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Federalism in India NCERT Based

Pushpendra Sharma
15/12/2016 0 0

Federalism in India:

Article(1) of the Indian constitution establishes India as a federal country . It describes that “ India, that is Bharat shall be a UNION of the states.” Indian federation is based on the Canadian model and not on the American model. It establishes a very strong center. 

What mean by UNION of states? Why we use the union of states instead of the federation of states?

According to Dr. B R Ambedkar, it indicates two things:

  1. Indian federation is not the result of an agreement among the independent states of American federation.
  2. States in India have no rights to secede from the federation. The federation is a union because it is indestructible.

Why India adopted a federal system of the government?

Framers of the constitution adopted the federal system of government due to three reasons:

  1. The Large size of the country.
  2. Regional and linguistic diversity.

Division of the power in Indian constitution

  1. Constitution of India establishes a dual polity consisting the Union government for the entire nation and state government at regional levels. Both of these government have constitutional status  and draws their powers directly from the constitution.
  2. The constitution divides the power between Centre and the state in term of union list, state list and concurrent list in the seventh schedule.Union list consists of 100 subjects (originally 97), State list 61 subjects(originally 66) and concurrent list 52 subjects(originally 47).
  3. Only union government can make law on Union list subjects.
  4. Both can make laws on concurrent list subjects but in a situation where state and center made the law , the center law will prevail.
  5. State List subjects fall in the exclusive domain of states , means in normal circumstances, only states can make laws on these subjects but in abnormal times this scheme can be modified or suspended by the central government. Centre can make laws on state subjects in following 5 extraordinary circumstances:
  • When Rajyasabha passes a resolution with the special majority(2/3 of members present and voting) in the national interest.
  • During national emergency.
  • When 2 or more states assembly requests the parliament by passing a resolution to enact a law. Such laws will be applicable only for those states which make the request. E.g wildlife protection act 1972.
  • Implementation of international agreements or treaties.

During President rule:

  1. Centre laws will prevail over state laws and concurrent list laws. Concurrent list laws will prevail over state laws.
  2. Any disputes regarding power sharing can be resolved by the judiciary on the basis of constitutional provisions.
  3. In nutshell, India has a very strong center. Important powers like economic, financial , defense and communication are in the exclusive domain of the center.
  4. State complains that they have immense responsibilities but very meager revenue sources.


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