The first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru proposed that country can be divided into 4 or 5 zonal councils.
Five Zonal Councils were set up in the year 1956.
The Zonal Councils have been created by the States Reorganization Act of 1956.
This acts as a platform to discuss certain common issues.
The purpose is to advise on matters of common interest to each zone.
- Economic Planning
- Social planning
- Border disputes
- Inter-state transport
- Matters arising out of the reorganization of states and the like
- To give advises to the states concerned
The Home Minister (Central) is the Chairman of all the Zonal Councils.
The Chief Minister of the concerned state is the Vice Chairman of the Zonal council on rotation.
NOTE: The meetings are also held on a rotation basis.
Each Zonal Council consists of the Chief Minister and two other ministers of each of the states in the zone and the administrator in the case of a Union Territory.
The holding joint meeting of 2 or more Zonal councils can also take place.
FIVE ZONAL COUNCILS:
- Northern Zonal Council: Haryana, HP, J&K, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Chandigarh.
- The Central Zonal Council: Chhattisgarh, Uttaranchal, UP, and MP.
- The Eastern Zonal Council: Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Sikkim, and West Bengal. NOTE: Sikkim was excluded from the eastern council in the year 2002.
- The Western Zonal Council: Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Daman and Diu, Dadra, and Nagar Haveli.
- The Southern Zonal Council: AP, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and Pondicherry.
The Northeastern states Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland are not included in the Zonal Councils.
Northeast Council was set up in the year 1972.
Sikkim was included in the North East council in the year 2002. Sikkim was excluded from the eastern council since 2002.
The Union Home Minister is the Chairman of all the zonal councils.
The Chief Minister of the concerned state where the meeting is led acts as the Vice Chairman on rotation.
The Chief Secretary of the concerned state is the secretary for the Zonal Council on rotation.