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CBSE, Social Science, Democratic Politics second lesson - Federalism


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Division of power between the Central Government and the constituent units of a country. What is Federalism? Example: India. In India these constituent units are called States. Power is divided between the Central Government and the 29 States

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Are all Democratic countries Federations? No. There are some countries that are Unitary in nature. There is only one Government at the Centre that takes all decisions. What is the difference between the Unitary Democracy and Federation?? Answer on the next slide

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What is the difference between them? Unitary System Federation There is only one Govt. for the whole country. It’s all powerful There could be provincial governments and they could make laws. But it requires the Central Govt’s approval. The central Govt. can order the provincial / state governments. There is division of power between the Central Govt. and the state governments. Some powers are given to the State Governments permanently. The Central Govt. doesn’t interfere in the functioning of the States. The central Govt. can not order the provincial / state governments.

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What are the Key Features of a Federation? There are two or more levels of the Govt. 2) Different tiers of the govt. govern the same citizen. Each has its own Jurisdiction in the matters of legislation, taxation and administration. Central Govt. State Govt. Local Self Govt. Land Revenue Law and Order Income Tax Foreign Policy Property Tax

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What are the Key Features of a Federation? 3. The jurisdiction of these levels are specified in the constitution. The powers these Governments at different levels enjoy are constitutionally guaranteed. 4. The fundamental provisions of the constitution cannot be changed unilaterally either by the Central Govt. or the State Govt. It requires the approval of both. 5. Courts have the power to interpret the constitution. In case of disputes between the different levels of the Govt. , the courts act as umpire.

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What are the Key Features of a Federation? 6. Sources of revenue for each level of government are clearly specified to ensure financial autonomy 7. The Federal structure has dual objective. a) To safe guard and promote unity of the country b) Accommodate regional diversity The success of Federalism depends on the following a) Govts . At different levels should agree to the rules of power sharing. b) They should trust one another Again the two important aspects – Mutual Trust & Agreement to live together

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How many types of Federations are there? Two types - 1) Coming Together 2) Holding together What is the difference between them? Answer on the next slide The type of Federation formed is mostly determined by the Historical Context in which they are formed.

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Independent states come together to form a Federation. They pool in their sovereignty to enjoy more security while keeping their identity. All states enjoy equal power A state can walk out of the Federation The States and the Central Govt. tend to enjoy equal power A large country is divided into states and these state are given some powers Not all the states enjoy equal power. Some enjoy special power. Eg . J & K in India. These states cannot walk out of the Federation. The Central Govt. is more powerful than the States. Coming Together Holding Together

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Is India a Federation ? Yes, It is. The Constitution calls India a Union of States. Why Union? why not Federation? After the bloody partition, all the princely states were persuaded to join India. Hence the name. But in practise , India is a Federation. Is India then, a Coming together type of Federation? No. India as we know today came into being on 26 th of January 1950. The states were created at this time and are being created. The unification of India took place before 1950. So it is a Holding together type of Federation

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What makes India a Federation? Many aspects. One, There is clear division of Power between the Central Govt. and the State Governments. The Constitution provided provision for distribution of power between these two levels. The third level – Local Self Government – was added later. In fact, all the seven key features of Federalism can be seen in India.

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How is the power divided between them? 1. What does it contain? Ans : Subjects that are of National Importance like Defense, Currency, Foreign Affairs etc. 2. How many such subjects are there? Ans : 100 3. Who makes laws on these? Ans : Only the Union Govt. i.e. the Central Govt. By listing Responsibilities / Subjects under different Headings. Which are they? The Union List, The State List and the Concurrent List The Union List

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1. What does it contain? Ans : Subjects that are of Local Importance like agriculture, irrigation, police etc. 2. How many such subjects are there? Ans : 67 3. Who makes laws on these? Ans : The State Government. The Union Govt. usually doesn’t interfere in these matters. The State List The Concurrent List

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1. What does it contain? Ans : Subjects on which both the Union Govt. and the State Governments can make laws. 2. How many such subjects are there? Ans : 52 3. What if there is conflict in laws made by the Centre and a State? Ans : The Law made by the Central Govt. prevails. The Concurrent List 4. What about subjects that find no place in any of these lists or the ones that have come up later like the Computer, Software etc? They are called Residuary Subjects and only the Union Govt. can make laws on them.

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States do not enjoy equal power 1. Is that the second reason to show that India is a Federation? Ans : Yes. Recall, one of the features of the Holding together type of Federation is that the states do not enjoy equal powerr . 2. Which are those states? Ans : Jammu and Kashmir enjoys special status as per the Article 370. 3. What is special about that Article? Ans : As per the Article 370, J & K has its own Constitution and the provisions of the Indian constitution doesn’t apply to the state unless the State Assembly approves them. In fact, if you are a non Kashmir resident Indian, you can’t buy property there. Earlier you needed permission to visit J and K. Now the permit system has gone due to the efforts of one Shyam Prakash Mukharjee .

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States do not enjoy equal power 1. Is that the only state to enjoy special status? Ans : No. There are other states and specific regions of the states. The Article 371 makes special provisions for Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland etc. In 2012, the Hyderabad Karnataka region has been given special status as per the Article 371 (J) 2. What about the Union Territories? Ans : They are different form states. They are either too small to form a state or culturally too different to merge with the neighbours . Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep are far away and sparsely populated. Hence the UTs are ruled by the Union Govt.

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Not easy to change the Constitution 1. Is that next reason? Ans : Yes. Recall, one of the key features of Federalism is that the fundamental principles of the Constitution cannot be unilaterally changed. It needs the approval of both the levels of the Govt. 2. How rigid is the system in India? I mean, what steps are needed to change the Constitution in India? Ans : Such a bill has be passed by the Loka Sabha and the Rajya Sabha by 2/3 majority votes. This has to be ratified by more than half of the states i.e. it has to be approved by a minimum of 15 states. It is so rigid.

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Role of the Supreme Court 1. Is that next reason? Ans : Yes, and the last one. 2. You mean the Supreme Court solves the dispute between the Central govt. and the state governments? Ans : Correct. There had been a number of instances where the state governments clashed with the Centre. The Supreme Court always acted as an Umpire in such situations. Interpreting the Constitution, it has given many land mark judgments that has strengthened Federalism in India. S.R. Bommai Vs The Union of India is one classic example.

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How is Federalism practiced in India?

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Reorganisation / Creation of States Creation of states in India is a continuous process After Independence there was demand for linguistic states. Nehru, Rajaji and other leaders were opposed to this idea . This is because they had seen India getting divided on the basis of religion. They didn’t want further disintegration in the name of language. Due to the efforts of men like Mr. Potti Sri Ramulu , the centre agreed to create linguistic states. There are two phases of creation of states – a) On linguistic basis b) c

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Reorganisation / Creation of States Some examples of linguistic states to show that the creation of states is a continuous process Name of the State Year Created Punjab 1947 Andhra Pradesh 1953 Karnataka 1956 Goa and Maharashtra 1960 Contrary to the fears of Nehru, Rajaji and others, creation of linguistic states has created more unity in our country. It has made administration easier.

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Reorganisation / Creation of States Some examples of states created on the bases of Geography, Culture and Ethnicity. Name of the State Year Created Uttarakhan d 2000 Chhattisgarh 2000 Jarkhand 2000 Telangana 2014

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Reorganisation / Creation of States Do you know, there has been a demand to create a new state called Vidarbha comprising parts of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh? There are similar demands from different parts of the country. Reorganisation of States is a continuous process

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Language Policy

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Language Policy There is no National language in India. Hindi is our official language English continues to be spoken for official purpose. It can be considered as our second official language. Totally 22 languages are given Scheduled language Status by the constitution. Every state is allowed to have its own official language. A person taking competitive examination can write the exam in any of the 22 languages.

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Language Policy The use of English in our country was to stop by 1965. But such a move was severely opposed by the Southern States. In Tamil Nadu, there was violent protest. They started Anti-Hindi or Pure Tamil movement.

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Language Policy The Central Govt. agreed to continue the use of English along with Hindi for official purpose. Unlike Sri Lanka, our leaders did not impose Hindi on non-Hindi speakers. Our leaders have shown a lot of flexibility in our language policy

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Some interesting Facts Name of the state Official language Second official language Arunachal Pradesh English Karnataka Kannada English Uttar Pradesh Hindi Urdu Goa Konkani Marathi Telangana Telugu Urdu in 7 Districts West Bengal Bengali & Nepali Hindi, Urdu, Santali, Panjabi & Oriya

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Centre – State relations

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Centre – State relations Restructuring the Centre – State relations is one way to enhance the practice of Federalism. Let’s ask ourselves these questions. Does the Central Government allow the states to enjoy their autonomous power? Is there mutual Trust and Agreement to live together between these levels of governments?

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Centre – State relations One For a long period of time only one party ruled both at the centre in many states. In such situations the states did not enjoy autonomous power as they were mostly dependent on the Central Government or the top party leaders at the centre. This went against the principles of Federalism It wasn’t cordial for 2reasons

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Second reason for the absence of cordial relationship b/w the Centre and the States Whenever a different party came to power in states, the central government would misuse the Article 356 to impose President’s rule. Such imposition of President’s rule has happened more than 100 times since 1950. This certainly is not Power Sharing. Almost every government that ruled the centre did this – a kind of revenge politics. This again was against the principles of Federalism

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Centre – State relations All this changed and now there exists better Centre – State relations for two reasons. The First Reason After 1990, people in India began to prefer Regional Parties over National Parties. The era of Coalition Governments began. The National Parties had to ally with Regional Parties to form government at the Centre. This led to a new culture of power sharing and respect for the autonomy of the states.

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Centre – State relations The Second Reason The landmark Judgment given by the Supreme Court in the case of S.R. Bommai Vs The Union of India. S. R. Bommai’s Govt. in Karnataka was arbitrarily dismissed by the Centre. He had approached the Supreme Court for Justice.

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Centre – State relations The Second Reason d) The Court observed that the President of course enjoys power to impose his rule on a state as per the Article 356. e) But the power that the President enjoys is not Absolute but Conditional. Only in case of total break down of Law and Order or if the State Govt. loses majority support, then the President can impose his rule. Thus the misuse of the Article 356 has stopped which has helped better Centre – State relationship. The Federal Power Sharing is more effective today than it was a few years ago.

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Decentralisation in India Taking some powers from the Central Government and the State Government and giving them to the Local Self Government is called Decentralisation. Its all about the Third Level of the Government – The Local Self Govt. OR The Panchayat Raj System

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Why is it necessary? 1.India is a very big country so two tier system is not sufficient 2. Some states in India are bigger than some European countries. For Eg . Uttar Pradesh is bigger than Russia in terms of population. One state Government for a population of 17 crores is not sufficient. Maharashtra is as big as Germany. 3. These states are internally very diverse. Diverse population has diverse needs and goals. Hence the need for government below the state level.

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Why is it necessary? 4. Large number of problems and issues are best settled at the local level. People know the solution and know where to spend money. 5. Local people know how to manage things more efficiently. 6. It ensures better participation of people in the decision making process. 7. It helps making Indian Democracy more inclusive and participatory.

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Why was decentralisation not effective before 1992? The Muncipalities and Panchayts were under the direct control of the State Government. Elections to these local bodies were not held regularly. These local governments did not have any power or resources of their own.

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What steps were taken to strengthen the Local Self Government? The Constitution was amended in 1992 to make the third level of the Govt. more powerful. Now it is mandatory to hold regular elections to local government bodies. Seats are reserved for the SCs, STs and OBCs. At least 1/3 seats are reserved for women. In Karnataka and some other states reservation for women is 50%

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What steps were taken to strengthen the Local Self Government? 5. State Election Commission has been created to hold elections to these local bodies. The state is required to share some power and resources with the local bodies. Do you know? There are more than 2,60,000 Gram Panchayats in India. As per the 2016 Budget of the Government of India, every Gram Panchayat would get a fund of 75 Lakhs from the Central Govt. every year to take up developmental activity.

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The Structure of the Local Self Government Grama Sabha

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Grama Sabha Every adult member of a village is a member of Grama Sabha . The Grama Sabha has to meet at least twice or thrice a year. It does two important functions in the Sabha Approves the Annual Budget of the Village Panchayat Reviews the performance of the Village Panchayat

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Village / Grama Panchayat It’s an elected body at the lowest level of the Panchayat Raj System. Every village or a cluster of a few villages has on Grama Panchayat. Villages are divided into wards for the purpose of elections. Political Parties are not allowed to contest in these elections. Every one is an independent candidate. The head of the Grama Panchayat is called the President or Sarpanch .

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Taluk / Block / Mandal Panchayat A few villages are grouped together to form this level of the Govt. Usually there would be one for a Taluk Political Parties can contest elections to this level. Apart from the elected representatives the local MLA is a member to it.

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Zilla Panchayat / Zilla Parishad Usually there would be on Zilla Panchayat for a District. Political Parties can contest elections to this level. It is the most powerful Govt. in this hierarchy. Most developmental activities happen through this Govt. Apart from elected representatives, the MLAs of the District and the local MP can participate in the proceedings.

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Decentralisation in Urban Centres

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The positives of Decentralisation This is the largest experiment of power sharing in the World. There are more than 36 lakh elected representatives. This number is bigger than the population of some countries. Constitutional status given to these Local Governments has helped to deepen Democracy in our country. Indian democracy has become more meaningful. Reservation for Women, SCs, STs and OBCs has made Indian Democracy more inclusive and participatory.

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The Challenges of Decentralisation E lections are held regularly and enthusiastically but Grama Sabhas seldom meet. They are required to meet at least twice or thrice in a year. Most state governments have not transferred significant powers to the local self governments. Resource sharing is also not satisfactory

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Thank You

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