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Federalism 13
Chapter 2
Federalism
Overview
In the previous chapter, we noted that vertical division of power among
different levels of government is one of the major forms of power-
sharing in modern democracies. In this chapter, we focus on this form
of power-sharing. It is most commonly referred to as federalism. We
begin by describing federalism in general terms. The rest of the chapter
tries to understand the theory and practice of federalism in India. A
discussion of the federal constitutional provisions is followed by an
analysis of the policies and politics that has strengthened federalism in
practice. Towards the end of the chapter, we turn to the local
government, a new and third tier of Indian federalism.
2019-20
Page 2


Federalism 13
Chapter 2
Federalism
Overview
In the previous chapter, we noted that vertical division of power among
different levels of government is one of the major forms of power-
sharing in modern democracies. In this chapter, we focus on this form
of power-sharing. It is most commonly referred to as federalism. We
begin by describing federalism in general terms. The rest of the chapter
tries to understand the theory and practice of federalism in India. A
discussion of the federal constitutional provisions is followed by an
analysis of the policies and politics that has strengthened federalism in
practice. Towards the end of the chapter, we turn to the local
government, a new and third tier of Indian federalism.
2019-20
14
Democratic Politics
What is federalism?
Let us get back to the contrast between
Belgium and Sri Lanka that we saw in
the last chapter. You would recall that
one of the key changes made in the
Constitution of Belgium was to reduce
the power of the Central Government
and to give these powers to the regional
governments. Regional governments
existed in Belgium even earlier. They
had their roles and powers. But all these
powers were given to these
governments and could be withdrawn
by the Central Government. The
change that took place in 1993 was that
the regional governments were given
constitutional powers that were no
longer dependent on the central
government. Thus, Belgium shifted
from a unitary to a federal form of
government. Sri Lanka continues to be,
for all practical purposes, a unitary
system where the national government
has all the powers. Tamil leaders want
Sri Lanka to become a federal system.
Federalism is a system of
government in which the power is
divided between a central authority and
various constituent units of the
country. Usually, a federation has two
levels of government. One is the
government for the entire country that
is usually responsible for a few subjects
of common national interest. The
others are governments at the level of
provinces or states that look after
much of the day-to-day administering
of their state. Both these levels of
governments enjoy their power
independent of the other.
I am confused.
What do we call
the Indian
government? Is
it Union, Federal
or Central?
Though only 25 of the world’s 193 countries have federal political systems, their citizens make up 40 per cent of the
world’s population. Most of the large countries of the world are federations. Can you notice an exception to this rule
in this map?
Source: Montreal and Kingston, Handbook of Federal Countries: 2002, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002.
Federal
political systems
Canada
United States
of America
Mexico
PACIFIC OCEAN
Micronesia
Argentina
Venezuela
ATLANTIC
OCEAN
Brazil
St. Kitts
and Nevis
Belgium
Switzerland
Spain
Nigeria
Ethiopia
Comoros
Bosnia and
Herzegovina
Austria
Pakistan
Russia
India
Malaysia
Australia
INDIAN
OCEAN
South Africa
PACIFIC OCEAN
United
Arab
Emirates
Germany
2019-20
Page 3


Federalism 13
Chapter 2
Federalism
Overview
In the previous chapter, we noted that vertical division of power among
different levels of government is one of the major forms of power-
sharing in modern democracies. In this chapter, we focus on this form
of power-sharing. It is most commonly referred to as federalism. We
begin by describing federalism in general terms. The rest of the chapter
tries to understand the theory and practice of federalism in India. A
discussion of the federal constitutional provisions is followed by an
analysis of the policies and politics that has strengthened federalism in
practice. Towards the end of the chapter, we turn to the local
government, a new and third tier of Indian federalism.
2019-20
14
Democratic Politics
What is federalism?
Let us get back to the contrast between
Belgium and Sri Lanka that we saw in
the last chapter. You would recall that
one of the key changes made in the
Constitution of Belgium was to reduce
the power of the Central Government
and to give these powers to the regional
governments. Regional governments
existed in Belgium even earlier. They
had their roles and powers. But all these
powers were given to these
governments and could be withdrawn
by the Central Government. The
change that took place in 1993 was that
the regional governments were given
constitutional powers that were no
longer dependent on the central
government. Thus, Belgium shifted
from a unitary to a federal form of
government. Sri Lanka continues to be,
for all practical purposes, a unitary
system where the national government
has all the powers. Tamil leaders want
Sri Lanka to become a federal system.
Federalism is a system of
government in which the power is
divided between a central authority and
various constituent units of the
country. Usually, a federation has two
levels of government. One is the
government for the entire country that
is usually responsible for a few subjects
of common national interest. The
others are governments at the level of
provinces or states that look after
much of the day-to-day administering
of their state. Both these levels of
governments enjoy their power
independent of the other.
I am confused.
What do we call
the Indian
government? Is
it Union, Federal
or Central?
Though only 25 of the world’s 193 countries have federal political systems, their citizens make up 40 per cent of the
world’s population. Most of the large countries of the world are federations. Can you notice an exception to this rule
in this map?
Source: Montreal and Kingston, Handbook of Federal Countries: 2002, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002.
Federal
political systems
Canada
United States
of America
Mexico
PACIFIC OCEAN
Micronesia
Argentina
Venezuela
ATLANTIC
OCEAN
Brazil
St. Kitts
and Nevis
Belgium
Switzerland
Spain
Nigeria
Ethiopia
Comoros
Bosnia and
Herzegovina
Austria
Pakistan
Russia
India
Malaysia
Australia
INDIAN
OCEAN
South Africa
PACIFIC OCEAN
United
Arab
Emirates
Germany
2019-20
Federalism 15
Jurisdiction: The area
over which someone
has legal authority. The
area may be defined in
terms of geographical
boundaries or in terms
of certain kinds of
subjects.
7 The federal system thus has dual
objectives: to safeguard and promote
unity of the country, while at the same
time accommodate regional diversity.
Therefore, two aspects are crucial for
the institutions and practice of
federalism. Governments at different
levels should agree to some rules of
power-sharing. They should also trust
that each would abide by its part of
the agreement. An ideal federal system
has both aspects : mutual trust and
agreement to live together.
The exact balance of power
between the central and the state
government varies from one federation
to another.  This balance depends
mainly on the historical context in which
the federation was formed. There are
two kinds of routes through which
federations have been formed. The first
route involves independent States
coming together on their own to form
a bigger unit, so that by pooling
sovereignty and retaining identity they
can increase their security. This type of
‘coming together’ federations include
the USA, Switzerland and Australia. In
this first category of federations, all the
constituent States usually have equal
power and are strong vis-à-vis the
federal government.
The second route is where a large
country decides to divide its power
between the constituent States and the
national government. India, Spain and
Belgium are examples of this kind of
‘holding together’ federations. In
this second category, the central
government tends to be more powerful
vis-à-vis the States. Very often different
constituent units of the federation have
unequal powers. Some units are
granted special powers.
If federalism
works only in big
countries, why
did Belgium
adopt it?
In this sense, federations are
contrasted with unitary governments.
Under the unitary system, either there
is only one level of government or the
sub-units are subordinate to the central
government. The central government
can pass on orders to the provincial or
the local government. But in a federal
system, the central government cannot
order the state government to do
something. State government has
powers of its own for which it is not
answerable to the central government.
Both these governments are separately
answerable to the people.
Let us look at some of the key
features of federalism :
1 There are two or more levels (or
tiers) of government.
2 Different tiers of government
govern the same citizens, but each tier
has its own JURISDICTION in specific
matters of legislation, taxation and
administration.
3 The jurisdictions of the respective
levels or tiers of government are
specified in the constitution. So the
existence and authority of each tier of
government is constitutionally
guaranteed.
4 The fundamental provisions of
the constitution cannot be unilaterally
changed by one level of government.
Such changes require the consent of
both the levels of government.
5 Courts have the power to interpret
the constitution and the powers of
different levels of government. The
highest court acts as an umpire if
disputes arise between different levels
of government in the exercise of their
respective powers.
6 Sources of revenue for each level
of government are clearly specified to
ensure its financial autonomy.
2019-20
Page 4


Federalism 13
Chapter 2
Federalism
Overview
In the previous chapter, we noted that vertical division of power among
different levels of government is one of the major forms of power-
sharing in modern democracies. In this chapter, we focus on this form
of power-sharing. It is most commonly referred to as federalism. We
begin by describing federalism in general terms. The rest of the chapter
tries to understand the theory and practice of federalism in India. A
discussion of the federal constitutional provisions is followed by an
analysis of the policies and politics that has strengthened federalism in
practice. Towards the end of the chapter, we turn to the local
government, a new and third tier of Indian federalism.
2019-20
14
Democratic Politics
What is federalism?
Let us get back to the contrast between
Belgium and Sri Lanka that we saw in
the last chapter. You would recall that
one of the key changes made in the
Constitution of Belgium was to reduce
the power of the Central Government
and to give these powers to the regional
governments. Regional governments
existed in Belgium even earlier. They
had their roles and powers. But all these
powers were given to these
governments and could be withdrawn
by the Central Government. The
change that took place in 1993 was that
the regional governments were given
constitutional powers that were no
longer dependent on the central
government. Thus, Belgium shifted
from a unitary to a federal form of
government. Sri Lanka continues to be,
for all practical purposes, a unitary
system where the national government
has all the powers. Tamil leaders want
Sri Lanka to become a federal system.
Federalism is a system of
government in which the power is
divided between a central authority and
various constituent units of the
country. Usually, a federation has two
levels of government. One is the
government for the entire country that
is usually responsible for a few subjects
of common national interest. The
others are governments at the level of
provinces or states that look after
much of the day-to-day administering
of their state. Both these levels of
governments enjoy their power
independent of the other.
I am confused.
What do we call
the Indian
government? Is
it Union, Federal
or Central?
Though only 25 of the world’s 193 countries have federal political systems, their citizens make up 40 per cent of the
world’s population. Most of the large countries of the world are federations. Can you notice an exception to this rule
in this map?
Source: Montreal and Kingston, Handbook of Federal Countries: 2002, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002.
Federal
political systems
Canada
United States
of America
Mexico
PACIFIC OCEAN
Micronesia
Argentina
Venezuela
ATLANTIC
OCEAN
Brazil
St. Kitts
and Nevis
Belgium
Switzerland
Spain
Nigeria
Ethiopia
Comoros
Bosnia and
Herzegovina
Austria
Pakistan
Russia
India
Malaysia
Australia
INDIAN
OCEAN
South Africa
PACIFIC OCEAN
United
Arab
Emirates
Germany
2019-20
Federalism 15
Jurisdiction: The area
over which someone
has legal authority. The
area may be defined in
terms of geographical
boundaries or in terms
of certain kinds of
subjects.
7 The federal system thus has dual
objectives: to safeguard and promote
unity of the country, while at the same
time accommodate regional diversity.
Therefore, two aspects are crucial for
the institutions and practice of
federalism. Governments at different
levels should agree to some rules of
power-sharing. They should also trust
that each would abide by its part of
the agreement. An ideal federal system
has both aspects : mutual trust and
agreement to live together.
The exact balance of power
between the central and the state
government varies from one federation
to another.  This balance depends
mainly on the historical context in which
the federation was formed. There are
two kinds of routes through which
federations have been formed. The first
route involves independent States
coming together on their own to form
a bigger unit, so that by pooling
sovereignty and retaining identity they
can increase their security. This type of
‘coming together’ federations include
the USA, Switzerland and Australia. In
this first category of federations, all the
constituent States usually have equal
power and are strong vis-à-vis the
federal government.
The second route is where a large
country decides to divide its power
between the constituent States and the
national government. India, Spain and
Belgium are examples of this kind of
‘holding together’ federations. In
this second category, the central
government tends to be more powerful
vis-à-vis the States. Very often different
constituent units of the federation have
unequal powers. Some units are
granted special powers.
If federalism
works only in big
countries, why
did Belgium
adopt it?
In this sense, federations are
contrasted with unitary governments.
Under the unitary system, either there
is only one level of government or the
sub-units are subordinate to the central
government. The central government
can pass on orders to the provincial or
the local government. But in a federal
system, the central government cannot
order the state government to do
something. State government has
powers of its own for which it is not
answerable to the central government.
Both these governments are separately
answerable to the people.
Let us look at some of the key
features of federalism :
1 There are two or more levels (or
tiers) of government.
2 Different tiers of government
govern the same citizens, but each tier
has its own JURISDICTION in specific
matters of legislation, taxation and
administration.
3 The jurisdictions of the respective
levels or tiers of government are
specified in the constitution. So the
existence and authority of each tier of
government is constitutionally
guaranteed.
4 The fundamental provisions of
the constitution cannot be unilaterally
changed by one level of government.
Such changes require the consent of
both the levels of government.
5 Courts have the power to interpret
the constitution and the powers of
different levels of government. The
highest court acts as an umpire if
disputes arise between different levels
of government in the exercise of their
respective powers.
6 Sources of revenue for each level
of government are clearly specified to
ensure its financial autonomy.
2019-20
16
Democratic Politics
Isn’t that
strange? Did our
constitution
makers not know
about
federalism? Or
did they wish to
avoid talking
about it?
Some Nepalese citizens were discussing the proposals on the adoption
of federalism in their new constitution. This is what some of them said:
Khag Raj: I don’t like federalism. It would lead to reservation of seats for
different caste groups as in India.
Sarita:  Ours in not a very big country. We don’t need federalism.
Babu Lal: I am hopeful that the Terai areas will get more autonomy if they get
their own state government.
Ram Ganesh: I like federalism because it will mean that powers that were earlier
enjoyed by the king will now be exercised by our elected representatives.
If you were participating in this conversation what would be your response to each
of these? Which of these reflect a wrong understanding of what federalism is?
What makes India a federal country?
We have earlier seen how small
countries like Belgium and Sri Lanka
face so many problems of managing
diversity. What about a vast country like
India, with so many languages, religions
and regions? What are the power
sharing arrangements in our country?
Let us begin with the Constitution.
India had emerged as an independent
nation after a painful and bloody
partition. Soon after Independence,
several princely states became a part of
the country. The Constitution declared
India as a Union of States. Although it
did not use the word federation, the
Indian Union is based on the principles
of federalism.
Let us go back to the seven features
of federalism mentioned above. W e can
see that all these features apply to the
provisions of the Indian Constitution.
The Constitution originally provided
for a two-tier system of government,
the Union Government or what we call
the Central Government, representing
the Union of India and the State
governments. Later, a third tier of
federalism was added in the form of
Panchayats and Municipalities. As in
any federation, these different tiers
enjoy separate jurisdiction.  The
Constitution clearly provided a three-
fold distribution of legislative powers
between the Union Government and
the State Governments. Thus, it
contains three lists:
l Union List includes subjects of
national importance such as defence
of the country, foreign affairs, banking,
communications and currency. They
are included in this list because we need
a uniform policy on these matters
throughout the country. The Union
Government alone can make laws
relating to the subjects mentioned in
the Union List.
l State List contains subjects of
State and local importance such as
police, trade, commerce, agriculture
and irrigation. The State Governments
What makes India a federal country?
2019-20
Page 5


Federalism 13
Chapter 2
Federalism
Overview
In the previous chapter, we noted that vertical division of power among
different levels of government is one of the major forms of power-
sharing in modern democracies. In this chapter, we focus on this form
of power-sharing. It is most commonly referred to as federalism. We
begin by describing federalism in general terms. The rest of the chapter
tries to understand the theory and practice of federalism in India. A
discussion of the federal constitutional provisions is followed by an
analysis of the policies and politics that has strengthened federalism in
practice. Towards the end of the chapter, we turn to the local
government, a new and third tier of Indian federalism.
2019-20
14
Democratic Politics
What is federalism?
Let us get back to the contrast between
Belgium and Sri Lanka that we saw in
the last chapter. You would recall that
one of the key changes made in the
Constitution of Belgium was to reduce
the power of the Central Government
and to give these powers to the regional
governments. Regional governments
existed in Belgium even earlier. They
had their roles and powers. But all these
powers were given to these
governments and could be withdrawn
by the Central Government. The
change that took place in 1993 was that
the regional governments were given
constitutional powers that were no
longer dependent on the central
government. Thus, Belgium shifted
from a unitary to a federal form of
government. Sri Lanka continues to be,
for all practical purposes, a unitary
system where the national government
has all the powers. Tamil leaders want
Sri Lanka to become a federal system.
Federalism is a system of
government in which the power is
divided between a central authority and
various constituent units of the
country. Usually, a federation has two
levels of government. One is the
government for the entire country that
is usually responsible for a few subjects
of common national interest. The
others are governments at the level of
provinces or states that look after
much of the day-to-day administering
of their state. Both these levels of
governments enjoy their power
independent of the other.
I am confused.
What do we call
the Indian
government? Is
it Union, Federal
or Central?
Though only 25 of the world’s 193 countries have federal political systems, their citizens make up 40 per cent of the
world’s population. Most of the large countries of the world are federations. Can you notice an exception to this rule
in this map?
Source: Montreal and Kingston, Handbook of Federal Countries: 2002, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002.
Federal
political systems
Canada
United States
of America
Mexico
PACIFIC OCEAN
Micronesia
Argentina
Venezuela
ATLANTIC
OCEAN
Brazil
St. Kitts
and Nevis
Belgium
Switzerland
Spain
Nigeria
Ethiopia
Comoros
Bosnia and
Herzegovina
Austria
Pakistan
Russia
India
Malaysia
Australia
INDIAN
OCEAN
South Africa
PACIFIC OCEAN
United
Arab
Emirates
Germany
2019-20
Federalism 15
Jurisdiction: The area
over which someone
has legal authority. The
area may be defined in
terms of geographical
boundaries or in terms
of certain kinds of
subjects.
7 The federal system thus has dual
objectives: to safeguard and promote
unity of the country, while at the same
time accommodate regional diversity.
Therefore, two aspects are crucial for
the institutions and practice of
federalism. Governments at different
levels should agree to some rules of
power-sharing. They should also trust
that each would abide by its part of
the agreement. An ideal federal system
has both aspects : mutual trust and
agreement to live together.
The exact balance of power
between the central and the state
government varies from one federation
to another.  This balance depends
mainly on the historical context in which
the federation was formed. There are
two kinds of routes through which
federations have been formed. The first
route involves independent States
coming together on their own to form
a bigger unit, so that by pooling
sovereignty and retaining identity they
can increase their security. This type of
‘coming together’ federations include
the USA, Switzerland and Australia. In
this first category of federations, all the
constituent States usually have equal
power and are strong vis-à-vis the
federal government.
The second route is where a large
country decides to divide its power
between the constituent States and the
national government. India, Spain and
Belgium are examples of this kind of
‘holding together’ federations. In
this second category, the central
government tends to be more powerful
vis-à-vis the States. Very often different
constituent units of the federation have
unequal powers. Some units are
granted special powers.
If federalism
works only in big
countries, why
did Belgium
adopt it?
In this sense, federations are
contrasted with unitary governments.
Under the unitary system, either there
is only one level of government or the
sub-units are subordinate to the central
government. The central government
can pass on orders to the provincial or
the local government. But in a federal
system, the central government cannot
order the state government to do
something. State government has
powers of its own for which it is not
answerable to the central government.
Both these governments are separately
answerable to the people.
Let us look at some of the key
features of federalism :
1 There are two or more levels (or
tiers) of government.
2 Different tiers of government
govern the same citizens, but each tier
has its own JURISDICTION in specific
matters of legislation, taxation and
administration.
3 The jurisdictions of the respective
levels or tiers of government are
specified in the constitution. So the
existence and authority of each tier of
government is constitutionally
guaranteed.
4 The fundamental provisions of
the constitution cannot be unilaterally
changed by one level of government.
Such changes require the consent of
both the levels of government.
5 Courts have the power to interpret
the constitution and the powers of
different levels of government. The
highest court acts as an umpire if
disputes arise between different levels
of government in the exercise of their
respective powers.
6 Sources of revenue for each level
of government are clearly specified to
ensure its financial autonomy.
2019-20
16
Democratic Politics
Isn’t that
strange? Did our
constitution
makers not know
about
federalism? Or
did they wish to
avoid talking
about it?
Some Nepalese citizens were discussing the proposals on the adoption
of federalism in their new constitution. This is what some of them said:
Khag Raj: I don’t like federalism. It would lead to reservation of seats for
different caste groups as in India.
Sarita:  Ours in not a very big country. We don’t need federalism.
Babu Lal: I am hopeful that the Terai areas will get more autonomy if they get
their own state government.
Ram Ganesh: I like federalism because it will mean that powers that were earlier
enjoyed by the king will now be exercised by our elected representatives.
If you were participating in this conversation what would be your response to each
of these? Which of these reflect a wrong understanding of what federalism is?
What makes India a federal country?
We have earlier seen how small
countries like Belgium and Sri Lanka
face so many problems of managing
diversity. What about a vast country like
India, with so many languages, religions
and regions? What are the power
sharing arrangements in our country?
Let us begin with the Constitution.
India had emerged as an independent
nation after a painful and bloody
partition. Soon after Independence,
several princely states became a part of
the country. The Constitution declared
India as a Union of States. Although it
did not use the word federation, the
Indian Union is based on the principles
of federalism.
Let us go back to the seven features
of federalism mentioned above. W e can
see that all these features apply to the
provisions of the Indian Constitution.
The Constitution originally provided
for a two-tier system of government,
the Union Government or what we call
the Central Government, representing
the Union of India and the State
governments. Later, a third tier of
federalism was added in the form of
Panchayats and Municipalities. As in
any federation, these different tiers
enjoy separate jurisdiction.  The
Constitution clearly provided a three-
fold distribution of legislative powers
between the Union Government and
the State Governments. Thus, it
contains three lists:
l Union List includes subjects of
national importance such as defence
of the country, foreign affairs, banking,
communications and currency. They
are included in this list because we need
a uniform policy on these matters
throughout the country. The Union
Government alone can make laws
relating to the subjects mentioned in
the Union List.
l State List contains subjects of
State and local importance such as
police, trade, commerce, agriculture
and irrigation. The State Governments
What makes India a federal country?
2019-20
Federalism 17
alone can make laws relating to the
subjects mentioned in the State List.
l Concurrent List includes subjects
of common interest to both the Union
Government as well as the State
Governments, such as education, forest,
trade unions, marriage, adoption and
succession. Both the Union as well as
the State Governments can make laws
on the subjects mentioned in this list.
If their laws conflict with each other,
the law made by the Union
Government will prevail.
What about subjects that do not
fall in any of the three lists? Or subjects
like computer software that came up
after the constitution was made?
According to our constitution, the
Union Government has the power to
legislate on these ‘residuary’ subjects.
We noted above that most
federations that are formed by ‘holding
together’ do not give equal power to
its constituent units. Thus, all States in
the Indian Union do not have identical
powers. Some States enjoy a special
status. Jammu and Kashmir has its own
Constitution. Many provisions of the
Indian Constitution are not applicable
to this State without the approval of
the State Assembly. Indians who are
not permanent residents of this State
cannot buy land or house here. Similar
special provisions exist for some other
States of India as well.
If agriculture and
commerce are
state subjects,
why do we have
ministers of
agriculture and
commerce in the
Union cabinet?
Listen to one national and one regional news bulletin broadcast by All India
Radio daily for one week. Make a list of news items related to government policies or
decisions by classifying these into the following categories:
l News items that relate only to the Central Government,
l News items that relate only to your or any other State Government,
l News items about the relationship between the Central and State Governments.
There are some units of the Indian
Union which enjoy very little power.
These are areas which are too small to
become an independent State but
which could not be merged with any
of the existing States. These areas, like
Chandigarh, or Lakshadweep or the
capital city of Delhi, are called Union
Territories. These territories do not
have the powers of a State. The Central
Government has special powers in
running these areas.
This sharing of power between the
Union Government and the State
governments is basic to the structure
of the Constitution. It is not easy to
make changes to this power sharing
arrangement. The Parliament cannot
on its own change this arrangement.
Any change to it has to be first passed
by both the Houses of Parliament with
at least two-thirds majority . Then it has
to be ratified by the legislatures of at
least half of the total States.
The judiciary plays an important
role in overseeing the implementation
of constitutional provisions and
procedures. In case of any dispute about
the division of powers, the High Courts
and the Supreme Court make a decision.
The Union and State governments
have the power to raise resources by
levying taxes in order to carry on the
government and the responsibilities
assigned to each of them.
2019-20
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FAQs on NCERT Textbook - Federalism - Indian Polity for UPSC CSE

1. What is federalism?
Ans. Federalism is a system of government in which power is divided between a central authority and various regional governments. It ensures that both levels of government have their own separate powers and responsibilities.
2. What are the advantages of federalism?
Ans. Federalism has several advantages. It promotes decentralization of power, allowing regional governments to address local issues effectively. It also provides for a better representation of diverse interests and cultures within a country. Federalism encourages experimentation and innovation as regional governments can implement policies according to their specific needs.
3. How does federalism promote democracy?
Ans. Federalism promotes democracy by distributing power among different levels of government. It allows citizens to participate in decision-making processes at both the central and regional levels. Federalism also ensures that power is not concentrated in a single authority, reducing the risk of authoritarianism and promoting accountability.
4. What are the challenges of federalism?
Ans. Federalism faces challenges such as coordination and conflict between the central and regional governments. There can be disagreements over the division of powers and financial resources. Balancing regional autonomy with national unity can also be a challenge. Additionally, there can be disparities in development and governance among different regions.
5. Can federalism lead to secessionist movements?
Ans. While federalism aims to accommodate regional diversity and prevent secessionist movements, it is not immune to such challenges. In some cases, regional governments might demand more autonomy or even independence. However, effective dialogue, negotiation, and constitutional provisions can help address these issues and maintain the unity of the country.
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