Lucknow Current Affairs - 2019

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21st Central Zonal Council meeting held in Lucknow

The 21st Central Zonal Council meeting was held in Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh. It was chaired by Union Home Minister r Rajnath Singh. It was attended by Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand while representative ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh.

Key Facts

The Council discussed various issues including road transport, Pradhanmantri Gramin Sadak Yojna, measures to tackle Naxal violence, modernization of Police, infrastructure development of airports, minimum support price, National health mission and issues related to primary schools.  Total 22 issues were discussed out of which 17 were resolved and on three issue directions were given, rest 2 issues between the states will also be resolved very soon.

Zonal Council

Zonal Councils were set up under States Reorganization Act, 1956 (thus, they are not constitutional bodies unlike Interstate Council, but are statutory bodies) to foster Inter-State co-operation and co-ordination among the States. The idea of zonal councils emerged during course of debate on report of States Re-organisation Commission 1956 (headed by Fazl Ali). Originally five councils were created as per States Reorganization Act 1956 as follows:

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

Zonal Councils 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. They are mandated to discuss and make recommendations on matters of common interest in field of economic and social planning, linguistic minorities, border disputes and inter-State transport etc.

Composition of Zonal council: Union Home Minister is Chairman of Zonal Councils. Chief Ministers of States included in each zone act as Vice-Chairman of respective zone by rotation, each holding office for period of one year at time.

Significance of zonal councils

They help to develop the habit of cooperative working among these States. It also facilitate to create healthy inter-State and Centre-State environment with view to solve inter-State problems and foster balanced socio economic development of respective zones.

Special Note: The north eastern states are not included in these five zonal Councils. Their special problems are looked after by North Eastern Council, set up under North Eastern Council Act, 1972. It is also headed by Union Home Minister.

NABARD launches South East Asia’s first ever Centre for Climate Change in Lucknow

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has launched Centre for Climate Change in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. It is first of its kind centre in South East Asia. It aims at accelerating concerted climate action by various stakeholders in government, private, financial and non -government sectors.

Centre for Climate Change

The centre will help NABARD in enhancing its capacity building efforts manifold. It will extend professional support to stakeholders for designing climate related projects and take up collaborative studies and action research projects in the area. It will also support capacity building and project preparation effort in developing countries in the region as also in Africa.

It will address capacity building needs of stakeholders, undertake policy advocacy, promote national and international collaborations by bringing in knowledge, technology and finance for addressing the challenges and opportunities emerging from climate change.

Background

India has experienced impact of climate change on agriculture and rural livelihoods. Government has taken several measures such as promoting micro irrigation, soil health cards, integrated farming models and traditional farming to de-risk farmers from impact of climate change. NABARD has been engaging itself in capacity building of various stakeholders involved in Climate Change actions. It is National Implementation Entity (NIE) for three important climate funds, viz. Green Climate Fund (GCF), Adaptation fund of UNFCCC and National Adaptation fund for Climate Change (NAFCC).

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)

NABARD is an apex agricultural development financial institution in India. It has been entrusted with matters concerning policy, planning and operations in the field of credit for agriculture and other economic activities in rural areas in India.

NABARD facilitates credit flow for promotion and development of agriculture, small-scale industries, cottage and village industries, handicrafts and other rural crafts. It supports all other allied economic activities in rural areas, promote integrated and sustainable rural development and secure prosperity of rural areas.

It is active in developing financial inclusion policy. It is member of Alliance for Financial Inclusion. It is headquartered at Mumbai, Maharashtra with regional offices all over India. It was established in 1982 on recommendations of Shivaraman Committee to implement National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Act, 1981.