Zonal Councils: Enhancing Regional Harmony and Progress.

  Sep 26, 2023

Zonal Councils

Establishment of Zonal Councils Zonal Councils in India were established to promote inter-state cooperation and coordination among different regions of the country.
They play a crucial role in addressing regional challenges, fostering dialogue, and facilitating conflict resolution.
Here's more on when, how, and why they were set up:

When Were Zonal Councils Established?

Zonal Councils were set up in India in 1957, under the States Reorganization Act of 1956. This act aimed to reorganize the country's states and Union Territories along linguistic lines for administrative efficiency.

How Were Zonal Councils Formed?

Zonal Councils were formed based on the recommendations of the States Reorganization Commission. The commission suggested the creation of these councils to promote cooperation among states and Union Territories that shared common cultural, linguistic, historical, or geographical features.

Why Were Zonal Councils Established?

The primary objective of establishing Zonal Councils was to address the challenges and issues faced by states and Union Territories within a specific region. These councils serve as platforms for states to collaborate and find solutions to common problems. Zonal Councils were set up to ensure that regional interests are taken into account while making policy decisions at the central and state levels. They play a crucial role in resolving inter-state disputes and conflicts, thereby promoting peace and harmony among neighboring regions. Zonal Councils promote economic and social development by encouraging states to share best practices and coordinate on infrastructure projects, resource management, and more.

Five Zonal Councils There are five Zonal Councils in India, each covering different regions of the country:

Northern Zonal Council (NZC)
Western Zonal Council (WZC)
Southern Zonal Council (SZC)
Eastern Zonal Council (EZC)
Central Zonal Council (CZC)

Structure of Zonal Councils

Each Zonal Council comprises a Chairman and members, including the Chief Ministers of the states and Union Territories within that zone.Chairman is the ex-officio post of the Union Home Minister.
Additionally, two senior ministers from each state and the Lieutenant Governors/Administrators of Union Territories are part of the council.
The Chief Secretaries and other senior officers of the state governments and Union Territories, along with senior officers of the Central government, also participate in the council's meetings.

Functions of Zonal Councils

Promoting Inter-State Cooperation:
Zonal Councils facilitate cooperation and coordination among states and Union Territories in their respective zones.
They provide a platform for discussing and resolving issues of common interest and regional significance.
Discussion of Regional Issues:
Zonal Councils discuss a wide range of issues, including those related to infrastructure development,
water sharing, environmental clearances, and more. These discussions help address regional challenges collectively.
The councils make recommendations to the central government and state governments on various matters.
These recommendations can influence policy decisions and actions.
Conflict Resolution:
Zonal Councils play a role in resolving inter-state disputes and conflicts by providing a platform for dialogue and consensus-building.
The 31st Northern Zonal Council (NZC) meeting in Amritsar (this week)is expected to address various issues,
including water-related matters and the claim over Chandigarh.
The meeting will involve discussions among Chief Ministers, senior ministers, and officials from Punjab,
Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir,
Ladakh, and Chandigarh, with the aim of promoting cooperation and resolving regional challenges.
Overall, Zonal Councils were created to foster cooperation and understanding among states and Union Territories within a region, ultimately contributing to the balanced development of the entire country.


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