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MoD Denotification: Integration of Civil Areas of 10 Cantonments with State Local Bodies

Why is it in the news?

  • In 2023, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) directed state governments to merge civilian areas of cantonments with neighboring municipalities, while military areas will be designated as military stations under full army control.

About Cantonments

  • Cantonments were initially established by the East India Company after the Battle of Plassey in 1757, with Barrackpore (Calcutta) being the first Cantonment established in 1765.
  • The primary purpose of Cantonments is to house military troops, but they also accommodate civilian populations.
  • As of now, there are 62 Cantonments spread across India.
  • The administration of Cantonments falls under the purview of the Union Government, as outlined in Entry 3 of the Union List.
  • Despite this, individual state governments have the authority to implement schemes within Cantonment areas, and many such schemes are already operational.
  • The governance of Cantonments is governed by the Cantonments Act of 2006, which is in line with the provisions of the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act.
  • Cantonment Boards are the administrative bodies responsible for managing Cantonments. These boards undertake various civic duties, including but not limited to providing public health services, ensuring water supply, and offering primary education facilities.
  • The Station Commander of a Cantonment serves as the ex-officio President of the respective Cantonment Board.
  • The composition of Cantonment Boards includes elected members. The number of elected members varies based on the category of the Cantonment, ranging from 2 to 8 members.

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