From the list of following events which ones would you identify with the functioning of federalism? Why?
Think which of the following statements would be correct. State why.
Based on the first few articles of Belgian constitution - given below - explain how federalism is visualised in that country. Try and write a similar Article for the Constitution of India.
Title I: On Federal Belgium, its components and its territory.
Article 1 : Belgium is a Federal State made up of communities and regions.
Article 2 : Belgium is made up of three communities: The French Community, the Flemish Community and the German Community.
Article 3 : Belgium is made up of three regions: The Walloon region, the Flemish region and the Brussels region.
Article 4 : Belgium has four linguistic regions: The French-speaking region, the Dutch-speaking region, the bilingual region of Brussels Capital and the German-speaking region. Each «commune» (county borough) of the Kingdom is part of one of these linguistic regions.
Article 5 : The Walloon region is made up of the following provinces: The Walloon Brabant, Hainault, Liege, Luxemburg and Namur. The Flemish region is made up of the following provinces: Antwerp, the Flemish Brabant, West Flanders, East Flanders and Limburg.
The federal structure of Belgium is based upon communities, regions and languages. There are three communities and regions and four linguistic regions in the country.
Title I: On Federal India, its components and its territory.
Article 1 : India is a Federal State made up of communities and regions.
Article 2 : India has more than 20 major languages and several hundred minor languages.
Article 3 : India has many religions.
Article 4 : India is divided into 28 states and 7 union territories.
Article 5 : India has two separate levels of government, one at the centre and another at the state level. The power of the central government is greater than that of the state government.
Article 6: India has a judiciary that is the most powerful and independent.
Imagine that you were to rewrite the provisions regarding federalism. Write an essay of not more than 300 words making your suggestions about:
a. division of powers among the centre and the States,
b. distribution of financial resources,
c. methods of resolving inter-State disputes and
d. appointment of Governors
Any answer supported with argument or explanation would solve the purpose. It is strongly recommended that you prepare the solution on your own. However, one sample solution has been provided for your reference:
Our Federal India
The powers of the central and state government should be separated where the states enjoy their autonomy and the central government has the advantage of having more power than that of the state government.
Agriculture, employment, infrastructure and public health should come into concurrent list.
Water distribution should come into Union List.
Residuary power of the Union legislature should be expanded and be flexible according to the need. The union legislature has to legally explain its decision and steps on exercising such power so that discrimination between states cannot take place.
The states should be formed on the basis of administrative convenience and geographical continuity.
The sources of revenue collection and the control of the resources should be in the hand of the central government. However, the states should be free to set up enterprises that attract investment locally.
The central government has to take initiative to resolve interstate disputes in a time bound manner and the order of the Supreme Court would be final in this regard. Incitement of regional bias during inter-state disputes should be made a cognizable offence.
The governor should be appointed by the central government in consultation with the state government. This would prevent the misuse of the office of the governor. The candidate for the post of the Governor should not be from political background. The conditions for the imposition of President's rule should be made very strict to prevent the abuse of this provision. State governments should have the right to challenge their dismissal in Supreme Court.
Which of the following should be the basis for formation of a State? Why?
a. Common Language
b. Common economic interests
c. Common religion
d. Administrative convenience
d. Administrative convenience
The administrative convenience should be the basis of formation of state as it helps in the better administration and welfare of the citizens or people of that area. This would automatically lead to economic development and the development of a common economy. It is not advisable to form a state on the basis of language, economic interests and common religion because people belonging to similar economic and religious groups are often scattered in a territory. Therefore, it is difficult to assemble and administer them. Language was previously the basis of formation of many states. However, as has been found in the case of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, it is clear that even language is not a sufficient basis to ensure regional stability. This will lead to further conflicts. The aim of the state is to administer its territory well and to look after its people and that can only be possible if the states are formed on the basis of administrative convenience.
Majority of people from the States of north India-Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar - speak Hindi. If all these States are combined to form one State, would it be in tune with the idea of federalism? Give arguments.
The unification of four large states with sizeable populations would not be in tune with the idea of federalism. This is because there are many regional variations in the local issues that affect people in these states. Addressing these issues requires a separate political and administrative set up for each of them. From an administrative point of view, the creation of one very large state with a huge population would lead to imbalances in the distribution of resources across the territory. This would lead to unequal development and conflicts between various regions with the failure to fulfil the aspirations of all people.
List four features of the Indian Constitution that give greater power to the central government than the State government.
The four features of the Indian Constitution that give greater power to the central government than the State government are as follows: (Any four)
Why are many States unhappy about the role of the Governor?
Many states are unhappy about the role of the governor because the governor is appointed by the central government. Therefore, there is a possibility of the governor's office being used to control and remove the state government. The governor is not elected but appointed by the central government and can be a retired military officer, civil servant or politician. The governor can suspend the elected state government and can also dissolve the legislative assembly. The governor also has the power to reserve a bill passed by the state government for the assent of the President.
President's rule can be imposed in a State if the government is not being run according to the provisions of the Constitution. State whether any of the following conditions are a fit case for imposition of President's rule in the State. Give reasons.
What are the demands raised by States in their quest for greater autonomy?
There are four demands raised by States in their quest for greater autonomy that are as follows:
Should some states be governed by special provisions?
Does this create resentment among other States? Does this help in forging greater unity among the regions of the country?
It is essential that some states should be governed by the special provisions on the basis of historical, cultural and social circumstances and administrative requirements. The north-eastern states, Jammu & Kashmir, the hilly state of Himachal Pradesh and some other states like Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Sikkim are governed by special provisions. The special provisions are made according to the special requirements. For example, the north-eastern states of India have a unique history and tribal culture that needs to be protected.
This has created resentment among other states as there is a fear that these provisions would lead to separation in those areas.
Many people oppose these provisions because they believe that there should be equal division of powers in federal state.
No, this does not forge greater unity among the regions of the country as it leads to a feeling of bias.