Federalism Notes by Vibha Maam
What is federalism?
Federalism is a system of government in which the power is divided between the union and the provinces. Usually it has two levels of government.
- Power is divided between the Central authority and various constituent units of the country.
- Different levels enjoy power independently.
- One level of government
- No division of powers
- Subunits are subordinate to central government
Features of Federalism
- Two or more levels of government
- Each tier has its own jurisdiction in specific matters of legislation, taxation, etc.
- Existence and authority of each tier is constitutionally guaranteed
- Changes by consent of both the levels of government
- Independent judiciary
- Financial autonomy
- Dual objectives
Two routes of federation
Coming together federation and holding together federation
Coming together federation – States come together to form bigger units like USA, Switzerland, Australia
Holding together federation – Large country divides its power between the constituent units like India, Spain, Belgium
Features of Indian federation
Three list system – Union list (defence, foreign affairs, banking, currency)
State list (police, trade, commerce ,agriculture) and
Concurrent list (education, forest, marriage)
Residuary list (computer software)
- Independent judiciary
- Two third majority needed to amend constitution in parliament
- Three tier of federalism added in the form of Panchayats and municipalities
- Central government has special power in union territories
Federalism practised in India
- Linguistic States – Based on cultural, ethnicity or geography
- Language policy – No national language, 22 •scheduled languages, Hindi and English official languages
- Central state relation – Rise of regional parties, coalition government at Centre
- Decentralization – Decentralise power to the level of villages and towns.
Decentralisation in India
Constitutional Amendment Act 1992
Local self government on
Rural level :- Panchayats
Urban level :- Municipal corporation and committees.
Constitution amended to make the third- tier of democracy more powerful and effective by
- Mandatory regular election
- State election commission
- Seats reserved for women’s and SCs / STs
- Share of revenue with local governments.
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