Meghalaya: Means Abode of Clouds
Birth of the state: Meghalaya became an Autonomous State on 2nd April 1970 and a full-fledged State on 21st January 1972
Location: Latitude 20° 1' N & 26° 5' N, Longitude 85° 49' E & 92° 52' E
Area: 22,429 Sq. Km.
Length and Breadth: It is 300 km in length and 100 km in breadth.
Population: 17,74,778 (1991 census)
Assembly seats: 60
Forest Area: 8,510 Sq. Km.
Average Rainfall: 1200 cm per annum
Temperature Average: 18-20° C
Highest Point: Shillong Peak (1965 m)
Main Inhabitants: Khasis, the Jaintias and the Garos
Local Administration: District Councils
State's local administration vests in Autonomous District Councils set up under provisions of Sixth Schedule to Constitution of India. There are three councils:
-- Garo Hills Autonomous District seated at Tura covering the East Garo Hills and West Garo Hills Districts.
-- Khasi Hills Autonomous District seated at Shillong covering the East Khasi Hills and West Khasi Hills Districts.
-- Jaintia Hills Autonomous District seated at Jowai covering the Jaintia Hills.
The District Councils are constituted by members representing different District Councils constituencies, elected on the basis of universal adult franchise like members of the Legislative Assembly. The leader of largest party/group returned to the Council is appointed by Governor as Chief Executive Member. On the advice of such CEM, a number of members are appointed by Governor as Executive Members. The CEM and the EMs constitute the Executive Committee of the Autonomous District Councils and exercise its Executive Powers.
Under the Sixth Schedule of the constitution the District Councils enjoy legislative, executive and judicial powers mainly over the following items:
- Land other than reserve forests
- Forests other than reserve forests
- Use of any land or water course for agricultural purposes
- Regulation in the practice of Jhum or other forms of shifting cultivation
- Establishment of village or town administration including village or town police and public health and sanitation.
- Appointment and succession of Chiefs and their powers
- Establishment of village or town Committees or Councils and their powers
- Regulation of laws or inheritance of property
- Social customs