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[Indian Journal of Federal Studies]









Indian Journal of Federal Studies

Divergence of Perception but Convergence of Conclusion --- How Federal India Perceives itself

 -Ajay Kumar Singh

[ The founding fathers gave to India a Union model of federalism, which critically blends the best features of all the important types of federalism. The emerging Indian model reconciles the imperatives of a strong centre with the need for state autonomy. It distributes powers, yet does not effect a rigid compartmentalization. Functionally it is an interdependent arrangement, where centre and states collectively aspire and work towards the welfare of the people. Working aberrations have caused frictions in the centre-state relations, therefore, demands for decentralization. This, however, does not require major changes but functional modifications in the Constitution. Necessity of autonomy needs to be balanced with the imperatives of integration. ]


Indian federalism is characteristically complex, therefore an easily misunderstood, model of federalism. It defies any singular generalization. It is a complex amalgam of dual federalism, organic-interdependent federalism, and cooperative federalism. As a result, the Indian model is uniquely a Union model of federalism. It has in built tendency to circumstantially centralize or decentralize. Imperatives of national unity and political economy determine the extent of autonomy and degree of centralization within the federal polity. It is precisely the reason that federal praxis is varying from time to time. In the first four decades of post independence, the polity functioned generally along the lines of a centralized federalism. Shaped in the dynamics of party politics (congressism vs anti-congressism), frequent conflicts over the constitutional distribution of competence and authority marked the relations between the centre and the states. States demanded autonomy of functions in the realms constitutionally allotted to them. A close scrutiny of literatures suggests that much of the controversies were over the procedural aspects of applications of federal provisions of the constitution. Constitution empowers the centre to intervene in the state's arena on account of the maintenance of constitution-political order including the protection and promotion of national sovereignty, unity and integrity of the country. The prerogative of 'definition' (i.e. what constitutes a threat to national unity and what amounts to the breakdown of constitutional machinery in the units) broadly lies with the centre. The states time and again have demanded procedural transparency and greater degree of flexibility in the applications of federal provisions of the constitution. Interestingly, none of the states have ever questioned the constitutional sanctity of the federalism, though they have demanded greater role of the states in the process of federal nation building. They also have critically questioned the proposition that only a strong centre can keep the Indian nation united. They argue that the very scheme of distribution of powers, authority and resources as originally intended by the drafters of the constitution, sustain their hypothesis that the centre is strong when states are strong. States have coordinate authority (therefore, constitution acknowledges the sovereignty of jurisdiction) with the centre, and not a subordinate partner. The centre does have certain overriding powers but the same have been subjected to the rule of exception. States perceive the role of centre as the facilitator. Interestingly, every state has its own statement of perception about the nature and content of Indian federalism. So is the case with the committee and commissions on the working of centre-state relations. This paper seeks to piece together the differing perceptions of states and committees as recorded in the public-official documents on Indian federalism.

Perception of the States

Probably the best-recorded public document is the Part II of the Sarkaria Commission's Report on Centre-State Relations. Synthecized reading of 986 pages gives the impression that federal partners hardly question the legitimacy, relevance and effectiveness of Union model, but what they seek is the modification in the power sharing arrangements between the centre and the states. The important conclusions that can be drawn include:

  1. Union is and should always be strong. Strength of the Union is componentially related to the better growth and development of the states. For this purpose power relationship between the two needs to be rearranged from time to time. This may be done by making functional changes in the constitution. To this end, the Indian constitution has in built resilience and flexibility. Only select few states and one commission suggests for the substantial changes in the constitution.
  2. Depoliticization of federal grants to the states. Fiscal help should not be subjected to any non-constitutional sanction and approval.
  3. Federalism needs to be routed through democratic norms and practices. This would help to restore the legitimacy of the federal institutions and it would prevent arbitrary exercise of extraordinary powers by the centre. Procedural transparency would prevent the misuse of extraordinary powers by the Centre.
  4. Decentralization is the essence of federalism. And the constitution adequately provides for the delegation of powers. As a matter of fact, as the states assert, states are the co-equal partners in the exercise of nation building. What needs to be done is to work upon the constitution in its intent. For decentralization, followings are suggested: (i) decentralization of regulatory powers of the centre; (ii) off-loading of administrative authority; (iii) territorial diversification of central agencies; (iv) jurisdictional partitioning of overgrown items of list I; (v) extension of state's competence in the areas of subordinate legislation on union laws; (vi) reshuffling of items in the three lists of seventh schedule; (vii) inter-scheduling of subjects between the 7th, 11th and 12th schedules of the constitution; (viii) greater occupancy of states on the concurrent list; (ix) restructuring of federal institutions to ensure effective participation of states; (x) decentralization of governance down to the level of grassroots; and (xi) decontrolling (of the centre) of development administration.

As mentioned above, one finds many interpretative complexities in describing the nature of India federalism. In this context, responses of the states to the Sarkaria Commission's Questionnaire are worth mentioning. States' perceptions by and large remain the same even today. Some states perceive it as a model of cooperative federalism and others seek to radicalize it as dual federalism. Let us take note of the individual perception of some of the states. For Andhra Pradesh, basic feature of the Indian Constitution is the cooperative federalism, the essence of which lies in the institutionalization of federal relations and growth of the institutional mechanism of conflict resolution such as Inter State Council etc. But the Assam government characterizes Indian federalism as 'quasi-federal', suited to its geo-political requirements. It finds the basic constitutional schema flexible enough to adapt to changes and demand for decentralization. While decentralization is the need of the hour the perennial need for strong centre can hardly be disputed, observes Assam in its replies to Sarkaria Commission's questionnaire. It emphasizes upon the fine tuning of federalism to the need of development administration. Similarly Bihar finds "nothing basically wrong in the scheme of distribution of legislative powers between the union and the state…", (p.93). It further observes that "strong centre is needed to preserve the unity and integrity of the nation and, as such, no change in the legislative list is suggested by this state". (Ibid) However, Bihar seeks the broadening of tax share and tax base of the state. For it, the major cause of concern is the debt burden incurred by the state under the central assistance for state plan, because it is composed of 70 per cent loan and 30 per cent grant. The dominant portion of union loans to the states consists of plan loans. This arrangement loses sight of the capacity of the borrower to pay. Moreover, the scheme of central assistance tends to accord equal treatment to unequal states as regards the loans and grant component of the assistance, evidently results to unequal burden on the states. Consequently, the backward states suffer most. Their repaying capacity being severely limited, these loans cause great strain on their budgetary position, so that the less developed states… are left with reduced resource to be utilized for further economic development". (p.105). What it wants is the modification and change in the credit-debtor relationship between the centre and the states. Appropriate measures need to be taken "to tackle the problem of increasing debt servicing liability of the states emanating from the swelling volumes of the union loans to them". (p. 130).

On the other hand, Assam finds no fault with the existing arrangement of legislative distribution of powers and authority. However, its favours de-concentrating the legislative control of the centre as under the entries 52, 54, 92 etc. in the list 1 of the seventh schedule of the constitution. In its views, federalization does not mean a weak centre. "strong centre" and "strong states" are not mutually exclusive. It is possible to decentralize powers, including in the area of sharing of overall national resources, without sacrificing the principle of a strong centre. Here, the Assam government hastens to add that "the question of the decentralization has to be viewed in the light of the national needs".

The response of Himachal Pradesh too has been set in the overall constitutional context of nation building. In its view the "constitution is basically sound and flexible enough to meet the challenge of the changing times" (p.193). It characterizes the Indian federalism as a union model of an "indissoluble partnership of states, with the centre playing a more prominent role by virtue of its all India coverage and responsibilities and its primary task of cementing the links among the states and itself, and strengthening their sense of national identity." (p.193) By virtue of being union, relationship between the centre and states cannot be independent of each other. The two has to flourish together. Given its own uniqueness of nation and state formations, the Indian federalism can hardly be subjected to classical methodology of powers distribution and autonomy as laid down under the dual federalism. It upholds the notion of strong centre in Indian federalism for two reasons: (i) in its belief, "a strong centre is must if the country is to survive, evolve and grow", (ii) but, from the standpoint of a small state, "mainly dependent on central assistance, a strong centre appears to be highly desirable if balanced economic development is to be achieved". (p.200) Its memorandum, submitted to the Sarkaria Commission, seeks to underline the significance of organic federalism where each unit grows individually and collectively by mutual cooperation and development. Autonomy as implicit in the federal provisions of the constitution does not confer any sovereign rights on the states. In its argument the federal model opted by India stands for a system in which 'local initiative is neatly blended with central control.' (p.201)

For the southern state of Karnataka, the Indian constitution is federal in a 'quasi-classical' sense. It critically questions the mode of distribution of powers in such a manner which allows centre to grow ever in power and responsibility. It seeks to delimit the centre's activity strictly to the well-defined issues of national public concern. It urges the centre to vacate its control over such item which belong to the category of 'household consumption goods' such as matchsticks, soaps, paints, varnishes, weighing machines, sewing machines, lanterns, furniture etc. How to decentralize developmental responsibilities? It suggests some useful yardsticks. These are: (i) all those "sectors or programmes for which detailed local knowledge is critical for successful planning have obviously to be decentralized to the maximum extent possible. Thus agriculture and allied activities which are both location-bound and natural resource-bound, or infrastructure and social service sectors concerned with universal necessities like health, education, water supply, sanitation and so forth, naturally lie within the jurisdiction of state and local governments. And it is necessary to ensure that the central government does not get involved directly in these sectors." (p.253) (ii) "There are schemes or programmes where size and geographical incidence should guide the division of responsibilities. On sectors like irrigation, mining energy, transport and higher education, there cannot be exclusive claim of either the states or the centre." (Ibid) (iii) Industrial location should be decided on the basis of comparative social advantages of different locations and sizes, besides proximity to raw material and markets. It finds totally irrational the centrally sponsored schemes in the area of rural development. Centre at best can provide block funds and broader guidelines, and the states and local bodies should have autonomy of execution in the manner, which better suits it developmental needs. Decentralization should go down below the state level.

Kerala's response to Sarkaria's questionnaire too underlines the need for making states' powers and resources commensurate with their respective social responsibility. It further underlines the need for administrative decentralization, particularly of central agencies. However, it does not find any rationale for major changes in the constitutional provisions related to the distribution of federal competence. In its perspection, the "Indian constitution is a federal constitution in as much as it establishes what may be called the "dual polity"…the union at the centre and the states at the periphery, each endowed with sovereign powers to be exercised in the fields assigned to them... However, a major distinguishing feature of the Indian federal system…is that the Indian constitution can be both unitary as well as federal according to the requirements of time and circumstances. It works as a federal system in normal times, but in times of grave emergency it may convert itself into a unitary system". (p.275) Mutual delegation and consensual working are two major working features of the Indian federal system. Centralization could not be justified in all the circumstances. Maintenance of constitution, national unity and integrity, and national development are some of the legitimate occasions when centre can assume to itself powers which otherwise are supposed to be exercised by the states. Kerala too acknowledges the need for a strong centre for three purposes namely, preservation of national unity, development of common national market and national socio economic planning and development. However, it is equally firm in its view that states should equally be strong as the "strength of the centre lies in the strength of the states and, therefore, nothing should be done in the name of planning or other considerations that would bring about excessive financial, planning and administrative centralization". (p.297). In allotted domain of planning and development, the centre's role should be restricted to the major areas only. Kerala too feels that any decision pertaining to the seventh schedule of the constitution must be taken collectively through such fora like Inter State Council, National Development Council etc. Madhya Pradesh also finds the notion of 'strong states' compatible with "strong centre". The division of responsibility cannot be classically compartmentalized as "India is a composite state of a novel type. It enshrines the principle that in spite of federalism the national interest ought to be predominant. As such, any move to water down the authority of the central government would not deemed to be in the spirit of the constitution". (p.305) Interestingly it does not find any "substantial lacuna, either conceptual or structural in the constitution". (Ibid) The constitution has in-built flexibility allowing the dual polity to smoothen its relations from time to time. It is the paramount concern for national unity and integrity that determines the attitude of Madhya Pradesh towards Indian federalism. Like other states, it stresses upon the consensus building between the centre and states on matters of mutual concern and major national issues. It finds the articles 256, 257, 354 to 357 particularly important with regard to obligations of the centre and the states in respect of the country as a whole and to one another. Functionally these provisions are firmly rooted in the spirit of mutual trust. Federal decisions must be backed by formal and informal consultation between the federal partners. In this context its memorandum elaborately lays emphasis on the potential significance of article 263. It seeks to grant autonomy to Planning Commission with a purpose of depoliticizing the plan assistance to the states. It agrees to the suggestion that the central government "should only regulate those industries which are connected with the security of the country. The licensing powers for the remaining industries could be given to the state government and the national interest will not be in any way jeopardized because so long as the central government controls foreign exchange and the central financial institutions, they can regulate the growth within their guideline." (p.320).

On the other hand, western state of Maharashtra seeks to retain the articles of centralization such as 251, 256, 257, 348, 349, 355, 356, 357, 367 etc. to meet the national exigencies singly be the centre. These provisions are needed in order to protect national unity and sovereignty and to restore the constitutional machinery in the state. By and large, it approves the existing division of responsibility under the constitution. However, constitutional provisions need to be functionally fine-tuned without making any drastic revision in the constitution. Its perception of Indian federalism seems to be close to the union model conception of federalism. It reiterates that the union model has evolved out of the historical exigencies, and India's own peculiarities of socio-cultural and economic development. Maharashtra approves the ARC's recommendation of decentralization by delegation. As a matter of fact, the relationship between centre and states as constitutionally designed is not "that of domination but of coordination for common subjects. In normal times both the government… are to function as coordinates; but in certain circumstances the union reserves the right to give directions if it is found necessary in the national interest". (p.331) This cannot be said aberration because all other established federations have witnessed such centralizing changes. The real question, is not the withdrawal or transfer of powers from one unit to other but the administrative deconcentration and financial decentralization.

"Substantial decentralization may lead to disintegration", observes Manipur. Strong centre is needed because only such a centre has prerogative to give concessions to backward states like Manipur. In this case it is the 'protecting self' that rationalizes the union model. Similarly, another north-eastern state, Meghalaya is of the view that centre should be strong but only on the strength of the states. It observes "we are also equally firm in the view…that state should be equally strong…The need for national planning for development and of balanced regional development do not require the involvement of central agencies in such a detailed manner… There is considerable scope for improvement in the institutional arrangements for national planning for devolution of larger resources to the states commensurate with their vastly increased responsibilities and for dealing with inter-state distribution. There is great need for evolving new procedures for meaningful centre-state and inter-state consultations. We feel that the system of zonal councils should be strengthened and the states of the north-east should be given the opportunity for discussions with the neighbouring states by including them in the Eastern Zonal Council". (p. 388) Though Nagaland characterizes the nature of Indian federalism as 'quasi-federal', it, however, does not feel necessity for any substantial modification in the constitutional distribution of powers and responsibilities. It sees the role of the centre as facilitator.

"Notwithstanding several centralizing features which co-exist with the basic federal set-up, our constitution can be recognized as a federal one", observes Orissa. It disapproves granting greater autonomy to the states. In its opinion "greater autonomy contains inherent dangers of generation of local and regional imbalances….advanced states have to co-exist with backward states and it is the obligation of the union government to bring about a degree of uniformity among them. Dichotic division of normal and emergency provisions may lead to resorting to emergency even in normalcy." (p.407). It is the strong institutional network that can only curb the misuse of federal provisions. Federalism does not mean a complete bifurcation of jurisdiction. It is both nationalizing and decentralizing. It adapts itself according to the emerging dynamics of nation building and state formation.

For Rajasthan, constitution lays down the foundation of a cooperative system of interdependence "and administrative cooperation between the union and state government and the partial financial dependence of the latter on the former". (p.431) It upholds the notion of a strong centre for the reasons of controlling the fissiparous tendencies like linguism, regionalism and religious separatism etc. What needs to be done is the financial devolution of resources. Contrary to this, Tamil Nadu is probably the only state, which seeks a thorough revision in the federal provisions. It is of the firm view "that India should be made a true federalism wherein the central government and the state government will be equal and independent partners and where the residuary legislative powers including the residuary taxing power will vest in the state government and the centre should have only limited powers like foreign relations, defence, customs, currency, UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) and citizenship. A division of powers should be so made that the general and regional government should, within their own sphere, be coordinate and independent according to the true federal principle enunciated by Prof. K.C. Wheare." (p.472) Similarly, Tripura does not subscribe to the view that the present constitution is sound and flexible. "To make federalism and democracy as contemplated in our constitution meaningful we have to amend our constitution. The constitution as it stands today, in many fields has spent its force, and in other fields, it has been used to oppress weaker section of the people", expresses Tripura government. It is the intertwining of democracy and federalism for which its memorandum stands for. In its opinion it was the very framing of constitution when the principles of state autonomy were violated.

Contrary to the above mentioned views of two state governments, the largest state of India, Uttar Pradesh finds the necessary elements of federalism present in the constitution. "The centre, is no doubt, strong yet the states are not agents of the centre. They exist under the constitution and not at the sufference of the centre. Their powers are derived from the constitution and not from central laws. Federal provisions of the constitution can be amended not unilaterally by the centre but only with cooperation of the…states". (p.567). In its opinion, the constitution, has made a well-balanced distribution of power between the federal units. It finds nothing unfederal in the union having supervisory role over the states. However, within the existing framework, arrangements may be made to ensure autonomy of the states in the matters of development and in meeting their respective social obligations. Structurally diffused federal system may have positive bearings on the depoliticization of federal relations. Interactive governance is the essence of federalism. Lastly, West Bengal is of the opinion that it is only a thorough restructuring of legislative powers that a true federal system can be ensured. In its interpretation, it is wrong to submit that only a strong centre can protect the national unity. It observes "the integrity and unity of the country….can be ensured and furthered only if the states are allowed a greater devolution of resources and responsibilities rather than if the attempt is the other way round". (p.599) It goes to the extent of suggesting "(i) the deletion of the concurrent list and the transfer of each of the items covered by it to the state list, (ii) deletion of article 248 and introduction of an explicit provision so that the residuary powers of legislation vest with the states and not the union; (iii) abolition of, or amendment to, articles 249, 252 and 254, so that no state could be deprived of any legislative powers which belong to it without its prior concurrence; (iv) deletion of articles 200 and 201 in their present form and making it obligatory on the part of the Governor to give assent to all bills passed by the state legislature on items belonging to the state list." (p.600) It is the factor of concurrence that is the essence of probably all the states' representations before Sarkaria Commission. From above discussion we also find that there is a differing perception of Indian federalism. Singular conclusion, except few exceptions, is that there is virtue in the centre being strong. However, this should not be at the expense of states. Centre-state relations do require functional modification but not a wholesome change.

Perceptions of Committees and Commissions on Centre State Relations.

Here again we find varying perceptions of Indian federalism. Thus, for the Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC's) Report of the Study Team on Centre-State Relations, (1968) the Indian polity is federal in form but lacks much of the substance of a classical federation. The report lists out the following six attributes of a classical federation in order to analyze and characterize the form of Indian federalism. They are:

  1. a compact between independent and sovereign units to surrender partially their authority in their common interest and vest it in a union;
  2. the retention of residual authority with the constituent units;
  3. a separate constitution for each constituent unit to govern all matters not surrendered to the union;
  4. the supremacy of the constitution and its consequent immutability except with the concurrence of the component units;
  5. the distribution of powers of the union and the units each in its sphere, coordinate and independent of the other, the basis being the entrustment of matters of national importance to the union and of local importance to the units;
  6. the supreme authority of the courts to interpret the constitution and to invalidate action violative of the constitution, and to resolve conflicts, as provided for in the constitution, between one unit and another and between a unit and the union." (pp. 3-4).

Out of six, the committee finds only the last attributes present in full measures in the Indian federation. The first three attributes are totally absent and the rest two are only partially available. As a consequence, within Indian federalism states do not have the autonomy of sovereignty. State legislatures do not have authority coordinate with and independent of union Parliament. The division of powers, as the report observes "does indeed make the polity partake of the federal character but the substance of this division dilutes this character in many significant ways." (p.5) The seventh schedule does allow to the states autonomy of legislation in the spheres allotted to them, but the same gets diluted on account of the provision of the article 249, which empowers Parliament to legislate on any matter in the state list provided the Rajya Sabha by a two-third majority authorizes to do so. But the Rajya Sabha has functionally been so designed that the individual autonomy of the state is subjected to the approval by the collective wisdom of all the states of the union. Article 200, 201 and the entire provisions of the emergency articles further detract the polity from the true spirit and essence of a federation. Further the physical entity and political identity of the state is not sacrosanct. "Their boundaries can be altered and, indeed, the existence of individual states can be brought to an end by Parliament at will." (p.5) "The autonomy", writes the report, "implicit in the division of powers, on which the federal character of the union rests, can thus be seen as a functional devolution rather than as conferment of sovereign rights". (p.6). The ARC notes that the constitution lays down the foundation of a functional federalism with in built flexibility of consented mutual transference of powers and responsibilities. Dynamism is inherent within the framework. Thus the basic question is not whether the constitution has been juridically doctrinaired in the classical sense of federalism but to function as a federation. And to this end the constitution is well moulded. Functional and circumstantial devolution is the essence of Indian federalism. What India requires is to work upon it.

On the other hand Report of the Rajamannar Committee, set up by the Government of Tamil Nadu, in 1969 (report published in 1971), to review the working of centre-state relation, is singularly governed by the notion of dual federalism, and thus accordingly it submits for the drastic amendments in the constitution. Federalism, in its opinion, is based on the notion of equality and complete separation of authority. It writes "in a federation the national and state governments exist on a basis of equality and neither has the power to make inroads on the definite authority and functions of the other unilaterally". (p.16) In its opinion, the constitution of India by way of the arrangements of power and through the rule of exceptions has made the state a subordinate authority to the centre. "There is a theme of subordination of the states running right through the constitution. There is a large scope for centre to intrude into state affairs and thus affect the autonomy of the states. There are certain provisions in the constitution, which appear to confer on the union government supervisory power over the states even in well-defined and specified matters which are exclusively in the state field". (p.16). It is for this reason that the committee has recommended for major deletion, revision, and amendments in the constitution.

Sarkaria Commission's report is probably the only exhaustive document which generates a composite view of Indian federalism, uniquely framed for India, therefore a special type of federalism. It blends "the imperatives of a strong national control with the need for adequate local initiative. In a country too large and diverse for a unitary form of government, they [the founding fathers] envisaged a system which would be worked in cooperation by the two levels of government – national and regional - as a common endeavour to serve the people. Such a system, it was conceived, would be most suited to Indian conditions at it would at once have the advantages of a strong unified central power, and the essential values of federalism". (p.8)

The constitution envisages 'a diversified political system of a special type', which, as Ambedkar pointed out in the Constituent Assembly, transforms into a unitary type in times of grave national and regional crises, and functions truly federal in normal times. As a blend of the two, emerged a special type of federalism, aptly described as union model. This model has a balance of initiative, concurrency, autonomy, centralization and decentralization. Extent of federalism is circumstantially determined. It functions on the basis of the willing cooperation of the national and regional governments. It has a tendency to decentralize down below the state level. Relative competence and mutuality of interests determine the extent of autonomy. It is, therefore, amount of autonomy is varying from time to time and from one subject to other. Autonomy has been territorially stratified to allow for local initiative and community governance. Symmetry and asymmetry are continuing operational features. None of the layers of governance can hardly ignore the imperatives of 'national', while serving the interests of the 'regional or local'. The federal scheme of the constitution seeks "to reconcile the imperatives for a strong centre with the need for state autonomy. It distributes powers, yet does not effect a rigid compartmentalization. Functionally it is an inter-dependent arrangement. Its elastic frontiers stretch as far as inter-governmental cooperation and comity can take them in pursuit of their common goal - the welfare of the people. It is flexible enough to keep pace with the movement of a complex, heterogeneous society through time (p. 23). It is for this reason that the commission suggests for no major revision but functional modifications in the working of the constitution. It warns by citing the saying "that undue centralization leads to blood pressure at the centre and anemia at the periphery. The inevitable result is morbidity and inefficiency." (p.543) As the National Commission to Review the working of the constitution observes "there is no dichotomy between a strong union (read centre) and the strong states." (p.152) Overcentralization has causative explanation in the nature and structure of party system. Centralization (politically driven) happens to be co-terminus with the one-dominant party system. In this context, the following observation of the Commission to an extent seems to be true. It writes "in a fundamental political sense, the passing of one party dominance that characterized the first four decades of the republic has also ended the drive towards over centralization. Even the powers that unquestionably belong to the union, for example, the power to temporarily assume the functions of a state government under article 356, are heavily circumscribed by the political reality of a multi-party system where the states have acquired significant bargaining power vis-à-vis the Government of India" (p.153) What is, thus, important is correcting federal aberrations in the political process. The union model has sufficiently withstood the test of the time. Impasse in the centre-state relation is collectively and consensually resolved through important institutions like Inter State Council.

Divergence of perception is mainly because of the critical blending of the best features of all important types of federalism in the union model. Convergence of conclusion is to make federalism an important means of participatory democratic governance where all the federal structures collectively aspire and work towards the development of a federal nation.

Select Documents:

  • Report of the Study Team on Centre-State Relations (vol.I, II & III), Administrative Reform Commission, Government of India, 1968.
  • Report of the Centre-State Relations Inquiry Committee, Government of Tamil Nadu, 1971.
  • Report of the Commission on Centre-State Relations (Part I & II), Government of India, 1988.
  • Report of the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution, Government of India, 2002.

Copyright (c) Center for Federal Studies, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, India