In yet another ‘let us come closer’ move, the Centre has decided to make the conferences of State Chief Secretaries an annual event starting this year to keep them abreast of the global trends in various areas including climate change and security.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the first such conference on February 1 which will last two days.

The institutionalised system of annual conferences involving Chief Secretaries and key senior functionaries of state governments has been approved by the Prime Minister, Cabinet Secretary K. M. Chandrasekhar said.

“The conference is intended to give senior State government officials an overview of global trends in various areas, the policies of the government of India and the help, if any, that may be required from State governments,” he said.

A presentation on “Climate Change and National Action Plan on Climate Change” by Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh is slotted for February 2.

This is aimed at familiarising Chief Secretaries and senior officials of the States with the dimensions of climate change, the state of global negotiations, India’s own concerns on climate change, the National Action Plan and its various components and the role state governments are required to play, Mr. Chandrasekhar said.

While Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao would make a presentation on ‘Emerging Global Challenges and Opportunities”, Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar would brief on the “International Trade Outlook” on the opening day.

Ministry of Defence and three Service Chiefs would make a presentation on “Key Security Concerns and the Role of State governments” on February 2.

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