Inter-State Council

Current Importance?

  • The Inter-State Council and the standing committee of the Inter-State Council have been reconstituted recently.

About Inter State Council

  • Article 263 of the constitution provides for the establishment of an Inter-State Council (ISC).

  • The Commission under the Chairmanship of Justice R. S. Sarkaria in its report in 1988 recommended that:

  1. A permanent Inter-State Council called the Inter Governmental Council (IGC) should be set up under Article 263.

  2. The IGC should be charged with the duties set out in clauses (b) and (c) of Article 263, other than socio-economic planning and development.

  3. Thus, in 1990, Inter-State Council was established

  • It is a recommendatory body on issues relating to interstate, Centre-State, and Centre and Union Territory relations.

  1. It is not a permanent constitutional body but it can be established ‘at any time’ if it appears to the President that the public interests would be served by the establishment of such a council.

  2. The council may meet at least thrice in a year.

  3. The Standing Committee of the Council was set up in 1996 for continuous consultation and processing of matters for the consideration of the council.

  4. The Committee consists of following members

  5. Union Home minister

  6. Five Union Cabinet Ministers

  7. Nine Chief Ministers

  8. The Committee is assisted by Inter-State Council Secretariat, set up in 1991 and headed by a Secretary to Government of India.

Composition of ISC

  1. Prime Minister as the Chairman

  2. Chief Ministers of all the States

  3. Chief Ministers of Union Territories having Legislative Assemblies

  4. Administrators of the Union Territories not having Legislative Assemblies

  5. Governors of the States under the President’s rule

  6. Six Central Cabinet Ministers, including Home Minister, to be nominated by the PM.

Article 263 It shall be lawful for the President to establish an ISC for inquiring, discussing and advising upon:

  1. disputes which may have arisen between States;

  2. subjects in which some or all of the States, or the Union and one or more of the States, have a common interest; or

  3. such subject and, in particular, recommendations for the better co-ordination of policy and action with respect to that subject.

Its function is complementary to Supreme Court’s jurisdiction under Art 131 to decide a legal controversy between the governments.

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