Northeast Current Affairs - 2019

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Constitutional Amendment to increase the powers of the Autonomous Councils

The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the constitutional amendment which seeks to increase the powers of the autonomous councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of the Northeast.

What are the amendments proposed?

The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution provides for decentralised self-governance and dispute resolution through local customary laws in parts of the North East, mainly tribal areas. The amendments proposed are:

  • Amendments to Article 280 to provide greater financial resources to the councils that administer the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura and enable them to undertake development works.
  • The existing autonomous district councils would be renamed as autonomous territorial councils since the jurisdiction of the councils extends to more than one district.
  • The devolution of the financial resources to these councils would be based on the recommendations of the finance commission.
  • The amendments provide for the transfer of additional 30 subjects to Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council and Dima Hasao Autonomous Territorial Council in Assam.
  • The amendments also provide for elected village municipal councils to ensure democracy at the grassroots level.
  • The amendments empower village councils to prepare plans for economic development and social justice, including those related to agriculture, land improvement, implementation of land reforms, minor irrigation, water management, animal husbandry, rural electrification, small scale industries and social forestry.

The amendments are in direction of fulfilling the commitments made under tripartite Memorandum of Settlements signed by Government of India, governments of Assam and Meghalaya, United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS), Dima Halam Daogah (DHD) and Achik National Volunteers’ Council (ANVC).

IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, ICC sign MoU for energising startup ecosystem in East and Northeast India

IIM Calcutta Innovation Park and Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for energising start-up ecosystem in East and Northeast India. The MoU will bring incubator and industry toghether in more formal way. IIM Innovation Park is currently incubating 40 start-ups with almost half from West Bengal.

Key Facts

ICC has wide industry connect which will IIM Calcutta Innovation Park to promote start-ups whom it is incubating. It will offer platform for market linkage for start-ups and promote their products and services especially from eastern and northeastern region which need greater attention in startup growth story of the country. ICC is currently working on new program that aims to offer all key services under single roof at very low cost for start-ups beginning from initial advisory, market linkage, fundraising and legal service.

Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

It is premier body of business and industry in Eastern and North-Eastern India. Its membership comprises several of largest corporate groups in the country, with business operations all over country and abroad. It was established in 1925 by group of pioneering industrialists led by Mr G D Birla. It is only National Chamber of Commerce operating from Kolkata. It is also only chamber from India to win first prize in World Chambers Competition in Quebec, Canada.