26th Conference of Southern Zonal Council held in Vijayawada

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Who: 26th Conference of Southern Zonal Council
Where: Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh
What: Held
When: 12 December 2015
Why: To discuss matters of inter-state cooperation

The 26th Conference of Southern Zonal Council (SZC) was held on 12 December 2015 at Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. The conference was chaired by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Along with the chairperson, the conference was attended by Chief Ministers of five states-Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala and Puducherry.

The five states and Puducherry together form the Southern Zonal Council.

The conference deliberated issues of common interest to the members of the council such as peninsular region industrial corridor, coastal security, introduction of peninsular tourism trains and finalisation of inter-State reciprocal transport agreement.

And, some other substantial issues of Centre State and Inter-State matters were also taken up for discussion in the conference.

About Zonal Councils

• Zonal Councils are advisory bodies that discuss and advise the Central and State Governments on matters of common interest pertaining to a gamut of subjects, viz., infrastructures, health, security, social welfare, linguistic minorities, border disputes, etc.
• The idea of creation of Zonal Councils was mooted by the first Prime Minister of India, Jawahar Lal Nehru in 1956.
• In the light of the vision of Pandit Nehru, five Zonal Councils were set up vide Part-III of the States Re-organisation Act, 1956. These are North, South, West, East and Central Zonal Council.
The North-East Council set up under a separate Act of 1971 is under the administrative ambit of the Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER).
• The Union Home Minister is the Chairman of each of these Councils. The Chief Ministers of the States included in each zone act as Vice-Chairman of the Zonal Council for that zone by rotation, each holding  office for a period of one year at a time.
• The secretarial functions of the Zonal Councils have been transferred to the Inter State Council Secretariat with effect from 1 April, 2011.