Polity and Governance

Inter-State Council (ISC)

News about Inter State Council (ISC)
•The 13th meeting of Standing Committee of Inter-State Council was held in New Delhi under the Chairmanship of Home   Minister.
•The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the recommendations of the Punchhi Commission on Centre-state relations.
•Punchhi Commission notified in 2005 submitted its report in 2010.
•The recommendations of the Punchhi Commission, which are contained in seven Volumes pertain to History of Centre-State Relations in India;
 
About Inter State Council (ISC)
•The Article 263 of Constitution provides for the establishment of an Inter-state council.
•It is a non-permanent constitutional body set up by a Presidential Order dated 28 May 1990 on recommendation of Sarkaria Commission.
•It makes recommendation on the issues relating to inter-state, centre-state and centre-union territories relations.
•It is not a permanent constitutional body and it can be established  anytime by the President in public interest
 
Aims
•Decentralization of powers to the states as much as possible.
•More transfer of financial resources to the states.
•Arrangements for devolution in such a way that the states can fulfil their obligations.
•Advancement of loans to states should be related to as ‘the productive principle’.
•Deployment of central armed forces in the states either on their request or otherwise.
 
Composition
•The Inter State Council composes of the following members
     •Prime Minister, Chairman.
     •Chief Ministers of all states.
     •Chief ministers of UTs have legislative assemblies.
     •Administrators of union territories not having legislative assemblies.
     •Six central cabinet ministers, including home minister, to be nominated by prime minister.
     •Governors of states under president's rule.
 
Standing Committee
     •Home minister
     •5 members of Cabinet rank
     •9 members Chief Ministers of state
 
About Punchhi Commission
•The mandate of the Punchhi commission was to examine what could be the role, responsibility and jurisdiction of the Centre during major and prolonged outbreaks of communal violence, caste violence or any other social conflicts and to review other aspects of Centre-states relations, including taxes and linking of rivers. 
•It also examined whether there was a need to set up a central law enforcement agency to take up suo motu investigation of crimes having inter-state or international ramification. 
•The recommendations pertained to history of Centre-state relations in India; constitutional governance and management of the relations; centre-state financial relations and planning; local self-governments and decentralised governance; internal security, criminal justice and centre-state co-operation besides others. 
 
What was discussed in the current meeting
•There are seven volumes of the report.
•During the previous two meetings thorough deliberations were held on the recommendations contained in Volumes I to V of the report.
•This meeting’s discussions were focused on the remaining two volumes i.e. VI and VII, that contained a total of 88 recommendations.
•The recommendations in Volume VI were related to environment, natural resources and infrastructure and covered the subjects of environment, water, forests, minerals and infrastructure. 
•The recommendations in Volume VII related to socio-economic development, public policy and good governance and covered the subjects of public policy, constitutional governance and public administration, socio-political developments and its impact on governance among others. 
 
Outcome
•The ISC meeting in 2016 was held after a gap of 10 of 10 years. 
•Under the chairmanship of Rajnath Singh, the institutions of ISC standing committee as well as zonal councils were rejuvenated and regular meetings held to promote harmonious centre-state relations. 
•The standing committee, over a series of meetings since 2017, had completed deliberations on all the 273 recommendations of the commission report. 
•These recommendations of the standing committee finalised in the earlier two meetings as well as of the current meeting would be placed before the inter-state council for decision, the statement said.



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