Context: Recently, the 28th meeting of the Southern Zonal Council was held under the Chairmanship the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh in Bengaluru. What are Zonal Councils?

  • The zonal councils have been established by the Parliament to promote interstate cooperation and also coordination.
  • They are statutory bodies established under the States Reorganization Act 1956 and not constitutional bodies.
  • They are only deliberative and advisory bodies
How many Zonal Councils are there? There are 5 five Zonal councils namely:
  • Well, the North Zonal Council, the comprising the States of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, and National Capital Territory of Delhi and also the union Territory of Chandigarh.
  • However, the Central Zonal Council, comprising the States of Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and also Madhya Pradesh state.
  • In fact, the Eastern Zonal Council, comprising the States of Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, and also West Bengal.
  • And, the Western Zonal Council, comprising the States of Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra and the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and also Dadra & Nagar Haveli.
  • The Southern Zonal Council, comprising the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and also the Union Territory of Puducherry.
  • Moreover, the North Eastern States like. (i) Assam (ii) Arunachal Pradesh (iii) Manipur (iv) Tripura (v) Mizoram (vi) Meghalaya (vii) Sikkim and (viii) Nagaland are not included in the Zonal Councils and also their special problems are looked after by the North Eastern Council, set up under the North Eastern Council Act, 1972.
What is the composition of Zonal Councils?
  • The chairman – The Union Home Minister is the Chairman of each of these Councils.
  • The vice Chairman – The Chief Ministers of the States which included in each zone act as the Vice-Chairman of the Zonal Council for that zone by rotation, and each holding the office for the period of one year at a time.
  • The members- The chief Minister and also two other Ministers as nominated by the Governor from each of the States and also two members from Union Territories which included in the zone.
  • Advisers- One person nominated by the Planning Commission (which has been replaced by NITI Aayog now) for each of the Zonal Councils, Chief Secretaries and another officer/Development Commissioner nominated by each of the States which included in the Zone.
  • In fact, the Union Ministers are also invited to participate in the meetings of the Zonal Councils depending upon the necessity.
What is the objective of zonal councils? Well, the main objectives to setting up of Zonal Councils are as given below:
  • Bringing out the national integration.
  • And then, the arresting growth of acute State consciousness, regionalism, and linguism and also the particularistic tendencies.
  • Enabling the Centre and also the States to co-operate and exchange ideas and also the experiences.
  • Then, establishing the climate of co-operation amongst the States for successful and also speedy execution of development projects.
Read Also: Inter-State Council (ISC)