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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Eastern Zonal Council (RZC) / Basic

30th October 2019

Why in news?

Recently, the 11th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Eastern Zonal Council was held at Patna.

About the RZC:

The five Zonal Councils (Northern, Eastern, Northern, Southern and Central Zonal Councils) were set up under the State’s Reorganization Act, 1956.

The present composition of zonal councils is,

  1. The Northern Zonal Council – Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Chandigarh;
  2. Central Zonal Council– Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh;

Eastern Zonal Council–  Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Sikkim and West Bengal;

  1. Western Zonal Council – Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra and  UT of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli;
  2. Southern Zonal Council – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the UT of Puducherry.

The 7 North Eastern States and Sikkim are looked after by the North Eastern Council, set up under the North Eastern Council Act, 1972.

  • Union Home Minister is the Chairman of these councils.
  • The Chief Ministers of the States included in each zone act as Vice-Chairman of the Zonal Council by rotation, each holding office for a period of one year at a time.
  • Members- Chief Minister and two other Ministers as nominated by the Governor from each of the States and two members from Union Territories included in the zone.
  • It is to foster Inter-State co-operation and co-ordination among the States.
  • The Zonal Councils are mandated to discuss and make recommendations on any matter of common interest in the field of economic and social planning, border disputes, linguistic minorities or inter-State transport etc.


Why in news?

The 29th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change was held recently in Beijing, China.

About BASIC :

  • The BASIC group was formed as the result of an agreement signed by the four countries on November 28, 2009.
  • They are a bloc of four large newly industrialized countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China.

Outcomes of the recent meet- demands by BASIC:

  1. The developed countries to take urgent action to close gaps and provide support to developing nations as a part of the commitment under the Paris agreement on climate change.
  2. Global climate action should promote climate justice by recognising the fundamental equality of all people in accessing economic growth and sustainable development.
  3. There is need for people’s participation and climate friendly lifestyles for addressing the challenge of climate change.
  4. Developed countries should take urgent actions to close the gaps, including revisiting their targets on mitigation under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, and fulfilling their commitments of providing support to developing countries.

Significance of the grouping:

Objectives: The signatory nations have a broadly common position on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and raising the massive funds that are needed to fight climate change.

  • The BASIC countries constituted one of the parties in the Copenhagen Accord reached with the US-led grouping; the Accord, was, however, not legally binding.
  • The BASIC group wields considerable heft purely because of the size of the economies and populations of the member countries.
  • Brazil, South Africa, India and China put together has one-third of the world’s geographical area and nearly 40% of the world’s population, and when they unitedly speak in one voice this shows their determination.
  • BASIC is one of several groups of nations working together to fight climate change and carry out negotiations within the UNFCCC.

Facts for Prelims


  • It is a biennial joint exercise between India and France.
  • Commenced in 2011, it is now conducted alternately in India and France.
  • The 2019 edition will be held in Rajasthan.
  • The joint exercise will focus on Counter Terrorism operations in backdrop of semi-desert terrain under United Nations Mandate.

INS Baaz:

  • It is the southernmost air station of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • Located at Campbell Bay on the Great Nicobar island, the southernmost and largest island of the Nicobar island.
  • This island is also the location of the Indira Point and is less than 250 km by sea from Banda Aceh in Indonesia.
  • The location has been described as India’s “window into East and Southeast Asia”, and is in close vicinity of the Six Degree Channel, also called the Great Channel, one of the Indian Ocean’s busiest shipping lines, carrying strategic cargo to East Asian countries.
  • It is also close to the Strait of Malacca.


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