31st Northern Zonal Council meeting discusses over 28 issues; Amit Shah assures anti-drone system on borders soon
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31st Northern Zonal Council meeting discusses over 28 issues; Amit Shah assures anti-drone system on borders soon

Post by ANI on Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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Over 28 issues were discussed in the 31st Northern Zonal Council meeting at Punjab's Amritsar on Tuesday with Union Home Minister Amit Shah making an announcement for anti-drone system on India's borders "soon".

Some crucial issues concerning the member states in particular and the country as a whole were discussed in the Northern Zonal Council meeting, mentions the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in a statement.

"Issues discussed in the 31st Northern Zonal Council meeting were related to sharing of inter-state river waters, coverage of villages by bank branches and postal banking facilities, effective implementation of Direct Benefit Transfer for Social Sector Schemes, issues relating to Punjab University, road connectivity under PMGSY, prevention of cyber-crimes, Jal Jeevan Mission, resumption of flights under UDAN Scheme, Speedy investigation of cases of sexual offence/rape against women and children, Implementation of the Scheme of Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) for expeditious disposal of rape and POCSO Act cases, Strengthening of Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) and Law purchase of Agriculture Land," it said.

Chief Ministers of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, Lt Governors of Delhi, Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh, Administrator of Chandigarh, Senior Ministers from member States, Union Home Secretary, Secretary, Inter-State Council Secretariat, Chief Secretaries from the Member States in the Northern Zone and other senior officers from the states and UTs and Central Ministries and Departments participated in the meeting.

Noting that the role of zonal councils has changed from advisory nature to action platforms in the last five years under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah said the meet is an important place from the point of view of development and security of the country as 21 per cent of the country's land, 13 per cent of the population and more than 35 per cent of the food grains are produced in the Northern region.

Shah said that the majority of personnel in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Army, guarding the country's borders, come from the states and Union Territories in the Northern Zonal Council.

Union Home Minister said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government has been successful in cracking down on narcotics and terrorism.

He further said that "the Modi government is committed towards strengthening the security system on the border, soon anti-drone system will be deployed on our country’s borders."

The Home Minister further requested all the member states of the Northern Zonal Council to resolve their disputes related to water sharing with an open mind and mutual discussion.

Shah asked all the member states to pay special attention to issues like cooperation movement in the country, dropout rate of school children and malnutrition, terming them as collective priority. He said that not even a single child should remain malnourished in the country, it is the responsibility of all of us to reduce the school dropout rate, and, giving impetus to the cooperative movement will help in taking more than 60 crore people of the country towards prosperity. He also urged all member states to adopt natural and organic farming, as it will be hugely beneficial for the farmers of the country.

Union Home Minister assured all possible help from the Centre to the Himachal Pradesh government to deal with the flood situation in the state and said that the whole country is standing by Himachal in this hour of crisis.

On the call of the Union Home Minister, the Northern Zonal Council welcomed the spectacular success of Chandrayaan-3, the worldwide appreciation of India's leadership and global welfare at the G20 Summit and the historic Women's Reservation Bill passed by the Parliament.

While appreciating the role of the Zonal Councils, Shah mentioned that though the Zonal Councils are advisory in character, over the years, they have proved to be a significant factor in promoting healthy bonds of mutual understanding and cooperation in various spheres.

The Zonal Councils provide the opportunity for personal interaction at the highest level amongst the members and serve as a useful forum for resolving issues of a difficult and complex nature in an atmosphere of amity and goodwill.

Through discussion and exchange of views, the Zonal Councils help in developing a coordinated approach among the States on important issues of socio and economic development. The Zonal Councils also discuss and make recommendations on issues of common interest of the states.

Shah also mentioned that the meetings of the five Zonal Councils are now being convened regularly by the Inter-State Council Secretariat of the Ministry of Home Affairs with the cooperation of the state governments.

He observed that there has been a substantial increase in the number of meetings of the Zonal Councils and its Standing Committees. Since June 2014, in the last 10 years, a total of 54 meetings of the Zonal Council and its Standing Committee have been held making the frequency more than double in comparison to the meetings held during the 10 years from the year 2004 to May 2014.

"Good Practices adopted by member states and UTs were also shared in the meeting," added the statement. (ANI)

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