The Constitution of India classifies certain functions to be performed by the Central government and the State government. Such functions of the respective governments are provided in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution. The Seventh schedule establishes three lists:
- Union List – The Union or central government has power over the topics mentioned in this list
- State list – The State governments have power over the topics mentioned in this list.
- Concurrent list – The concurrent list includes topics of joint domain for both the State as well as the Union government to exercise power on. However, when there is a conflict over both, the Union government’s power exceeds that of the State.
The Union List current has 100 subjects under it as opposed to the 97 subjects it has during the commencement of the constitution. The issues discussed in the union list can be of both general and specific character which maybe applicable to the whole country at large or to a specific group of individuals.
The Centre derives more powers than the state governments and is solely responsible for some matters such as national defence and approval or money bills. Basically matters that are mostly to be uniformly applied all over the territory can be decided by the centre. The centre can also take over state’s matters if there is a threat to national security or during an emergency as per provisions mentioned under articles 352 to 360.
This Centre-State relationship system is inspired from other democracies but not entirely based on them. For example, the federal system of the United States allows more powers to the state. States and the Centre have separate citizenship and citizens can have dual citizenship. The Unitary system in the United Kingdom however, has only one parliament that makes laws for the whole country without subsidiary houses or states within the system.
The need for a central authority system in itself is of paramount importance in India due to a plethora of different factors such as:
- Allocation of resources: The central government has the duty of allocation of resources to the respective states and union territories. This results in more or less unbiased allocation solely based on the importance and actual needs over frivolous demands for the same by the states.
- Helps in better law making: There can be better and more discussed policies coming from the grass root levels of local governments and making their way up to state legislature and then finally the parliament. This makes sure that the overall provision is discussed thoroughly and the law made is not arbitrary and bizarre in nature.
- Helps in better representation: Each and every state is well represented at the central level so that the opinions and voices of each state and each sub-unit can be considered in any decisions and orders made. With a wide variety of cultures and diverse groups, it is important that all are considered when policies to govern the whole national are being made so that there is benefit to everyone.
- Maintains uniformity: Since the parliament makes laws that are applicable all over the country, there is uniformity over the country and it ensures better rendering on justice at the higher levels of the judicial system.
- Provides a stronger front: When considering the whole country, having a central government responsible for the overall functioning in the system shows the rival nations that there is a strong central authority. This goes on to show that there is no ambiguity in the decisions made by the central government. For instance, if there is no central government and the state governments are supposed to make a decision immediately for defence purposes, there is a scope for conflicting views which will result in delayed and less rigid actions.
- Helps in maintenance of peace: In case of conflict between two or more states regarding any issue, there can be riots that cause harm to the democratic structure of the society. This issue is to be handled by the centre and it acts as a mediator alongside the higher judiciary. The centre has to make sure that the law and order is maintained during situations of crisis.
Hence, the central government and a system with a strong centre play a vital role in the governance of the nation. It can be said that India has one of the best co-operative federal system as it balances out roles, responsibilities and powers provided under the Constitution of India.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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