25th Western Zonal Council Meeting | 04 Jan 2020

Why in News

The 25th meeting of the western zonal council will be held in January 2020, under the chairmanship of Union Home Minister.

  • Maharashtra will be the lead coordinator this time with the Chief Minister of the state co-chairing the meeting.
  • It will present a roadmap for the safety of women online and ways to curb cyberbullying.
  • The 24th meeting of the council was held in Goa in August 2019.
  • Western Zonal Council comprises of Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, the Union Territories of Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Key Points

  • The Maharashtra government has been directed to hold awareness campaigns in districts on cyberbullying of women, cyber frauds and internet child pornography, etc.
  • It seeks participation from the entire state in the drive which will be named ‘Cyber Safe Women’, to make the internet safe for women and children and to prevent online crimes against them.

Zonal Councils

  • The Zonal Councils are the statutory (and not the constitutional) bodies. They are established by an Act of the Parliament, that is, States Reorganisation Act of 1956.
  • The act divided the country into five zones- Northern, Central, Eastern, Western and Southern and provided a zonal council for each zone.
    • While forming these zones, several factors have been taken into account which include: the natural divisions of the country, the river systems and means of communication, the cultural and linguistic affinity and the requirements of economic development, security and law and order.
  • Each zonal council consists of the following members:
    • Home Minister of Central government.
    • Chief Ministers of all the States in the zone.
    • Two other ministers from each state in the zone.
    • Administrator of each union territory in the zone
  • In addition to the above mentioned Zonal Councils, a North-Eastern Council was created by a separate Act of Parliament, the North-Eastern Council Act of 1971.
    • Its members include Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura and Sikkim.
  • These are advisory bodies that make recommendations with regard to any matter of common interest in the field of economic and social planning between the Centre and States border disputes, linguistic minorities, inter-State transport or matters connected with the reorganisation of States.

Source: TH