7 Things to know about J&K's addition to NITI Aayog's Himalayan Council

National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog constituted the ‘Himalayan State Regional Council' in order to review and implement identified action points based on the reports of five Working Groups.

AIM: The decision has been taken to boost development in 12 Himalayan States of the country including Jammu and Kashmir.

Owing to same problems of hilly terrain, representatives of the Himalayan States felt that they have many problems as they share common hilly terrain, which have limited working season, less connectivity and other issues, which required constant focus of the Central Government although they were unanimous that present Narendra Modi Government has done a lot for all Himalayan States in terms of Central grants and sanction of projects.

1. The Council will be headed by Dr. VK Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog.

2. The Council will comprise the Chief Secretaries of all 12 Himalayan States as well as the Secretaries of key Central Ministers, senior officers of NITI Aayog as well as special invitees.

3. The Council is formed with the aim to ensure sustainable development of the Indian Himalayan region. The five working groups which were constituted by NITI Aayog on June 2, 2017 will prepare a road map for action to develop the Himalayan States lacking in development in some of the areas.

4. The Himalayan States Regional Council will be the nodal agency for sustainable development in the Himalayan region which consists of 12 States namely Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, two districts of Assam namely Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong and Darjeeling and Kalimpong in West Bengal.

5. The five thematic reports were released by the NITI Aayog in August, 2018 and the areas for action include:

a) Inventory and Revival of Springs in Himalayas for Water Security

b) Sustainable Tourism in Indian Himalayan Region

c) Shifting Cultivation: Towards Transformation Approach

d) Strengthening Skill & Entrepreneurship (E&S) Landscape in Himalayas, and

e) Data/Information for Informed Decision Making.

6. Several Parliament members from the Himalayan States had come together to form a united front to project their demands before the Central Government collectively and work together on variety of issues including trade, tourism and development etc.

7. The conceiver of this Council is Romesh Pokhriyal `Nishank', former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand and presently Lok Sabha member from the State, who had convened meeting of some of the Parliamentarians of the Himalayan States including Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh, who represents Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha seat from J&K.


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