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Centre should not force policies on states: Bengal CM Mamata at NITI Aayog meet

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Kolkata, Aug 06: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday urged the Centre to look into the demands of the state governments "more seriously" and no policies should be forced on them.

At the meeting of the Governing Council of the Niti Aayog in New Delhi, the West Bengal CM stressed that there should be a "greater cooperation" between the Centre and the states, official sources told PTI.

Centre should not force policies on states: Bengal CM Mamata at NITI Aayog meet

The Trinamool Congress supremo also said that state governments should not be pressurised to implement the National Education Policy (NEP). The West Bengal government was not keen on implementing the NEP. It constituted a 10-member committee of experts in April to examine NEP and assess the need for a state-level policy on education. There should be greater cooperation between the Central government and the state governments, she said during her around 15-minute speech at the meeting.

This is the first physical meeting of the Governing Council since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the 2021 meeting held via video conferencing. The meeting was attended by 23 chief ministers, three lieutenant governors, two Administrators and Union ministers. The Governing Council discussed four key agenda items - crop diversification and achieving self-sufficiency in pulses, oilseeds and other agri-commodities; implementation of National Education Policy in school education; implementation of NEP in higher education; and urban governance.

Addressing the seventh meeting of the Governing Council (GC) of NITI Aayog, the Prime Minister said, "Every State played a crucial role according to its strength and contributed to India's fight against Covid. This led to India emerging as an example for the developing nations to look up to as a global leader."

In his inaugural address, the PM said India's federal structure and cooperative federalism emerged as a model for the world during the Covid crisis. He said that India had sent a powerful message to the developing nations of the world-that it is possible to overcome challenges with resilience despite resource limitations. The PM said that the credit for this goes to the State Governments, which focused on grassroots delivery of public services to the people through cooperation across political lines.

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