Class 11 Political Science Notes Chapter 7 Federalism

  • Federalism is a distribution or share of power or an institutional mechanism to accommodate two sets of politics one at the regional level and the other at the national level.
  • A culture of trust, cooperation, mutual respect and restraint helps federation to function smoothly.
  • Federation is an instrument to bind various states into one bond, i.e. it appeals unity in diversity.
  • The constitution of India has made provisions for unitary and federal forms of government.
  • The one government is created for the entire nation, i.e. national government and other for each unit known as the state government.
  • The federal features of constitution are written constitution, partly rigid and partly flexible, Division of powers between the central and state governments and Bicameral Legislature.
  • The constitution of India has provided the division of power on the basis of matters and lists of the subjects, i.e. the union list, the state list and the concurrent list.
  • On the subjects of union list, the central government enjoys the power to pass the laws and the subjects are of national importance, i.e. defense of the country, foreign affair, currency, etc.
  • The state government can legislate the laws on the subjects in the state list which are important for a state, i.e. police, local government, to maintain law and order, etc.
  • On concurrent list, both the central and state governments can legislate laws which include education, marriage, divorce, economic planning, etc.
  • The relationship between the center and state can be classified into the legislative, administrative and financial relation.
  • The finance commission of India is an independent commission created by the constitution of India, to make recommendations on the distribution of finances between the center and the states.
  • The most extra-ordinary feature of federal arrangements created in India is that many states get a differential treatment, i.e. Jammu and Kashmir where the central government enjoys only limited powers and other powers listed in the union list and concurrent list can be used only with the consent of state government. (Art. 370)
  • Division of powers in the constitution of India has been referred as follows:
    • Union list-Defense, Atomic Energy, Foreign Affairs, War and Peace, Banking, Railways, Post and Telegraph, Airways,  Ports, Foreign Trade, Currency and Coinage to be made laws by union legislature only.
    • State list-Agriculture, Police, Prison, Local Government, Public health, Land, Liquor, Trade and Commerce, Livestock  and Animal Husbandry, State public services to be made laws by the State legislature.
    • Concurrent list-Education, Transfer of property other than Agricultural land, Forests, Trade unions, Adulteration, Adoption and succession to be made laws by both the union and State legislature.
    • Residuary powers include all other matters not mentioned in any of the lists,
      i. e. Cyber law, hence, union legislature alone has power to legislate laws on such matters.
  • The Indian constitution has created a strong central government to handle the social-economic problems of the counting in cooperation with the state governments.
  • Many states as well as the political parties have demanded that states should have more autonomy.
  •  The role of governor has always been a controversial issue between the central and state governments especially when two different parties are in power at the centre and the state, his role becomes more controversial.
  • There are the disputes when states demand more autonomy from the centre and on the issues like share in revenue resources as well as disputes have been arisen between two states and among more than two states.
  • The constitution has some special provisions for some states given their peculiar social and historical circumstances,
    i.e. the eastern states like Assam, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, etc.

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