National Advisory Council first meeting in Delhi

     The newly constituted National Advisory Council (NAC) headed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi will have its first meeting here on Thursday. The Central Government had constituted the 14-member National Advisory Council on June 1. The National Advisory Council is expected to advise the Centre on various social programmes like food security and rural development. After the meeting today, the members will call on Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. Sonia Gandhi, who had resigned from the National Advisory Council in March 2006 following office-of-profit controversy, was again named its Chairperson on March 29 2006. The members, representing experts from diverse fields, include Agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan and social activist Aruna Roy. Music exponent and Rajya Sabha member Ram Dayal Munda, Planning Commission member Narendra Jadhav, North-East Hill University Vice Chancellor Pramod Tandon and ecologist Madhav Gadgil are also members of the Council. It also includes social worker Deep Joshi, businesswoman Anu Aga, women's rights activist Farah Naqvi, former bureaucrat-turned-rights activist Harsh Mander, Mirai Chatterjee of Ahmedabad-based Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA), economist-activist Jean Dreze, retired bureaucrat N C Saxena and economist A K Shiva Kumar. Roy, Dreze, Saxena and Shiva Kumar were members of the National Advisory Council during UPA-I. Rita Sharma, an IAS officer, who retired as Rural Development Secretary earlier this year, has been appointed as the Member Secretary. The term of National Advisory Council members will be for one year but it could be extended.

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