18th June, 2022 Polity and Governance
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- Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has written to the Prime Minister asking him to conduct at least three meetings of the Inter-State Council every year.
- He also suggested that bills of national importance need to be discussed before the Council before introducing in Parliament.
- He raised concern over the Lack of regular meetings of the Inter-State Council
- The Council met only once in the last 6 years, the last meeting was held in July 2016.
- Article 263 of the Indian Constitution has the provision for the establishment of an Inter-State Council to effect coordination between the states and between the Center and states.
- The President can establish such a council if at any time it appears to him that the public interest would be served by its establishment.
- He can define the nature of duties to be performed by such a council and its organization and procedure.
- Even though the president is empowered to define the duties of an inter-state council, Article 263 specifies the duties that can be assigned to it in the following manner:
- Enquiring into and advising upon disputes which may arise between states.
- Investigating and discussing subjects in which the states or the Center and the states have a common interest, and making recommendations upon any such subject, particularly for the better coordination of policy and action on it.
- It consists of the following members:
- The Prime Minister is the Chairman.
- Chief Ministers of all the states.
- Chief Ministers of Union Territories with legislative assemblies.
- Administrators of union territories do not have legislative assemblies.
- Governors of States under the President‘s rule.
- 6 Central cabinet ministers, including the home minister, are to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
- The council is a recommendatory body on issues relating to inter-state, Center-state and Center–union territories relations.
- It aims at promoting coordination by examining, discussing and deliberating on such issues. Its duties, in detail, are as follows:
- Investigating and discussing such subjects in which the states or the centre have a common interest.
- Making recommendations upon any such subject for the better coordination of policy and action on it.
- The Council may meet at least thrice a year.
- Its meetings are held in camera and all questions are decided by consensus.
- There is also a Standing Committee of the Council. 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.
- 5 Union Cabinet Ministers.
- 9 Chief Ministers.