25th Eastern Zonal Council

  • 27 Dec 2022

Recent Context

  • Recently, on December 17, 2022, the 25th Eastern Zonal Council meeting was held in Kolkata.
  • The council meet was presided over by the Union Home Minister.
  • It comprises the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal.

Highlights of the Council Meeting

  • The Union Home Minister highlighted that about 93 per cent, of the issues discussed, were resolved in last 8 years (2014-2022).
  • Also, a total of 23 meetings (including recent meeting) of the Eastern Council have been held (an average of 3 meetings per year); despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • As per Union Minister, in the next 25 years, during the Azadi ka Amrit Kaal, the Eastern region of the country will play an important role in the development of India.

About Zonal Councils

The idea of creation of Zonal Councils was mooted by the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1956 during debate on the report of the States Reorganisation Commission.

Composition of Zonal Councils

The Northern Zonal Council

Comprising the States of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Union Territory of Chandigarh.

The Central Zonal Council

Comprising the States of Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh;

The Eastern Zonal Council

Comprising the States of Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Sikkim and West Bengal;

The Western Zonal Council

Comprising the States of Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra and the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli;

The Southern Zonal Council

Comprises the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry.

North-eastern Council

The North-eastern States Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland are not included in the Zonal Councils and their special problems are looked after by the North-Eastern Council, set up under the North-eastern Council Act, 1972.

The State of Sikkim has also been included in the North Eastern Council vide North Eastern Council (Amendment) Act, 2002 notified in 2002.

Functions of the Councils

  • Any matter of common interest in the field of economic and social planning.
  • Any matter concerning border disputes, linguistic minorities or inter-State transport.
  • Any matter connected with or arising out of the reorganisation of the States under the State's Reorganisation Act.

Organizational Structure

  • Chairman: The union home minister is the Chairman of each of these Councils.
  • Vice Chairman: The Chief Ministers of the States included in each zone act as Vice-Chairman of the Zonal Council for that zone by rotation, each holding office for a period of one year at a time.
  • Members: Chief Minister and two other Ministers as nominated by the Governor from each of the States and two members from Union Territories included in the zone.