Q.) Analyze tension areas between the center and states in Indian Federal System. Explain the recent trends in Indian federalism? (59th BPSC/2016)

Ans– Article 1 of the Indian Constitution declares “India is a union of States”. We talk about Indian Federal System. Although the word federalism or Federation is nowhere used in the constitution in Spirit and essence tab dishes India is a federal state inherited from the Canadian constitution.

What makes India a federal state–

  1. Independent judiciary.
  2. Dual polity.
  3. Division of powers.
  4. Equal for all constitutions.

In case the Supreme Court of India declared federalism as a basic principle of the Indian Constitution. in the earlier phase in 1960 and 70 years the period was solely dominated by the trend of Centralisation With issues regarding self-dependency, poverty alleviation, and determination of boundaries of states according to linguistic and cultural basis.

The centralizing tendency was also because of single-party rule at the center as well as States, with the emergence of global state parties and coalition governments and the demand of “more autonomy is to states” by the southern state has molded the trend towards the evaluation of powers.

Since the various steps have been taken to ensure strong federalism whether it 73rd, 74th Constitutional Amendment for establishing NITI Aayog with more voice to states, unlike Planning Commission.

Recent trends–

  1. NITI Aayog SDG index– The innovation of NITI Aayog in line with the Global SDG index is an attempt to promote competitive federalism among States.
  2. Devolution of tax share– Regardless of the actual pressure prompted by Covid-19, the center has kept up with the actual exchange to States at 41% as suggested by the finance commission. Decrease from 42 % to 41% due to promoting Jammu and Kashmir as a union territory.
  3. State disaster response fund (SDRF) – Centre release the (SDRF) funds this year month earlier in made 2021 to assist states in economic recovery amid covid-19.
  4. Aspirational district program– The program centers around a growing portion of the most backward districts in India, advancing the centralization by giving a bigger role for the district control. Enhancement of borrowing limit– Under article 293 the center has raised the borrowing limit by 2% of the GSDP making it now 5% from the earlier 3% due to raised expenditure due to covid-19.
  5. The debate of Central/ union government– The debate of Central or union government has again become a topic of debate with the Tamil Nadu Government pronouncing the term “union budget”. the argument given in Central Government denotes centralizing tendency.

Recent issues with federalism–

  1. Enhancement on state subjects– Money experts pointed out that how strict lockdown was imposed was a diversion away from the division of power.
  2. Effects of covid-19 lockdown– District lock Don Hit hard the states with a reduction in tax on the floor of the states.
  3. Delay in GST compensation– The compensation was proverb bye Centre over five years in case of any revenue loss has been delayed by the multiple times leading to financial difficulties for the states.
  4. Role of the governor– The most controversial post in any democracy in times and again criticized by the state’s opposition party calling them an “agent of center”. recent issues are the role of the Governor in the Bengal election or the Delhi’s lieutenant governor becoming government bypassing the elected government with the GNCTD act.

Various commissions have been established like Sarkaria Commission, and Punchi Commission to examine the center-state relationship. the establishment of the interstate Council recommended by the Sarkaria commission is significantly more, however, the recommendations regarding the governor are yet to be implemented.

The recent passing of the OBC reservation bill by the Parliament has granted the power of 2 states to make their reservation list, which has shown that the government is following the path of revolution of powers.

Moreover, it was also seen during covid-19 when the fluid management was devolved into States Better results were obtained. very soon State’s capacity to manage things on its own improved.

further, it would have been much easier to go with farm sector reforms had it been done after convincing state governments. the central list and concurrent list are already but didn’t. the state should consult States while matching a law on a subject on the concurrent list as recommended by Sarkaria Commission.

The best way for functioning the federal system is to ensure a stranger center in more limited areas and better stages take the charge and perform in the other areas.

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