DMPQ- What is cooperative federalism? Mention the executive mechanism through which cooperative federalism can be strengthened.

Cooperative federalism implies that the Centre and states share a horizontal relationship, where they “cooperate” in the larger public interest. It’s visualized as an important tool to enable states’ participation in the formulation and implementation of national policies.

Executive Mechanisms for Co-Operative Federalism:

  • Inter-State Council (ISC): Article 263 of the Constitution, provides the provision for the formation of an Inter-State Council. The members of the Inter-State Council consist of Chief Ministers of all states, Chief Ministers of Union Territories having a Legislative Assembly and Administrators of UTs not having a Legislative Assembly, Six Union Ministers and eleven Union Cabinet Ministers/ Minister of State (Independent Charge) as permanent invitees.
  • Zonal Council: The idea of creation of Zonal Councils was mooted by the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru in 1956 when during the course of debate on the report of the States Re-organisation Commission, he suggested that the States proposed to be re-organised may be grouped into four or fi ve zones having an Advisory Council ‘to develop the habit of cooperative working among these States.
  • NITI Aayog: It is the premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Government of India, providing both directional and policy inputs. While designing strategic and long term policies and programmes for the Government of India, NITI Aayog also provides relevant technical advice to the Centre and States.


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