New Delhi, August 6
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the seventh Governing Council meeting of the NITI Aayog on Sunday which will discuss various issues such as crop diversification, urban governance and implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP).
The Council, the apex body of NITI Aayog, includes all chief ministers, lieutenant governors of Union Territories and several Union ministers. The prime minister is the chairman of NITI Aayog. This will be the first physical meeting of the Council after July 2019.
To be held at the Rashtrapati Bhawan Cultural Centre, the agenda of the meeting includes crop diversification, achieving self-sufficiency in oilseeds, pulses and agri-communities, implementation of the National Education Policy and urban governance.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Saturday told the prime minister that he will be boycotting the meeting as a mark of protest against the present "discriminating" trend of the Centre towards the states.
In a strong-worded letter to Modi, KCR, as Rao is known, said India as a strong nation can develop only when the states develop. Strong and economically vibrant states alone can make India a strong country, he said.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said he will raise several issues, including a legal guarantee to the minimum support price (MSP) for crops at the meeting.
He said it was after three years any representative from Punjab was going to attend the NITI Aayog meeting. Punjab was among the four states which did not attend the previous Governing Council's meeting held in February 2021.
Meanwhile, NITI Aayog termed the Telangana chief minister's decision to boycott the Governing Council meeting 'unfortunate'.
"It is unfortunate that the Chief Minister of Telangana has chosen not to participate in the Governing Council meeting of NITI Aayog to be held on August 7," the Aayog said while dismissing the charges levelled by Rao.
According to an official statement issued on Friday, in the drive towards building a steady, sustainable and inclusive India, the seventh Governing Council meeting of NITI Aayog will pave the way for synergies towards a new era of collaboration and cooperation between the Centre and states/Union Territories.
"The meeting would also lay emphasis on the importance of the Presidency for India for the federal system and the role that states can play in highlighting their progress at the G-20 Platform," the statement had said.
As part of preparations for the meeting, the National Conference of Chief Secretaries was held in Dharamshala in June 2022. The conference was chaired by the prime minister and attended by the chief secretaries of all states and UTs, along with senior officials of the central and state governments.
The 7th Governing Council meeting will endeavour to finalise a roadmap and outcome oriented action plan on each of the above themes, the statement added.
Generally, the full council meeting happens every year and last year, it was held on February 20.
The chief minister's of West Bengal, Punjab, Telangana and Gujarat did not attend the last Governing Council's meeting. The then Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani also skipped the meet due to health reasons.
The council meeting was not convened in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The first meeting of the council took place on February 8, 2015.
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