Federal and Unitary Features of the Indian Union
India is different from the United States of America because in the United States the federation is based on an agreement between different States, and the States have the right to secede from the Union. The Indian Constitution has the features both of federal and unitary forms of Government.
1.Distribution of powers between Union and the States has been made as per the three lists.
2.The Union Government as well as the State Governments have to function strictly in accordance with the Constitution. They can neither alter the distribution of powers nor override the dictates of the Constitution.
3.Indian Constitution is entirely written. An amendment to it must be passed by the Parliament and if an amendment affects the federal structure it must be ratified by at least half the State Legislatures.
4.Like other federal states our country also has an independent Judiciary as an essential feature.
1.In a federation, people enjoy dual citizenship, that of the Centre and of the State to which they belong. But the Indian Constitution provides every Indian with single citizenship.
2.The most important subjects are included in the Union List which has been allocated to the center.
3.The center can legislate on the subjects in the concurrent list.
4.Residuary powers belong to the Centre.
5.Single Constitutional Framework has been provided for the Centre as well as for the State.
6.The proclamation of National emergency can immediately turn the federal system of India into a Unitary one.
7.In a federation, each State should get equal representation irrespective of its size or population. But in the Rajya Sabha in India, States are represented on the basis of population. Besides, the President has the power to nominate twelve members to the Rajya Sabha.
8.The Governors of the States are appointed by the President and they continue to hold office only during his pleasure.
9.The Indian Constitution provides for a single judiciary, a single system of civil and criminal law, and command of All India Services.
10.The authority of the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Chief Election Commissioner uniformly prevails over the Union as well as States.
- Write the meaning of federal and unitary system of government in the introduction
- Describe the federal and unitary characteristics of the Indian constitution.
- Examine how the central government is more powerful than states.
The Seventh Schedule of the Constitution contains three lists of subjects that show how the division of power is made between the two sets of government.
The Constitution of India is written. Every provision of the Constitution is clearly written down and has been discussed in detail.
The supremacy of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court of India is the highest court of justice in India.
The Indian Parliament, i.e., the legislature has two houses - the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
There are no separate constitutions for the States. In a true federation, there are separate constitutions for the union and the States.
The States have to respect the laws made by the central government and cannot make any law on matters on which there is already a central law.
In a true federation, the upper house of the legislature has equal representation from the constituting units or the States.
The boundary of a State can be changed by created out of the existing States.
In a true federal state, citizens are given dual citizenship. In India however, the citizens enjoy single citizenship, i.e., Indian citizenship or citizenship of the country as a whole.
India has a unified or integrated judicial system. The Supreme Court is the highest court of justice in the country and all other subordinate courts are under it.
When the emergency is declared, the Union or Central governments become all-powerful and the State governments come under total control it. The State governments lose their autonomy.
In the Central government has been made more powerful than the States. The State governments have to work under the supervision and control of the Central government. The States should exercise its executive powers in accordance with the laws made by the Parliament. It can control the State governments by directing them to take necessary steps for the proper running of the administration. If the State fails to work properly or according to the Constitution, it can impose President’s rule thereunder Article 356 and take over its (the State’s) administration.
the President of India has the power to make alterations in the distribution of revenues earned from income-tax between the center and the States. The Centre has also the power to great loans and great-in-aid to the State governments. The Comptroller and Auditor General India and the Finance Commission of India which are the central agencies also have control over the State finances.