<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday asserted that all possible steps will be taken to preserve and strengthen country’s integrity and security – be it external or internal threats.Chairing the 27th meeting of the Southern Zonal Council here, Singh said state governments must ensure better inter-State coordination and take up joint operations in common border areas.”All possible steps will be taken to preserve and strengthen the integrity and safety of our country, be it either from external or internal threats,” he said. The Home Minister said in the recent past, the Left Wing Extremism had been assuming serious dimensions in certain parts of the country.The Minister said state governments must ensure better inter-State coordination and take up joint operations in common border areas. Two top Maoist leaders, including a woman,had been killed in a police ‘encounter’ in Padukka forest range near Karulai in Nilambur in Malappuram district last month. “The recent incidents that occurred in Kerala underscored the paramount need for further tightening up of administrative and police machinery,” he said.The Council reviewed progress of implementation of various recommendations made in the last meeting relating to issues of fishermen, Peninsular Region Industrial Development Corridor, extension of High Speed Rail Corridor between Thiruvananthapuram up to Mangalore and Udupi, introduction of peninsular tourism trains in the zone and Amendments to the New Road Transport and Road Safety Bill. Thereafter, the Council took up issues which relate to uniformity in allocation of funds for scholarships in proportion of population of SC/ST for all courses, revision of ceiling on profession tax by Government of India, prevention of communicable diseases, naxalism, promotion of oilseeds and oil palm cultivation and development of Puducherry Airport.Out of the 22 items discussed, 16 were resolved in the meeting. The Home Minister said the Central government is committed to further strengthen the Zonal Councils and the Inter State Council. He said the meetings of five Zonal Councils and their Standing Committees were held in 2015 after a long gap. Earlier, all the five Zonal Council meetings were held in one year only in the years of 1972 and 2005.