National Trust chairperson, members to have fixed terms

 The chairperson and the members of the board of the National Trust, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, will now have a three-year fixed term in office.

The Union Cabinet, at its meeting on Wednesday, approved a proposal to amend the National Trust for the Welfare of Person with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999 to fix the term of its chairperson and the members.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had chaired the meeting.

At present, Section 4 (1) of the National Trust Act, 1999 provides that the chairperson or a member of the board of National Trust would continue in office beyond the prescribed term of three years until his successor is appointed by the government.

In case of resignation of the chairperson, section 5(1) of the act provides for him to continue in office until his successor is appointed by the government.

"The wording of the above provisions of the act in its present form has resulted in the   continuation of a chairman for an indefinite period as no suitable successor could be found eligible for appointment," the government said in a statement after the Cabinet approved amendments to the National Trust Act to rectify this anomaly.

The proposed amendments to the National Trust Act seek to avoid "such a situation" and will thus eliminate "any chance of prolonged continuation" in the same post by any incumbent, it said.

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