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News: Recently, the Inter-State Council(ISC) has been reconstituted with the Prime Minister as Chairman and Chief Ministers of all States and six Union Ministers as members.
• As part of the process of reviewing the working of the existing arrangements between the Union and the States, the Government constituted a commission in 1988 under the Chairmanship of Justice R.S. Sarkaria.
• One of the important recommendations of Sarkaria Commission was for establishing a permanent InterState Council as an independent national forum for consultation with a mandate well defined in accordance with Article 263 of the Constitution of India.
• The inter-state council is a recommendatory body that has been empowered to investigate and discuss subjects of common interest between the Union and state(s), or among states.
• It also makes recommendations for better coordination of policy and action on these subjects, and deliberations on matters of general interest to the states, which may be referred to it by its chairman.
• It also deliberates on other matters of general interest to the states as may be referred by the chairman to the council.
• The Council may meet at least thrice in a year.
• There is also a Standing Committee of the Council.
What is the composition?
• Prime Minister as 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 (Governor’s Rule in the case of J&K) Members.
• Six Ministers of Cabinet rank in the Union Council of Ministers to be nominated by the Prime Minister Members.
Functions of the Inter-State Council
• To create a strong institutional framework to promote and support cooperative federalism in the country and activate the council and zonal councils by organising regular meetings.
• Facilitates consideration of all pending and emerging issues of Centre-state and inter-state relations by the zonal councils and inter-state council.
• Develops a sound system to monitor the implementation of recommendations put forward by them