‘Political appointees for advisory council soon’

New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) With the government having finalised experts for the National Advisory Council, the names of political leaders to be council members would be announced soon, Congress sources said.

Party sources said that ‘one or two’ leaders will be appointed soon to the NAC which is headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi. She was re-appointed chairperson when the NAC was revived in March this year.

The NAC is expected to work on strengthening the social sector agenda of the United Progressive Alliance government.

Official sources said the government has finalised 11 members of the NAC. They include social activists Jean Dreze, Aruna Roy, N.C. Saxena, A.K. Shiva Kumar, Farah Naqvi, Anu Agha, M.S. Swaminathan, Narendra Jadhav, Deep Joshi, Madhav Gadgil and Harsh Mander.

Rita Sharma, a former rural development secretary, is expected to be the council’s member-secretary.

The NAC was first formed in 2004 and had worked to improve the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and the Right to Information Act. Sonia Gandhi had resigned as NAC chairperson in 2006 following office-of-profit controversy and the council was dissolved in 2007.