Indian Constitution Short Questions - General Awareness

What are the constitutional articles that deal with distribution of financial functions and powers in India?

The distribution of financial functions and powers are mainly discussed in articles 264 to 293; and no other federal Constitution has made such elaborate provisions as Constitution of India with respect to the relationships between the Union and States in the financial field. Among these articles, the important are as follows: Article 265 says that not tax can be imposed except authority of law; Article 266 provides for consolidated fund and public accounts for union and states; Article 266 provides for a contingency fund; Article 268 discusses the duties levied by the Union but collected and appropriated by the States; Article 269 discusses taxes levied and collected by the Union but assigned to the States; Article 270 provides taxes levied and collected by the Union and distributed between the Union and the States; Article 271 provides for surcharges {cess etc.}; Article 273 provides for grants to promote jute and jute products; Article 274 provides for prior recommendation of president for bills which might affect states’ interests; Article 275 makes provisions for grants from union to states; Article 280 makes provisions for finance commission; article 281 provides for Recommendations of the Finance Commission; Articles 292 and 293 make provisions for borrowings by centre and state respectively. Apart from these articles, there are some other provisions also which deal in financial relations between union and states. Further, Constitution amendment for GST Bill has also included some articles which would impact these relations.

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What are the Federal Features in Constitution of India?

The word ‘federation’ is not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. Article 1 of the Constitution declares India as ‘a Union of State’. Also, the residuary power of governance is rest with the Parliament. Apart from Union List, the Parliament is also constitutionally empowered to make laws on concurrent list and even on the subjects found in the State List in certain occasions.

However, in order to devolve more autonomy to the constituting states in political and economic spheres for carrying out unperturbed development at the periphery, the framers of intended to give a federal look to the Indian Constitution.

Indian Constitution is a unique blending of both federal and unitary features. Federal features like two governments (one at the centre and the other at the state level); division of powers between the union and its constituents on the basis of Seventh Schedule of the Constitution in which three separate list like Union List, State List and Concurrent List are included.  A written constitution, supremacy of the Constitution in place of parliamentary supremacy also contributes to federal structure of the Indian Constitution. Besides amenability of the Constitution, system of independent judiciary and bicameralism (House of People and House of the States) are defining characteristics of Indian federalism.

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Is Attorney General Part of Union Executive?

Union Executive consists of the President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers and the Attorney General. Attorney General is a part of Union Executive because the provisions regarding AG have been duly enshrined in Part-V (The Union) Chapter-1 – The Executive. By this definition,  provisions of Comptroller and Auditor General are made in same Part V but there is a a separate chapter for CAG just to imply that CAG is not part of Union Executive.
Further, though AG has no executive authority; but he is also not a neutral person. He is an officer with right to be heard in every court, take part in proceedings of parliament and duty to represent Union of India in Supreme / Other courts.

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