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Eastern Zonal Council to meet in Patna on January 16

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The 21st Meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council, comprising the States of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal, will be held tomorrow in Patna under the chairmanship of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. 
 
The agenda for the meeting was finalized at the 8th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Eastern Zonal Council, comprising the Chief Secretaries of the four states, held in Patna on November 7, 2014.
 
Besides this, some additional items are likely to bepresented in the meeting by the concerned State Governments, an official press release said here today.
 
The release said the agenda finalized by the Standing Committee includes issues of Inter-State and Centre-State cooperation, allocation of additional assistance to the States to provide relief to the tribals and issues relating to security.
 
There are five Zonal Councils -- Eastern, Western, Northern, Southern and Central Zonal Council -- which are advisory bodies and discuss any matter in which some or all of the States represented in a Council have a common interest. These Councils advise the Central and State Governments on any matter of common interest in the field of economic and social planning, linguistic minorities, inter-state transport, matters connected with or arising out of the reorganization of states and matters concerning border disputes. 
 
Government had constituted a Commission on Centre-State relations under the chairmanship of Justice M M Punchchi, former Chief Justice of India, to look into the changing dynamics of Centre-State relations in the context of emerging social, political, economic, environmental and governance issues in the country. This Commission had recommended that the Zonal Councils should meet regularly with an agenda proposed by the States concerned to maximize coordination and promote harmonization of policies and action having inter-state ramification. 
 
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