.........BHUBANESWAR: THE State Government, on Thursday, issued a notification for establishment of special development councils in nine tribal-dominated districts to focus on preservation of tribal culture and traditions, heritage and unique identity of each tribe.
The headquarters of the councils to be set up for Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Sundargarh, Kandhamal, Gajapati, Koraput, Rayagada, Malkangiri and Nabarangpur districts will be located at the district headquarter towns. The chairperson of the council, to be nominated by the Government, will be a distinguished person of tribal community resident in the district. The vice-chairperson will also be nominated by the Government.
Representatives of tribal groups in the district and upto five tribal representatives, who have excelled in the field of education, art, culture, sports and enterprise in their community will be nominated by the Government as members. Besides, upto three experts in the field of tribal development, who can be public servant and not necessarily a tribal, will also be nominated by the Government as members. The district collector will be the ex-officio convenor and chief executive officer of the council.
The chairperson of the council will be of the status of a minister of state while the vice-chairperson will enjoy the status of vice-chairperson of the Zilla Parishad. The members of the council will have the same status as the members of the Zilla Parishad. Except for the member-convenor, the other members of the council will hold office for two years.
An executive committee of the council, headed by the district collector, will also be constituted to ensure implementation of the decisions of the special development council. The resolution issued by the Government in this regard stated that the administrative expenses of the council including sitting fee, allowances, mobility support and honorarium of the office-bearers will be defrayed out of a separate budget provision to be made for the purpose in the demand for grants of the Planning and Convergence department.
A State-level monitoring committee, headed by the development commissioner, will be constituted to take stock of the overall progress of the activities of the councils. The councils will function under the administrative control of the Planning and Convergence department.