- The council discussed several issues of common interests in areas of security, road, transport, industries, water, fishing, power, and economic and social planning.
- Zonal Councils aim to promote collaboration and coordination among states, UTs, and the Union.
- They discuss and give recommendations on several topics.
- They are only consultative and deliberative bodies.
- The States Reorganization Act of 1956 established these statutory entities.
- The country is divided into 5 zones by the Act:
- Northern Zone
- Central Zone
- Eastern Zone
- Western Zone
- Southern Zone
- Each zonal council is made up of
- The Union Home Minister (who acts as a chairman).
- CM of all States in Zone + 2 other ministers from the states (Each CM acts as a Vice-Chairman by rotation, holding office for 1 year at a time).
- Administrators of all UTs in the zone.
- A further Act of Parliament, the North-Eastern Council Act of 1971, established a North-Eastern Council in addition to the previous Zonal Councils.
- Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Sikkim are among its members. Its responsibilities are similar to those of zonal councils, with a few exceptions.
- It is required to examine the actions taken by member states to maintain security and public order in the region regularly.
Name Members Headquarters
1. Northern Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, New Delhi Zonal Council Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi,
Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir and
2. Central Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Allahabad Zonal Council Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh
3. Eastern Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Kolkata Zonal Council Odisha
4. Western Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Dadra Mumbai Zonal Council and Nagar Haveli and Daman and
5. Southern Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chennai Zonal Council Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and
Significance of Zonal council
- Zonal councils help in designing a collaborative strategy through discussions and exchange of views between the Union and States on important issues.
- It takes up issues involving the Union and states or between many states.
- The zonal councils provide a platform for resolving disputes between the Union and the States and among many States.
- Zonal Meetings are used by the Union, States and Union Territories to share their best practices.
- Zonal councils also discuss a wide range of issues, including;
- Boundary-related disputes.
- Infrastructure-related matters like road, transport, industries, water, and power.
- Forests and environment.
- Food security