Zonal Councils

  • IASbaba
  • December 21, 2022
  • 0
Indian Polity & Constitution
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In News: Union Home and Cooperation Minister Shri Amit Shah presided over the 25th Eastern Zonal Council meeting .

Aim of Zonal councils:

  • To solve inter-State problems and foster balanced socio-economic development of the respective zones.
  • To develop the habit of cooperative working among these States

Zonal Councils:

  • The idea of creation of Zonal Councils was mooted by the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru in 1956
  • Five Zonal Councils were set up vide Part-III of the States Re-organisation Act, 1956 – north, south, east, west and central.
  • The North Eastern States i.e. (i) Assam (ii) Arunachal Pradesh (iii) Manipur (iv) Tripura (v) Mizoram (vi) Meghalaya and (vii) Nagaland are not included in the Zonal Councils
  • Their special problems are looked after by the North Eastern Council, set up under the North Eastern Council Act, 1972.
  • The State of Sikkim has also been included in North Eastern Council vide North Eastern Council (Amendment) Act, 2002.

Organisational structure:

  • Chairman – The Union Home Minister is the Chairman of each of these Councils.
  • Vice Chairman – The Chief Ministers of the States included in each zone act as Vice-Chairman of the Zonal Council for that zone by rotation, each holding office for a period of one year at a time.
  • Members- Chief Minister and two other Ministers as nominated by the Governor from each of the States and two members from Union Territories included in the zone.
  • AdvisersOne person nominated by the Planning Commission for each of the Zonal Councils, Chief Secretaries and another officer/Development Commissioner nominated by each of the States included in the Zone
  • Each Zonal Council has set up a Standing Committee consisting of Chief Secretaries of the member States of their respective Zonal Councils.
  • Union Ministers are also invited to participate in the meetings of Zonal Councils depending upon necessity.
  • Each Zonal Council shall meet at such time as the Chairman of the Council may appoint in this behalf.
  • Since their inception in 1957, the Zonal Councils have met 106 times.

Role & Objective:

  • Bringing out national integration
  • Arresting the growth of acute State consciousness, regionalism, linguism and particularistic tendencies;
  • Enabling the Centre and the States to co-operate and exchange ideas and experiences;
  • Establishing a climate of co-operation amongst the States for successful and speedy execution of development projects.


  • Each Zonal Council is an advisory body and may discuss any matter in which States have a common interest and advise the Government.
  • In particular, a Zonal Council may discuss, and make recommendations with regard to:
  • any matter of common interest in the field of economic and social planning;
  • any matter concerning border disputes, linguistic minorities or inter-State transport;
  • any matter connected with or arising out of, the re-organization of the States under the State’s Reorganisation Act.

Source: PIB

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Which of the following bodies does not/do not find mention in the Constitution? (2013)

  1. National Development Council
  2. Planning Commission
  3. Zonal Councils

Select the correct answer using the codes given below

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3 only


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