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Zonal Councils

  Jun 24, 2020

Zonal Councils

Union Home Minister chaired the Northern Zonal Council meeting in Chandigarh recently.

What are Zonal Councils?

After the States Reorganisation Act 1956, there was a felt need to create bodies by an Act of parliament where the regional states and Centre could meet and solve relevant issues Zonal Councils Act was made to create advisory councils to foster federal cooperation.

How many are there?

Five Zonal Councils are there

  • Northern Zonal Council, comprising Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh Punjab, and Rajasthan;
  • Central Zonal Council, comprising the States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh
  • Eastern Zonal Council, comprising Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal;
  • Western Zonal Council, comprising Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Goa, Gujarat, and Maharashtra;
  • Southern Zonal Council, comprising Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana.

Is every UT a member of one ZC or another?

Yes. Except Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep which are not members of any of the Zonal Councils. However, they are presently special invitees to the Southern Council.

What about the north east?

The North Eastern states are not covered by any of the Zonal Councils and their special problems are addressed by another statutory body, the North Eastern Council, created by the North Eastern Council Act, 1971

Is North Eastern Council a ZC?

Technically it is not as its role is different.

Who are the Chairman and the Vice Chairman of the ZC?

The Union home minister is the chairman of each of these five councils. The chief minister of the host state serves as the vice-chairman.

What did the northern zonal council meet discuss?

They discussed issues pertaining to boundary disputes, security, infrastructure issues such as roads, transport, industries, water and power, forests and environment, housing, education, food security, tourism and transport.