Federal System of indian constitution

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Federal System of Indian constitution


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Nirmal sivarajan 1st ma Pub Admn:

Nirmal sivarajan 1 st ma Pub Admn Federal System


Introduction Derived from the Latin work ‘ Foedus ’ which means Treaty or Agreement. It’s a political system which is formed through treaty or agreement between various units. Units of Federation are known as States (USA), Canton (UK), Provinces (Canada) & Republic.(Russia). Federation formed by Intergration and Disinterfration .


. India decided on having a federal set up with unitary bias. India is known as “Union Of States”.

Features of Federal System:

Features of Federal System Dual Polity Constitution establishes dual policy consisting of union and states. Separate powers and functions are endowed to both of them. Union Government leads with matters such as defence , foreign affair and state deals with police , agriculture etc

Written Constitution:

Written Constitution Longest and lengthiest constitution . During crafting it contained Preamble 395 Articles (450) 8 Schedules (12) Specifies the structure , power and functions of respective Governments.

Division Of Powers:

Division Of Powers Division of Powers based on union list , state list and concurrent list. Union List (97) 100 subjects namly defence , foreign affairs , money circulation etc. State List (66) 61 subjects namely Police , Law and order etc. Concurrent list (47) 52 Subjects.

Constitutional Supremacy:

Constitutional Supremacy Constitution is the supreme law of land. Laws enacted must adhere to the constitution else can be declared void. Executive , Legislative and Judiciary acts from the powers drawn from the constitution. Rigid Constitution Amendment requires special majority of both the houses and lengthy procedure.

Independent Judiciary:

Independent Judiciary Constitution establishes independent judiciary headed by SC for Protect constitutional supremacy Settle Centre state disputes. Various flexibility ensuring methods such as Fixed tenure Fixed Service conditions Perks and Benefits


Bicameralism Constitution provides for Bicameral Legislation. Upper House Rajya Sabha (States Of Indian Federation) Lowe House Lok Sabha (People Of India)

Unitary Features Of Constitution:

Unitary Features Of Constitution Strong Centre Division of powers in more favorable to the Centre. Union list contains more subjects than other lists. More important subjects have been added in UL. Centre has authority over concurrent List. Residuary powers are vested with the Centre.

Indestructible States:

Indestructible States States in India have no right for territorial Integrity. Parliament can alter state boundaries and requires only simple majority. Indian Federalism is hence “Indestructible Centre and Destructible state.

Single Constitution:

Single Constitution Single Constitution for States and the Centre. Flexibility Of Constitution Process of Constitutional Amendmend is less rigid. Can be amended by unilateral action of parialement . No Equity Of State Representation Membership in RajyaSabha provided on basis of Polulation . Up-31 , Tripura -1


. Emergency Provisions National Emergency Financial Emergency State Emergency Single Citizenship Integrated Judiciary All India Services Apart from central and State services , unified All India Service is present in India.

Intergrated Audit Machinery:

Intergrated Audit Machinery The CAG Audits accounts of centre and state. Appointment and removal is by President. CAG restricts financial autonomy of the states. American CAG has no role in respect to states. Parliaments authority over state list Parliament empowered to legislate any subject of state list if Rajya Sabha passes a resolution . Legislative competence of RS can be extended without constitutional amendmend .

Appointment of Governor:

Appointment of Governor Governor is appointed by the president Acts as agent to state. Through him centre exercises control over the states. American constitution on the other hand selected an elected governor. Integrated Election Machinery Election commission conducts elections in centre and state


. Veto over state bills Governor is empowered to reserve certain types of bills passed by state legislature for presidential assent. He can withhold the assent and cast veto in the first and second instance. Hence the president has absolute veto over state bills.

Evaluation of Federal System:

Evaluation of Federal System Indian federalism is quasi federal ie federal system with strong unitary control. 2 reasons attributed have been. Dominance of centre in financial sphere and states deriving grants from the centre. Emergence of powerful planning commission. Gravillinie Austin calls ‘Co-operative federalism”. Centre are mere appendages of centre.


Disadvantages 1.     Duplication of services 2.     Citizens living in different parts of the country will be treated differently, not only in spending programs, such as welfare, but in legal systems that assign in different places different penalties to similar offenses or that differentially enforce civil rights laws 3.     Disputes over power/national supremacy versus state’s rights 4.     International relations – states may pass laws that counter national policy


Advantage Federal unity but local governments handle local problems 2.     Local government/officials have to be responsive to people who elect them 3.     Central government can devote more time and energy to national and international problems 4.     More opportunities for participation in making decisions – in influencing what is taught in the schools and in deciding where highways and government projects are to be built  

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