Category: Education

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PPT on the Second Lesson of Democratic Politics, Federalism. This PPT is contributed by Harshitha, Neha P and Supritha Sridhar of Class X B, Vidyaniketan Public School, Bengaluru.


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CONTENTS What is Federalism? Features of federalism What makes India a federal country? How is federalism practiced? Decentralization in India


Federalism Federalism is a system of government where the power is divided between a central authority and various constituent units of the country. ????

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Both these levels of govts. e njoy their power independent of other.

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The central govt cannot order t he state govt . State govt has power of its own which is not answerable to the state govt. Ex: India T here is only one level of govt. or the subunits to the Central govt. The central govt can pass on the orders to the provincial or local govts. Ex: Unitedkingdom

Features of Federalism :

Features of Federalism There are two or more levels or tires of govt. Different tires of govt. govern the same citizens , but each tire has its own JURISDICTION (the area on which someone has legal authority) The existence and authority of each tire of govt. is constitutionally guaranteed.

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The fundamental provisions of the constitution cannot be changed by only one level of govt. Courts have the power to interpret the constitution and the powers of different levels of government. Sources of revenue of each level of govt are clearly specified to ensure its financial autonomy Federal system safe guards and promote the unity of the country. At the same time it accommodates regional diversity

India as a federal country :

India as a federal country India had emerged as an independent nation after a painful partition. After independence several princely states became a part of the country. The constitution declared I ndia as a union of states The indian union is based on the principles of federalism.

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The features of federalism can be seen in the provisions of the Indian constitution. There is a two tier system in Indian govt. namely union govt and state govt. Later local govt was added .

Distribution of the Legislative powers:

Distribution of the Legislative powers UNION LIST: Subjects of national importance like defense, banking, foreign affairs come under this list. The union govt. alone can make laws relating to this subjects. They are included in this list because there should be uniform policy on these matters throughout the country.

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STATE LIST: Contains subjects of state and local importance such as police, trade, commerce, agriculture and irrigation. The state govt. alone can make laws relating to the subjects under the state list.

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CONCURENT LIST: Includes subjects of common interest to the both union and state govt such as education ,forests ,trade unions, marriages ,adoption and succession. Both union and state govts. can make laws on the subjects in the list. If conflicts arise between each other regarding laws, the law made by the union govt. will come into existence.

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All states in Indian union do not have identical powers. Jammu and Kashmir has its own constitution. Many provisions of the Indian constitution are not applicable to this state without the approval of the state assembly . Permanent residents of this state cannot buy house or land here.

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Some units of the Indian union enjoy very little power. They do not have the powers of the state . These areas were too small to become an independent state and they could not be merged with any of the existing states . Areas like Chandigarh, Lakshadweep Delhi, Pondicherry are called union territories.

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How is Federalism practiced?


LINGUISTIC STATES: If we compare the Indian maps of 1947 and 2006 we will find that many old states have vanished. In 1947 the boundaries of several old states were changed to create new states. This ensured that people who spoke same language lived in the same state.

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States like Nagaland, Uttarkhand, and Jharkhand were created on the basis of culture and ethnicity or geography. The central govt. resisted linguistic states for some time. But the formation of linguistic states has made the country more united. It has also made the administration easier.


LANGUAGE POLICY Hindi was identified as the official language. But Hindi was the mother tongue of only 40% of the Indians. There were 21 other languages recognized as the scheduled languages by the constitution.


CENTRE – STATE RELATIONS For a long time ,the same party ruled both at the central and in most of the states. When the ruling party at the state level was different, the parties that ruled at the center tried to weaken the power of the states.


COALITION GOVERNMENTS After 1990 regional political parties in many states of the country came up. This was also the beginning of the era of coalition govts. at the center. It was a govt. formed by the coming together of at least two political parties. No single party got a clear majority in the Lok Sabah.

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The major national parties had to enter into an alliance with many parties including regional parties to form govt. This led to a new form of power sharing and respect for the autonomy of the state govts. This trend was supported by a major judgment in the supreme court.

Why power sharing in India???:

Why power sharing in India??? India is a vast country along with a very large population and diversity. This diversity is observed not only within different regions of the nation, but also within each state. Thus, there is a need for power sharing within the states also.

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hence a third tire of govt was formed below that of the state govts . Called the ‘local government’. This is the rationale for decentralisation .


WHAT IS DECENTRALISATION Giving powers of central and state govts to the local govts is called decentralization. IDEA BEHIND DECENTRALISATION There are many problems that are best settled at the local levels people have better knowledge about the problems in their locality . T hey also have better ideas on where to spend money and how to manage things more efficiently.

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Also at the local level it is possible for people to directly participate in decision making . This helps inculcate the habit of democratic participation . Local govts is the best way to realise the ‘local self-government’ principle of democracy . Panchayats in villages and municipalities in urban areas were set up in all the states .

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Elections to these were not held regularly.The local govts did not have any powers or resources of their own Thus , there was very little decentralisation in effective terms . The constitution was amended in 1992 to make the third tire of democracy more powerful and effective. But these were directly under the control of the state govts.


AFTER AMMENDMENT It is mandatory to hold elections regularly to local bodies . Seats are reserved for SC, ST and OBC . 33% seats are reserved for women . An election commission has been set up in every state to hold election to the panchayat and municipality . State govts are obliged to share some power and revenue with local government bodies.


RURAL LOCAL GOVERNMENT Popularly known as panchayati raj Each village has a gram sabha Gram sabha has several ward members called panch who are elected by all adults of the village.

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They elect sarpanch . Panchayat works under the supervision of Gram sabha . The sabha meets two or three times in a year to approve budget of a gram panchayat and to review its performance . A few gram panchayats form Panchayat Samiti at Block Level.

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Its members are elected by Panchayat members in that area All the chairmen of panchayat samitis make up the Zilla Parishad . All MPs and MLAs of the district are its members . It has a chairperson.


URBAN LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT Also called Municipal Corporation in cities and Municipal Committee towns . Controlled by elected bodies consisting of people’s representatives .

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Municipal chairperson the political head of the municipality. The officer is known as Mayor.


WORKING OF LOCAL GOVT IN INDIA The local self-govt of India is the largest in the world . About 36 lakh are elected as representatives in panchayats and municipalities all over the country. The constitutional status for local govt has paved way for its deepening in the country. Seats are reserved for women SC and ST.

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However , panchayats in India face difficulties . Elections are not held regularly . Likewise , gram sabhas are not held regularly.

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State govts do not give adequate powers to local bodies. The biggest disadvantage is the shortage of funds. Thus we are still a long way from realizing the ideal of self-govt.

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This PPT is contributed by Harshitha Neha P And Supritha Sridhar

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