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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