Inter-State Council

JUN 20

Preliminary   > Polity   >   Institutions/Bodies   >   Other Bodies

Why in news?

  • The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has written to the Prime Minister asking that at least three meetings of the Inter-State Council should be held every year to strengthen the spirit of cooperative federalism.

About Inter-State Council:

  • Article 263 contemplates the establishment of an Inter-State Council to effect coordination between the states and between Centre and states.
  • Thus, the President can establish such a council if at any time it appears to him that the public interest would be served by its establishment.
  • He can define the nature of duties to be performed by such a council and its organisation and procedure.
  • Even though the president is empowered to define the duties of an interstate council, Article 263 specifies the duties that can be assigned to it in the following manner:
    • (a) enquiring into and advising upon disputes which may arise between states;
    • (b) investigating and discussing subjects in which the states or the Centre and the states have a common interest
    • (c) making recommendations upon any such subject, and particularly for the better co-ordination of policy and action on it.
  • Under the above provisions of Article 263, the president has established the following councils to make recommendations for the better coordination of policy and action in the related subjects:
    • Central Council of Health.
    • Central Council of Local Government and Urban Development.
    • Four Regional Councils for Sales Tax for the Northern, Eastern, Western and Southern Zones.

Establishment of Inter-State Council

  • The Sarkaria Commission on Centre-State Relations (1983–87) made a strong case for the establishment of a permanent Inter-State Council under Article 263 of the Constitution.
  • It recommended that in order to differentiate the Inter-State Council from other bodies established under the same Article 263, it must be called as the Inter-Governmental Council.
  • The Commission recommended that the Council should be charged with the duties laid down in clauses (b) and (c) of Article 263.
  • In pursuance of the above recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission, the Janata Dal Government headed by V. P. Singh established the Inter State Council in 1990.

Members

  • (i) Prime minister as the Chairman
  • (ii) Chief ministers of all the states
  • (iii) Chief ministers of union territories having legislative assemblies
  • (iv) Administrators of union territories not having legislative assemblies
  • (v) Governors of States under President’s rule
  • (vi) Six Central cabinet ministers, including the home minister, to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
  • Five Ministers of Cabinet rank / Minister of State (independent charge) nominated by the Chairman of the Council (i.e., Prime Minister) are permanent invitees to the Council.

Duties:

  • The council is a recommendatory body on issues relating to inter-state, Centre–state and Centre–union territories relations.
  • It aims at promoting coordination between them by examining, discussing and deliberating on such issues

PRACTICE QUESTION:

Consider the following statements regarding Inter-State Council

1. Constitution empowers Prime Minister to constitute Inter-State Council

2. It is a recommendatory body

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer