INTER STATE COUNCIL-ITS POWER AND FUNCTIONS by SHIVEN

ARTICLE 263

It is not a permanent constitutional body. Its is established by the president, for dispute resolution/common interest/better co ordination of policy among states.

If at any time it appears to the President that the public interests would be served by the establishment of a Council charged with the duty of-

(a) Inquiring into and advising upon disputes which may have arisen between States;

(b) Investigating and discussing subjects in which some or all of the States, or the Union and one or more of the States, have a common interest; or

(c) Making recommendations upon any such subject and, in particular, recommendations for the better co-ordination of policy and action with respect to that subject,

It shall be lawful for the President by order to establish such a Council, and to define the nature of the duties to be performed by it and its organisation and procedure.

The commission on Centre-State relations under the Chairmanship of justice R.S. sarkaria in its report in January 1988 recommended that:

1 “(a) A permanent Inter-state council called the Inter governmental Council(IGC) should be set up under article 263”

2 “(b) 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.

Govt of India accepted the recommendation .

FUNCTIONS :-

-Inter-State Council is a recommendatory body

-It investigates and discusses such subject,in which some or all of the states or he union and one
or more of the States have a common interest,for better coordination of policy and action.

-It also deliberates upon such other matters of general interests to the state as may be referred by
the chairman of the council.

DUTIES:-

Inquiring into and advising upon disputes which may have arisen among states. Investigating and discussing subjects in which some or all of the States or the Union and one or more of the states have a common interest

Making recommendation upon nay such subject for the better coordination of policy and action with respect to that subject

COMPOSITION OF Inter State Council:-

Prime Minister (PM) is the Chairman of the interstate Council. Chief ministers of all the states and union territories having legislative Assemblies, Administrators of Union Territories not having legislative assemblies, Governors of the State under President’s rule and six ministers of Cabinet Rank in the Union Council of Ministers, nominated by the chairman of the council, are members of the council.

The Council consists of:-
 Prime Minister – 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 – Members

 Six Ministers of Cabinet rank in the Union Council of Ministers to be nominated by the
Prime Minister – Members 1
1 The pre-requisites for the smooth and proper functioning of the council are:—

(a) an independent permanent secretariat;

(b) meetings in camera;

(c) adequate documentation; and

(d) preparation of papers for consideration of the General Body and the Committee.

Inter state Council- An underutilized and ignored constitutional body:-

Till 1967, most states in India were under rule of a common a party(Congress) and it was easier to resolve inter-states disputes. After 1967, other parties or coalitions than one running at centre or neighboring states started ruling. These Governments with different opinions and political visions were unable to solve the disputes in Inter State problems. Setting up of this council was based on Sarkaria Commission recommendations. It was set up in 1990 but not a single meeting was held for long time. It was only during Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government tenure when the council was revived and meetings happened almost every year. However, even today, the Inter- State Council has been largely under-utilized and ignored.

UPDATES:-

-After a gap of 12 years ,the standing committee of Inter State Council held its first meeting in New Delhi.

-Some of the long standing and contentious issues including the role of governor during political uncertainties, Centre State relations on law and order , and financial implications in the view of over-arching role of the Centre are on the agenda of the ISC committee.

-The ISC standing committee will discuss 132 of 273 recommendations of the Punchhi Commission on Centre State relations. Set up in 2005, the Puncchi Commission had submitted its report in 2010.

-Previously the Sarkaria Commission had made wide ranging recommendations on the subject in 1988. The ISC had rejected 35 of 247 recommendations made by the Sarkaria Commission

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