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Zonal Councils

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Last updated date: 13th Jul 2024
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Zonal Councils - Introduction

The main idea of the creation of a zonal council was first made by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1956. During a debate on the State Reorganization Commission Report, it was suggested by the then Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru that the states of the country need to be properly reorganized, and in order to do that several zones need to be created. There was an advisory council elected for each of the groups in order to develop cooperation amongst the states. 


This suggestion came to effect during the time when bitterness and hostilities in the linguistic sector of the country were on the rise. For the solution of the problem, the zonal council was created in order to minimize the impact of these hostilities. This also led to a very healthy state and central environment in the country. The practice of having a zonal council in India is still effective to this very date. 


What is a Zonal Council? 

  • The zonal councils are forums that have been established by the Indian Parliament to promote effective cooperation as well as coordination amongst the Indian states. 

  • These statutory bodies are established according to the State Reorganization Act, 1956. 

  • One important thing to keep in mind about the zonal council is that these are just advisory and deliberative bodies and are not to be considered constitutional bodies. 


Composition of Zonal Council In India 

There are 5 different zonal councils that are set up according to the State Reorganization Act of 1956. The composition of the zonal councils is mentioned below in detail. 

  • Northern Zonal Council: This Council comprises the states of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, the Union Territory of Chandigarh as well as the National Capital Territory that is Delhi. 

  • Central Zonal Council: This council consists of the states of Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, as well as Madhya Pradesh. 

  • Eastern Zonal Council: This Zonal Council consists of the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, and Orissa. 

  • Western Zonal Council: The council belonging to the western section comprises the states such as Maharashtra, Gujrat, Goa, as well as the Union Territories of Dadra & Nagar Haveli along with Daman & Diu. 

  • Southern Zonal Council: This council has the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, the union territory of Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh. 


North-Eastern Council

The states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland don’t have their place in the zonal council and the problems of these states are tackled by the North-Eastern Council. This particular council has been set up according to the North Eastern Council Act of 1972. 


Zonal Council in India: Committees 

  • Every single Zonal council has properly set up an effective Standing Committee that consists of the Chief Secretaries belonging to the different states that are a part of one Zonal Council. 

  • The main objective of these standing committees is to ensure that they take part in resolving the issues in the states and perform all the necessary actions and do the groundwork for establishing further meetings. 

  • The Zonal council chairman is also a part of every single committee and has to look after the meetings in an effective manner. 


Main Objectives of Zonal Councils 

The zonal councils tend to provide an amazing forum for the irritants between different states and centers to be solved in the best possible way. With the help of frank discussions as well as consultations, the zonal councils make a very efficient attempt to resolve the state issues. These bodies are advisory in nature and hence there is a proper scope for having a frank and free exchange of separate views in these meetings that are held under the presence of the zonal council chairman.


There are some other groups that consist of forums similar to this such as the National Development Council, the Chief Minister’s Conferences, the Inter-State Council, and some of the other conferences of a higher level, the Zonal councils have managed to prove their worth with time. These zonal councils are particularly different in nature when it comes to the character of the councils as well as the content provided to the people there. 


These councils are regional and hence are most successful in promoting cooperation amongst different states and territories in the country. That is one of the main reasons why these councils have been the most successful additions to the cultural, economic, and political growth of the country. 


The major objectives of creating the zonal councils are mentioned below: 

  • Bringing the sense of national integration in people

  • Arresting and resolving the issues related to regionalism in the country 

  • Enabling different states and centers to have proper cooperation while exchanging ideas as well as experiences

  • Establishing an overall climate of cooperation amongst the people of the country 


Conclusion

Thus, in this article we have covered the basics of the zonal councils. The zonal councils of India have been a revolutionary step in decreasing the tension that brews amongst the divided states and union territories of the nation. We sincerely hope this article helped you in getting all the information that you wanted about the zonal council in India.

FAQs on Zonal Councils

1. What are zonal councils in India and why are they created?

Zonal councils are forums or bodies that have been created with the main objective of introducing a sense of cooperation in the country amongst the different states. It was after the issues of hostilities began to increase in the country due to the difference in linguistic approaches of different states. Hence, according to the State Reorganization Act, these councils were created in order to tackle the tension that was increasing in the country. 

2. What are the main objectives of zonal councils?

The creation of the zonal councils was proposed first by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru during his rule as the Prime Minister of the country. The main purpose of the creation of the zonal councils was to ensure that the rising tensions between the different linguistic sectors of the country were tackled in an efficient and peaceful manner. With the help of the zonal councils, several problems and hostilities in different states and centers of the country have been decreased. These councils also help in the promotion of an environment of cooperation amongst the country. The zonal councils also helped in the installation of a sense of integration amongst the people of the nation.

3. How many zonal councils are there in the country?

The entire country has been divided into different zones which includes some number of states and the union territories. There are 5 major zonal councils and they are 

  • Northern council

  • Eastern council

  • Central council

  • Western council

  • Southern council. 

There is also the north-eastern council that is not part of the zonal council but was created to tackle the issues of the North-eastern states.