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. These were set up vide Part-III of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956.
The Home Minister of Central Government is the common chairman of five zonal councils. Each chief minister acts as a vice chairman of the council by rotation, holding office for a period of one year at a time.
The present composition of each of these Zonal Councils is as under:
|1.||Northern Zonal Council||Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Punjab and Rajasthan||New Delhi|
|2.||Southern Zonal Council||Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana.||Chennai|
|3.||Central Zonal Council||Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh||Prayagraj|
|4.||Eastern Zonal Council||Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal||Kolkata|
|5.||Western Zonal Council||Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Goa, Gujarat, and Maharashtra||Mumbai|
The North Eastern states are not covered by any of the Zonal Councils and their special problems are addressed by another statutory body, the North Eastern Council, created by the North Eastern Council Act, 1971. This council originally comprised Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura; later the state of Sikkim was also added vide North Eastern Council (Amendment) Act, 2002 notified on 23 December 2002.