The central government has reestablished the inter-state council to promote and encourage cooperative federalism in the country, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as chairman and chief ministers from all states and six Union territories.
Ten Union ministers will also be permanent invitees to the inter-state council, according to a formal notification released last week. The government has also reformed the council’s standing committee, with home minister Amit Shah serving as chairman.
Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, Narendra Singh Tomar, Virendra Kumar, Hardeep Singh Puri, Nitin Gadkari, S Jaishankar, Arjun Munda, Piyush Goyal, Dhamendra Pradhan, Pralhad Joshi, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Kiren Rijiju, and Bhupender Yadav are among the Union ministers
The inter-state council is a consultative body with the authority to investigate and discuss subjects of common interest between the Union and state(s), or among states, make recommendations for better coordination of policy and action on these subjects, and deliberate on matters of general interest to the states that its chairman may refer to it. It also deliberates on other subjects of general concern to the states that the chairman may refer to the council.
The council’s mandate is to provide a solid institutional structure to promote and maintain cooperative federalism throughout the country, as well as to activate the council and zonal councils through regular meetings.
It also facilitates the zonal councils’ and inter-state councils’ consideration of all current and emergent issues of Centre-state and inter-state relations, as well as the development of a solid framework to monitor the execution of their recommendations.
The Union home ministry announced in a separate notification that the standing committee of the inter-state council will include Amit Shah (chairman) and Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Narendra Singh Tomar, Virendra Kumar, and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
The chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh also serve on the council’s standing committee.
The standing committee will undertake continual consultations and process topics for discussion by the council, as well as process any matters concerning Centre-state relations before they are brought before the council for deliberation.
If appropriate, the committee may call specialists and persons eminent in specialised sectors to provide their perspectives, while simultaneously deliberating on related matters.