Inter State Council
It is a mechanism that was constituted “to support Centre-State and Inter-State coordination and cooperation in India”. The Inter State Council was established under Article 263 of the Constitution, which states that the President may constitute such a body if a need is felt for it. The Inter State Council is formed by the presidential order dated 28 May 1990 on the recommendation of the Sarkaria Commission. The Inter State Council headed by Prime Minister is primarily intended to serve as a forum for dialogue among various governments. The Council may meet at least thrice a year. There is also a Standing Committee of the Council.
Composition of the Inter State Council
- Inter State Council headed by Prime Minister, as its Chairman
- Chief Ministers of all States Members
- Chief Ministers of Union Territories having a Legislative Assembly and Administrators of UTs not having a Legislative Assembly and Governors of States under President’s Rule.
- Six Ministers of Cabinet rank in the Union Council of Ministers to be nominated by the Prime Minister Members
- Four Ministers of Cabinet rank as Permanent invitees Members
(Note: Other Ministers and Ministers of State having independent charge in the Union Government may be invited as permanent invitees if so nominated by the Chairman of the Council, or as and when any item relating to a subject under their charge is to be discussed.)
Inter State Council Article
Art. 263 envisions the formation of an Inter State Council to facilitate coordination between states and between the center and states.
The President may establish such a council whenever it appears to him to serve the public interest. He is also authorized to define the nature of such a council’s duties, as well as its organization and procedure.
Inter State Council is a permanent Constitutional body?
The Inter State Council is formed by the presidential order dated 28 May 1990 on the recommendation of the Sarkaria Commission. It is a Non-permanent, Constitutional body set up by the presidential order. It is formed to decentralize the powers of the state and works as an instrument for cooperation, coordination, and the evolution of common policies.
Inter State Council Standing Committee
The government has also constituted the Inter State Council standing committee, with Union Home Minister as its Chairman. It was set up in 1996 for continuous consultation and processing of matters for the consideration of the Council.
It consists of the following members:
- Union Home Minister as the Chairman
- Five Union Cabinet Ministers
- Nine Chief Minister
Inter State Council Functions
Inter State Council is a recommendatory body with duties to investigate and discuss the subjects of common interest between the Union and State(s) or among the States, making recommendations, particularly for better coordination of policy and action.
Inter State Council functions:
- To establish a strong institutional framework to promote and support cooperative federalism throughout the country, as well as to activate the council and zonal councils by organizing regular meetings.
- Allows the zonal and Inter State Councils to consider all pending and emerging issues of Centre-state and inter-state relations.
- Creates a solid system for monitoring the implementation of their recommendations.
The Inter State Council’s function to enquire and advise upon inter-state disputes is complementary to the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction under Article 131 to decide a legal controversy between the governments. The council can deal with any controversy whether legal or non-legal, but its function is advisory unlike that of the court which gives a binding decision.