Home Minister Amit Shah said the nationwide administering of 111 crore doses of Covid Vaccine so far is a big achievement and an example of cooperative federalism.
The Home Minister chaired the 29th meeting of the southern zonal council yesterday at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. The meeting was attended by the chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Puducherry and senior ministers deputed by CMs of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana and LGs of Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar, and Lakshadweep.
Mr. Shah said 40 of the 51 pending issues were resolved in the southern zonal council meeting.
In the Zonal Council meeting, the Home Minister urged the member states to speed up second dose vaccinations below sub-division level, with CMs and officers personally monitoring the progress.
Among the other issues that the Home Minister underlined for follow-up by the member states were creation of an independent director of the prosecution to speed up prosecution; priority to tackling spread of narcotics and drugs usage; establishing at least one forensic science college with a syllabus in their local language, so that manpower can be trained to meet needs of forensic investigation.
In his opening address at the meeting, Shah urged the delegates to speak in their own state’s language, with arrangements also having been made for translation of proceedings into the languages spoken by member states of the council.
Mr. Shah said the zonal council meetings, which involve consultations on issues of federal concern at the highest level, have been able to solve many issues despite being advisory in nature.
The home minister made it a point to praise the ancient culture, traditions, and languages of the southern states and underlined that India’s development cannot be imagined without the “very important contribution of states of Southern India”.
Crediting states for fighting Covid-19 in partnership with the Centre, Mr. Shah said that when the pandemic began, it was said that India would not be able to cope with it. However, India quickly ramped up its health infrastructure as well as domestic production of vaccines under the leadership of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. And now, we have overcome fear about the pandemic and Union Govt will continue to do everything possible to cover all States under the vaccination programme, he added.
HM Amit Shah also tweeted yesterday that Zonal Councils are advisory bodies in nature and yet we have been able to successfully solve many issues. This platform provides an opportunity for interaction at the highest level amongst members.