First meeting of NAC to be held this month: Congress

The first meeting of the National Advisory Council headed by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is expected to be held in the third week of June, it was officially announced Tuesday.

Updated: Jun 01, 2010, 12:57 PM IST

New Delhi: The first meeting of the National Advisory Council headed by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is expected to be held in the third week of June, it was officially announced Tuesday.

Agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan and social activist Aruna Roy were among 14 eminent persons who have been nominated as NAC members.

A PMO spokesperson said music exponent and Rajya Sabha member (nominated) Ram Dayal Munda, Planning Commission member Narendra Jadhav, North-East Hill University Vice Chancellor Pramod Tandon and ecologist Madhav Gadgil were among those nominated.

The list also includes social worker Deep Joshi, businesswoman Anu Agha, women`s rights activist Farah Naqvi, former bureaucrat-turned-rights activist Harsh Mander and
Mirai Chatterjee of Ahmedabad-based SEWA (Self Employed Women`s Association).

Besides Roy, economist-activist Jean Dreze, retired bureaucrat N C Saxena and economist A K Shiva Kumar, who were members of the NAC during UPA-I, have been renominated to the body, constituted to advise the government on key issues.

The members were nominated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in consultation with the NAC chairperson. Rita Sharma, an IAS officer, who retired as rural
development secretary earlier this year, has been appointed as member-secretary.

The term of NAC members will be for one year but it could be extended.

Singh had last week said the NAC is an advisory body which has made significant contributions in pushing forward social development programmes.

Gandhi was again named chairperson of the NAC on March 29, four years after she quit after being accused of holding an office of profit.

She had resigned from the NAC in March 2006 after the opposition alleged that she had violated the office of profit principle requiring MPs not to hold offices that carry wages,
salaries or allowances during their tenures. She had also resigned her Lok Sabha seat of Rae Bareli but won it back in a re-election.
The NAC was first formed during the earlier tenure of UPA government and had played a role in the enactment of Right to Information Act, Forest Rights Act and National Rural
Employment Guarantee Act.

Earlier this month, the Union Cabinet had granted creation of 35 posts for officials and other staff for the consultative body.
The NAC is expected to function from an official bunglow on 2, Motilal Road, which is adjacent to Gandhi`s 10, Janpath residence.

PTI