The need for an interstate council in India was felt even before independence, for settlement of disputes arising between multiple states and for establishing coordination. During the Round Table Conference of 1931, the Sub-Committee of the Federal Structure had accepted that for issues relating to more than one province, whether provincial, there should be an authorized body or forum where disputes could be settled and such policies could be formulated. May those who prove to be helpful in the unity of India. In 1934, the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Amendment of the Constitution also suggested the establishment of an Inter-Provincial Council. Therefore, a provision was made in Section-135 of the Government of India Act, 1935 that an Inter-State Council can be constituted for the resolution of the disputes of the States.
After independence, the Constituent Assembly, working for the making of the new constitution, decided to establish the Inter-State Council on June 13, 1949 and this council was described in Article-263. Article-263 is considered to be a reflection of section-135 of the earlier constitution (1935). According to Article-263 – “If the President feels that for the fulfillment of the public interest it is necessary to establish such a council which can coordinate the relations between the center-state or the states, then he can order the establishment of an inter-state council.” ” The following functions of the Inter-State Council have been mentioned in the Constitution:
(1) To inquire into the disputes arising between the states and to give advice or advice for their resolution.
(2) To investigate and discuss matters relating to the mutual interests of all or some of the States or of the Union and one or more of the States.
(3) To recommend policy or actions for establishing good co-ordination in respect of any such matter.
Unfortunately, this council was established very late (1990) in India, while mentioning its utility, the Sub-Committee of the Federal Structure (1931) said – “It is clear that if agriculture, forestry, irrigation, education and public health Coordination and research institutes or departments should be conducted in the center on related subjects and these institutions are dependent on the investment of public finance in proper amount for the performance of their work, then the matter of the interest of the provincial governments in these joint projects is regularly recognized. It should be manifested through deliberation through a mechanism obtained. Establishing such a mechanism would be important with the coming into force of the new constitution (1935). It is also likely to fail by falling into two traps, leading to The interests of both the Central and Provincial Governments may suffer substantial damage which may prove to be very fatal in future.”
Although the Central (Central), Northern, Eastern, Western and Southern Zonal Councils had been established under the States Reorganization Act, 1956, while the North-Eastern Council for the North-Eastern region was established in 1972 under the ‘North-Eastern Council Act, 1971’. established under Seven states of the Northeast are included in this council. Six regional councils had been established long ago, but at the national level, the inter-state council could be established after 40 years. The Zonal Councils consist of the Union Home Minister, the Chief Minister of the State, two persons nominated by the Governor of the State and some Ministers. The Chief Secretary of the State and a member of the Planning Commission have also been included in the Zonal Council. These councils play the role of an advisory body to reduce the conflict between the center and the state. The following are the objectives of the Regional Councils
(i) To make efforts for early and successful implementation of the development plan.
(ii) To make efforts to establish emotional unity in the country.
(iii) To try to remove the imbalance of regional political, social and economic development.
(iv) To discuss the issues or problems related to the border disputes of the states, the problem of linguistic minorities and international traffic etc.
Regional Councils- Following are the regional councils in India
1. Northern Zone Council New Delhi
2. Central Zone Council Allahabad
3. Eastern Zone Council Kolkata
4. Western Zone Council Mumbai
5. Southern Zone Council Chennai
6. North-Eastern Council Shillong