The Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Shri Amit Shah chaired the 26th meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council in Patna, Bihar today. The Chief Minister of Bihar Shri Nitish Kumar, and senior Ministers from Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, and Jharkhand attended the meeting. Secretary of the Inter-State Council Secretariat, Chief Secretaries of member states, senior officials of state governments, and central ministries and departments were also present in the meeting.
In his address, Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah said that apart from being the cultural capital of the country, the eastern region has also been the center of many major educational institutions since ancient times. He said that a lot of experiments have taken place in the field of education in the eastern region and even in competitive examinations, children from the eastern region are most successful. The Home Minister also said that the Eastern Region has laid the foundation for the industrial development of the entire country and many patriots from this region have contributed significantly to the redevelopment of the country before and after independence. The region is rich in mineral resources and water and the eastern states like Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand, and West Bengal provide almost all the mineral resources for the needs of the entire country.
Shri Amit Shah said that the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of strengthening the spirit of cooperative federalism has been realized in the last 9 years. Highlighting the increase in number of Zonal Council meetings after Shri Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, the Home Minister said that from 2004 to May 2014, the total number of meeting of the Zonal Councils and their Standing Committees was only 25 and during this period on an average 2.7 meetings were held every year. But in the last 9 years from June 2014 till now, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, a total of 56 meetings of the Zonal Councils and their Standing Committees were held and an average of 6.2 meetings were held every year. A total of 9 meetings have been held so far this year which includes 4 meetings of Zonal Councils and 5 meetings of standing committees. He added that thisincrease of more than double showcases the Prime Minister Modi’s Team India concept.
The Union Home Minister said that although the role of the Zonal Council meetings is advisory, but on the basis of my four and half years of experience as Union Home Minister, I can say that by giving importance to the meetings of the Council and its Standing Committee, we have resolved many issues. A total of 48 issues were discussed in depth in the 13th meeting of the Standing Committee held on 17 June 2023, out of which a total of 28 issues were resolved by mutual consent after discussion between the Chief Secretaries of the member states and senior officials of the states and the Centre.A total of 21 issues were discussed in today’s meeting.