Static – Polity – Historical Background – Part 4 – Charter Act of 1853

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Static – Polity – Historical Background – Part 3 – Charter Act of 1833

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Static – Polity – Historical Background – Part 2 – Pitt’s India Act of 1784

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Static – Polity – Historical Background – Part 1 – Regulating Act of 1773

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Current Affairs PLUS – Lok Adalat

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Current Affairs PLUS – Article 142

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Explained : Enemy Property and Related Issues

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Editorial Simplified – State Funding of Elections

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The Zonal Councils

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The Zonal Councils, five in number, were created under the States Reorganization Act, 1956 in wake of reorganization of the States in 1956 with the basic objective to develop the habit of cooperative working among the States, as well as between the Centre and the States and to provide a meeting ground for the States in different zones for solving inter-State problems and fostering balanced socio economic development of the respective zones.

The present composition of these Zonal Councils viz. Northern, Southern, Western, Eastern and Central are as under:


The Union Home Minister is the Chairman of all the Zonal Councils.  The Office of the Vice-Chairman is held by the Chief Ministers of Member States of the respective Zonal Councils by annual rotation. The Chief Secretaries of the Member States function as the Secretary of respective Zonal Council, also by annual rotation. The Secretaries of the respective Zonal Councils are also ex-officio Chairman of respective Standing Committees, consisting of Chief Secretaries of all member States and preside over these meetings.

The functions of the Zonal Councils are to :

Promote a cooperative approach to facilitate economic and social planning and the execution of development schemes;

Deal with matters arising out of the re-organisation of States such as, border problems, linguistic minorities, inter-State transport, etc.

Initiate measures of common interest and benefit to the people in the field of social and economic planning and exchange, pool and use information, experience and statistics available with each State to the best common advantage,

Evolve common policies in regard to education, technical, medical and other professions, trade and commerce, labour and industry, agricultural prices;

Tackle common law and order problems and devise uniform policies regarding administration of civil and criminal law and Standard Operating Procedures etc;

Deal with common problems like floods, drought etc.

The Zonal Councils are especially meant for looking after interests of respective zone, they are capable of focussing attention on specific issues taking into account regional factors while keeping the national perspective in view.  These Zonal Councils have also set up Standing Committees which meet from time to time to scrutinise the agenda items and to settle most of the issues at their level and only those matters are referred to the Zonal Councils which are of adequate importance considering the high level of these bodies.

The Zonal Councils provide an important platform to resolve inter-State and Centre-State issues  relating to States/UTs in a particular zone in an amicable and harmonious manner.  The Zonal Councils are powerful instrument of consultation, conciliation, cooperation and consensus to resolve many issues, even ticklish ones.


Static – Polity – Citizen’s Charter

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