The Inter-State Council, which is mandated to investigate and advise on disputes between states, has been reconstituted with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its chairman and six Union ministers and all chief ministers as members.
According to a gazette notification, the Union ministers who will be members of the reconstituted council are Rajnath Singh (Home), Sushma Swaraj (External Affairs), Arun Jaitley (Finance), Nitin Gadkari (Road Transport), Thaawar Chand Gehlot (Social Justice and Empowerment) and Nirmala Sitharaman (Defence).
Chief ministers of all states and Union territories having legislative assemblies will also be members of the council.
Eight other Union ministers have been made permanent invitees to the council. They are Suresh Prabhu (Commerce), Ramvilas Paswan (Food), Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Food Processing Industries), Jual Oram (Tribal Affairs), Prakash Javadekar (HRD), Dharmendra Pradhan (Petroleum) and Piyush Goyal (Railway).
The Article 263 of the Constitution provides for the establishment of an Inter-State Council which is mandated to inquire into and advise upon disputes which may arise between states, investigate and discuss subjects in which some or all of the states, or the Union and one or more of the states, have a common interest.
It is also tasked with giving recommendations on any such disputes and recommendations for the better coordination of policy and action.
In another notification, the government reconstituted the standing committee of the Inter-State Council with the chairmanship of Home Minister Rajnath Singh
Four Union ministers and seven chief ministers are members of the new standing committee of the council.
The Union ministers are Swaraj, Jaitley, Gadkari and Gehlot.
The chief ministers are N Chandrababu Naidu (Andhra Pradesh), Amarinder Singh (Punjab), Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh), Manik Sarkar (Tripura), Naveen Patnaik (Odisha), Vasundhara Raje (Rajasthan) and Yogi Adityanath (Uttar Pradesh).
The standing committee will have consultation and recommend matters for consideration of the council, process all matters pertaining to Centre-state relations before they are taken up for consideration in the council.
It will also monitor the implementation of decisions taken on the recommendations of the council and consider any other matter referred to it by the council.
The standing committee may, if necessary, invite experts and persons eminent in specific fields to have the benefit of their views while deliberating upon the related subjects.