31 December 2016 Current Affairs: The 27th meeting of the Southern Zonal Council held was held on 28 December 2016 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The meeting was chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
The Southern Zonal Council consists of Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry (UT) and Andhra Pradesh.
Highlights of the meeting : In the meeting, several important issues were discussed. The council resolved 16 out of 22 items on agenda.
The Council assessed the progress of implementation of various recommendations made in last meeting relating to Extension of High Speed Rail Corridor between Thiruvananthapuram up to Mangalore and Udupi.
They also discussed on Peninsular Region Industrial Development Corridor, issues of fishermen, introduction of peninsular tourism trains in zone and Amendments to New Road Transport & Road Safety Bill.
The council took up issues related to uniformity in allocation of funds for scholarships in proportion of population of SC/ST for all courses, revision of ceiling on profession tax by Union Government, prevention of communicable diseases, Naxalism, promotion of oilseeds and oil palm cultivation and development of Puducherry Airport.
Zonal Councils : Zonal Councils are advisory councils.These councils are made up of the states of India.
They have been grouped into six zones to foster cooperation among them.
Five Zonal Councils were set up under Part-III of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956.
The North Eastern States' special problems are addressed by another statutory body known as The North Eastern Council. It was created by the North Eastern Council Act, 1971.