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Zonal Councils, History, Objectives, Composition & Functions

Zonal Councils

Pandit Jawaharlal Lal Nehru had the idea to establish the Zonal Council. The union council of ministers is the executive branch of government in the republic of India. The Indian Prime Minister is in charge of the council and oversees it. Shri Amit Shah, who is the Union Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Cooperation, has placed a strong emphasis on using Zonal councils to settle personal conflicts and advance cooperative federalism.

The Zonal Councils is covered under the Indian Polity and Governance section of the UPSC Syllabus. Students can also go for UPSC Mock Test to get more accuracy in their preparation.

Zonal Councils History

The first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, proposed the concept of establishing a zonal council in 1956. It was thrown out during the discussion sessions held to discuss the conclusion of the States Reorganization Commission’s report. He asserts that there has to be a restructuring of the States into four or five zones, each of which would have an advisory council.

The goal was to create a cooperative working environment among all of these States. When linguistic barriers and hostility were there as a result of the restructuring of the States, Pandit Nehru put up this idea. Our country’s core foundation was in danger of disintegrating. In order to remedy the situation, Nehru established a high-level advisory body. Its goals were to reduce the negative effects of animosity and hostilities, foster good Centre-state and interstate relations, resolve interstate disputes, and advance the socioeconomic balance and development of the various zones.

Zonal Councils Composition

The States Reorganization Act of 1956 (Part III) authorized the establishment of five Zonal Councils, as proposed by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Lal Nehru. Each zone of the zonal council is currently constituted as follows:

Council Description
The Northern Zonal Council Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, the Union Territory of Chandigarh, and the National Capital Territory of Delhi are included in it.
The Eastern Zonal Council The States of Bihar, Sikkim, West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Orissa are comprised of it.
The Central Zonal Council It comprises the States of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Uttrakhand.
The Western Zonal Council It includes Goa, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and the union territories of Daman & Diu and Daman & Diu.
The Southern Zonal Council Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and the Union Territory of Puducherry are included in it.

Zonal Councils Objective

Bringing forth national integration is its main goal.  Additionally, it seeks to halt the expansion of sharp State consciousness, regionalism, linguism, and particularistic inclinations. Its goal is to make it possible for the Center and the States to collaborate and share ideas and experiences. Another goal is to foster cooperation among the States so that development initiatives may be completed quickly and successfully.

Zonal Councils Organizational Structure


The Union Home Minister presides over each subdivision of the zonal council.


A Chief Minister, along with the other two Ministers, are chosen by the Governor to serve as the vice-chairmen of each State and two of the Union Territories (UTs) that are part of the zones. For a period of one year at a time, it is carried out in an ongoing manner.


These are the people who have been put forth for each zonal council subdivision by the Planning Commission, Chief Secretaries or any other officer.

Zonal Councils Functions

Each Zonal Council serves as an advisory body and may discuss any matter in which some or all of the States represented in that Council, or the Union and one or more of those States, have a common interest. It also advises the Central Government and the Government of each State concerned regarding the appropriate course of action to be taken on such a matter.

A Zonal Council, for instance, may talk about and recommend things like:

  • Any topic in the sphere of economic and social planning that is of general interest;
  • Any issue including disagreements over borders, linguistic minorities, or interstate transportation;
  • Any issue relating to or resulting from the States’ reorganization under the States Reorganization Act.

Zonal Councils UPSC

The first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, proposed the concept of establishing a zonal council in 1956. It was tossed out during the discussions that followed the release of the States Reorganization Commission’s final report. The States Reorganization Act of 1956 (Part III) led to the establishment of five zone councils.

Every zonal council is regarded as a consultative body. The formed zonal council’s organizational structure consists of a chairman, vice-chairman, members, and advisors. The zonal council provides recommendations on a variety of problems to the Central Government and each State Government. Students can read all the details related to UPSC by visiting the official website of StudyIQ UPSC Online Coaching.

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Zonal Councils FAQs

What is the main objective of zonal council to ensure?

The Zonal Councils provide an excellent forum where irritants between Centre and States and amongst States can be resolved through free and frank discussions and consultations.

Who is the head of zonal?

Union Home Minister is the head of zonal.

Who are the members of North East Zonal Council?

Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim, are members of the council.

Who is the chairman of the North East Zonal Council?

The Union Home Minister is the ex-officio chairman of the North Eastern Council.

What is the meaning of zonal council?

Zonal Councils are advisory councils and are made up of the states of India that have been grouped into five zones to foster cooperation among them.

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