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Cooperative federalism in India

According to the Indian constitution India is states of union that means all the state are integral part of country as well as union and provincial governments has to work together. That means India is federal country but this federalism is unitary federalism that's why states are considered as subordinate administrative unit . Despite their subordinate status states have to perform most of basic administrative duties. Actually role of central and state government in the administrative structure has been clearly defined by 1935s India act and Indian constitution as well as proper mechanism of administration has been setup by 1935s India act and Indian constitution. Though central government has authority to control state but central government has to use that authority with restrain. That means in specific condition and in specific manner central government has to use this authority Even Article 356 provide authority to central government to dismiss incumbent state government and carryout administrative task of state government. But that administrative decision requires parliamentary approval.

Advantages and disadvantages of Indian federal structure

Actually the structure of Indian administration has been established by 1935s India act. And with some minor changes this structure has been adopted by Indian constitution. As I mention above in this structure role of union and provincial government has been clearly defined that why administrative matters are categorize by India act and constitution also according to constitution certain administrative matters are going to address by central an certain category of matters are going to address by state. Even there are few subjects which can be address by both central and state governments. All these matters are category wise listed in 7 schedules. Though subjects of jurisdiction state and center has been defined by seventh schedule but article 249 provide authority to the parliament make on those subjects which are under state jurisdiction if resolution pass in state council with two-third majority. Even mechanism of financial cooperation has been setup by Indian constitution. According to article 265 of constitution it is mandatory for central government to share revenue that's why finance commission has been constituted by Indian constitution thru article 280 for the distribution of revenue between the central and state government In my opinion the proper mechanism has setup for the cooperative federalism by Indian constitution.

Though constitution mandate central government to share revenue but central government have luxury to distribute due money as per there convenience. For the distributions of this money as well as for making policy for the overall development central government constitute planning commission Our first pry-minister was fascinated by ideology of communism or socialism as well as pry-minister was impressed by rapid progress made by Russia that's why he try to implement most of Russian policies in India also. Five year plan is one of the major policies which Nehru adopt from Russia. Though proper mechanism has been setup by constitution but provision of constitution are not implemented in true spirit just take the example of interstate council actually article 263 suggested to constitute the interstate council for the meaningful central state cooperation as well as to address the disputes. Though this council has established in 1980 but this council has been not working properly.

Absence of dispute solving mechanism

Unfortunately in Indian administrative system there is no mechanism to solve the dispute between center and state or between two states. Though article 262 provides the authority to the center to take initiative to solve the dispute but central government never took such initiative. That why so many disputes are still pending in Supreme Court specially the dispute regarding share of water of various rivers. In my opinion separate institute must be constituted for solving the disputes between center and state or between two states. As well as special mechanism must be setup for integral development of whole nation.

Regional disparity

Actually industrialization has begun in western region of India in last decades of 19th century and still most of the industries are get concentrated in western region or to the some extend south region. Because of this concentration of industries center of financial activity remain in western region. Industrialization cannot take place on large scale in northern and eastern region. Because of absence industrialization and financial activity northern and eastern region remain under developed and people of these regions feel alienated . Even strong feeling of alienation exists within some state also. That's why strong demand of separate state exists in some state. In my opinion alternative model of development is require for balance development of the country. Similar kind of industries or financial activities are not feasible in our country because India is geographically diverse country different kind of resources are available in different part of country for exploiting these resources diversification of industries is necessary for balance development of nation.


Though proper structure of cooperative federalism has been established by constitution as well as proper mechanism of administration also setup by the constitution . But this mechanism needed proper implementation and suitable changes also require addressing new challenges. Actually Modi government is making changes in administrative structure Dissolution of planning commission and establishment of Nity Ayog is very big change in our administrative system let see how this new commission works.

- Santosh Kamble

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