Federalism

FEDERALISM
✓ Vertical division of power sharing is commonly referred to as FEDERALISM
✓ In Belgium power of central government was reduced and given to regional government
✓ In 1993 the regional governments were given constitutional powers that were no longer
dependent on central government(shift from unitary to federal)
✓ What happened in Sri Lanka ?
✓ ‘Civil war as it was a unitary government over there
✓ FEDERALISM IS A SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT IN WHICH THE POWER IS DIVIDED BETWEEN A
CENTRAL AUTHORITY AND VARIOUS CONSTITUENT UNITS OF THE COUNTRY
✓ Both the levels enjoy power independent of each other
✓ UNITARY SYSTEM
✓ FEDERATION
✓ Either there is one level of government or
✓ The central government cannot order the
the subunits are subordinate to the central
state government to do something
government
✓ The central government can pass an order
✓ State government has power of its own for
to the provincial or the local government
which it is not answerable to the central
government

✓ Both these governments are separately
answerable to the people


✓ KEY FEATURES OF FEDERALISM
✓ 2 or more levels of gov
✓ Same citizens but own jurisdiction in matters related to legislation,taxation and adm
✓ Jurisdiction mentioned in constitution.Authority and existence guaranteed from constitution
✓ Fundamental provision change require consent of both the levels
✓ Courts have power of different levels of gov
✓ Financial autonomy
✓ Dual objective of Federal form of government(crucial for practice of f)
✓ Safeguard and promise unity of the country
✓ Accommodate regional diversity
✓ Governments at different levels should agree on some rules of power sharing
✓ IDEAL FEDERATION Mutual trust and agreement to live together
✓ The balance of power in federations depends on HISTORICAL CONTEXT
✓ Two routes how federations are formed Coming Together and Holding Together
✓ WHAT MAKES INDIA A FEDERAL COUNTRY ?/Power sharing arrangement in our country ?
✓ The Constitution declared India as a UNION OF States which is based on principles of federation
✓ 7 features of federation apply to Indian federation
✓ Three tier union gov
o State government and a third tier added in the form of panchayats and Municipalities
✓ (different tiers enjoy separate jurisdiction)
✓ There is a three fold distribution of LEGISLATIVE POWER
✓ UNION LIST
✓ STATE LIST
✓ CONCURRENT LIST
✓ Subjects which do not fall under any list like COMPUTER APPLICATIONS union gov makes laws
and it comes under Residuary subjects
✓ Holding together do not give equal power to its constituent units Some states have special
status for example Jammu and Kashmir (but now constitution of India is applicable order August
5 2019)
✓ All states do not have identical powers
✓ Then there are some which are very small but cannot be merged also for example
✓ Chandigarh
✓ Lakshdweep
✓ Delhi
✓ The above ones do not have power of state ( Central government has special powers in running
the states.
✓ Not easy to make changes in this power sharing arrangement
✓ Parliament cannot make a change
✓ Any change has to to be passed by 2/3rd majority then it has to be ratified by the legislatures
of atleast half of the total states
✓ Judiciary implements the constitutional provisions
✓ Incase of dispute High Court or Supreme Court makes decision
✓ HOW UNION AND STATE GOVERNMENT RAISE RESOURCES?
✓ LEVYING TAXES
✓ HOW IS FEDERALISM PRACTISED
✓ Constitutional provisions are necessary for the success of federation in India but the REAL
REASON FOR SUCCESS CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO NATURE OF DEMOCRATIC POLITICS INOUR
COUNTRY which ensured











Spirit of federalism
Respect for diversity
Desire for living together
Linguistic state
First and major step for democratic politics.Changes in political map of India 1947 to 2013
Why boundaries of several old states was changed?
To ensure people who spoke same language lived in the same state.others created on the basis
of culture ,ethnicity or Geography(Nagaland ,Uttarakhand and Jharkhand)
There was a fear that it will lead to disintegration of the country but experience shows country
has become more united and administration has become easier
Language Policy
No official language
Hindi mother tongue of only40 percent







Besides hindi 21 other scheduled languages are there
Candidate can take exam in any of the scheduled language
Use of English had to stop by 1965 but then it continued because of demand
Tamil Nadu it became violent so continued with English( felt it favoured English speaking people
OFFICIAL POLICY OF INDIA ?
Promotionof Hindi
Our leaders avoided a situation like Sri lanka
































Centre State relation
For long time same party ruled centre and state
So autonomus rule was not there in states
If centre party different then tried to undermine state party
Change in 1990 rise of regional parties
Era of coalition gov
Now central gov could not arbitrarily remove state gov
Decentralization in India
What is the rationale behind decentralization of power?pg 24 first para
What is decentralization?
What is the basic idea behind decentralization?
Setting up of Panchayats in villages and Municipalities in urban areas
Why do we say there was very little decentralization in effective terms ?page24 2ndd column
Major Step taken in 1992( Third tier was made more effective and powerful)
What is Rural local government known as ?
Gram panchayat has
Ward members
And a President called a Sarpanch
Directly elected in ward or village
Panchyat works under supervision of Gram Sabha
Meets twice or thrice in a year to approve annual budget
Reviews work (performance) of Grm panchayat
Panchayat samiti
Has few gram panchayats
Elected by all panchayat members
ALL PANCHAYAT SAMITIS OR MANDALS CONSTITUTE ZILA PARISHAD
ZILA PARISHAD has MPS + MLAS and other official
Zila parishad chairperson is the political head of the Zilla parishad
Municipalities are there in urban areas
Municipal chairperson is the political head of the municipality .he is called the mayor
This system of local government is the largest experiment in democracy
36 lakh elected representatives in panchayats and municipalities






Constitutional status to local gov has deepened democracy
Increased women representation
Difficulties?
Gram sabha not held regularly
Local gov has still not power and resources from state gov
This is why still a long way to realize the ideal of self government

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