Federalism: Nature of Indian Federal Structure Class 10 Notes

Federalism Class 10 Questions and Answers

What is Federalism?

Federalism is the system of government in which power is constitutionally divided between the national or central government and various regional units.

federalism

What are the Key Features of Federalism?

The Key Features of Federalism are:

1. There are two or more tiers of levels of government.

2. Various levels of government rule or administer the same citizens but each level has its own jurisdiction in specific matters of administration, taxation, and legislation.

3. The Constitution guarantees the existence and authority of each tier of government. The Constitution has clearly mentioned the powers and functions of various levels of government.

4. Amendment or modification of basic features of the Constitution cannot be done by any level unitarily. It requires the approval of both levels of government.

5. To prevent conflicts between the center and the regional units, there is an independent judiciary to settle disputes. The courts have been vested with the powers to settle disputes between the two over distribution of power. The highest court of the land (the supreme court) is the final and supreme interpreter of the laws of the land.

6. Financial autonomy of various tiers of government is ensured by allotting distinct sources of revenue to each tier, though in India’s case, the states are very much dependent on the centre for finance.

7. The two main objectives of a federal government are (a) to safeguard and promote the unity and integrity of a country and (b) to accommodate regional diversity.

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Q&A on Federalism in India

How is Federalism Practised in India?

Federalism is practiced in India based on three different major ways:

1. Creation of Linguistic States: The case of the creation of linguistic states as administrative units was very strong.

2. Language Policy:

3. Centre-state relations:

Very Short Questions and Answers
1. Which countries follow the ‘coming together’ style of federalism?

Answer: The countries that follow the ‘coming together’ style of federalism are the USA, Switzerland, and Australia.

2. Which countries follow the ‘holding together’ style of federalism?

Answer: The countries that ‘holding together’ style of federalism are India, Spain, and Belgium.

3. Name a state which enjoys special powers in the Indian federal setup.

Answer: A state which enjoys special powers in the Indian federal setup is Jammu and Kashmir.

4. Which city experimented with direct democracy in Brazil?

Answer: The city of Porto Alegre experimented with direct democracy in Brazil.

5. Name four new states formed recently.

Answer: The four new states recently formed are Jharkhand, Telangana, Uttarakhand, and Chhattisgarh.

6. What is the popular name of rural local government?

Answer: The popular name of the rural government is Panchayati Raj Institutions or PRIs.

7. Name the two Constitutional Amendments which gave legal status to local self-government in India.

Answer: The two amendments that gave legal status to local self-government in India are the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments which were passed by the Parliament in 1992.

8. Name the official language of the Indian Union.

Answer: The official language of the Indian Union is English.

9. Which Indian languages were included in the Eighth Schedule in 2003?

Answer: Indian languages that were included in the Eighth Schedule in 2003 – Dodo, Dogri, Maithili, and Santhali.

10. Who is a Mayor?

Answer: The head of the Corporation is the Chairman and he is called the Mayor. He is elected from among the elected members of the Corporation.

Short Answer Questions
1. What is the major difference between a federal form of government and a unitary one? Give one example.

Answer: Under the federal system, the regional governments are not subordinate to the centre; hence they cannot pass the orders to them. In the federal system of government, the powers are divided between a central authority and various constituent units of the country.

While under the unitary system of government, the real and effective powers are in the hands of the national and union governments. The central government can transfer some of its powers to regional levels on its own, which means the central government can pass orders to the provincial or regional governments that are subordinate to it.

2. Give three reasons for the decentralization of power.

Answer: When the power is taken away from central and State governments and transferred to autonomous local self-government, then it is called decentralization.

The reasons behind the decentralization of power in India are –

a. Several states of India are bigger than other independent countries of Europe. For example, Uttar Pradesh is bigger than Russia in terms of population; Maharashtra is as big as Germany. For the sake of efficiency in administration, a state had to give some of the powers to local self-government.

b. A large number of issues and problems are best settled at the local level because these may be different in different localities of the same state.

c. People at the local level have better knowledge of the problems and solutions at the local level. The local people have original and better ideas to spend money wherever needed and to better manage the resources.

3. Mention the differences between the local governments before and after the constitutional amendment in 1992.

Answer: The two differences between the local governments before and after the constitutional amendment in 1992 are:

a. Before the constitutional amendment in 1992, the local bodies or government did not have enough powers and functions to look after the local development. They depended on the state and central government for funds. However, after the constitutional amendment in 1992, some important powers were transferred to local bodies so that the local bodies could work for local developments. They do not necessarily have to depend much on funds from central and state governments.

b. Before the constitutional amendment in 1992, the elections for local governments were not held regularly with the result that powers were concentrated in the hands of a few people for several years, whereas after the 1992 constitutional amendments, the local government elections were made mandatory to be held at regular intervals of time.

c. Before 1992 constitutional amendments the local governments did not have power and resources. However, after 1992 constitutional amendments the powers have been distributed, and revenues from state government to local government.

4. List the main features of the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act.

Answer: The main features of the 73rd Amendment Act are:

  • All three levels of the Panchayati Raj members are elected directly by the people.
  • The term is five years.
  • If it is dissolved before 5 years, fresh elections must be held within 6 months.
  • 1/3rd of the seats are reserved for women. Reservations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are also provided in all three levels, in proportion to the population.
  • The state can provide special provisions for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) also.
5. Seats are reserved for women in the local self-government. Seeing the position of women in India as well as the corruption in politics, how far do you think this reservation will help?

Answer: There is a 1/3rd reservation of seats for women in the local self-government. There are at least 200 women Adhyaksha in Zila Panchayats, 200 women Presidents of the Block or Taluka Panchayats, more than 80,000 women are Sarpanchas in Gram Panchayats, 30 women are Mayors of Corporations, nearly 500 women are Heads of City Municipalities and 650 women are head of Nagarpalikas. Still, the number of representations among women is low compared to men.

Corruption is another problem that stands as a hindrance to women’s representation in local governments. Our society has always been a male dominion and that might also be the reason for less representation of women. Opportunities given to women in every way are not up to the standards and provision of reservations specially made for women.

Looking at and arriving at this problem, there must be a proper representation and fair reservation of seats for women must be given to the fullest possibilities. In such ways, this reservation policy would help improve the representation of women in political fields.

7. Explain the threefold distribution of legislative power between the Union Government and the State Government.

Answer: The threefold distribution of legislative power between the Union Government and the State Government are:

  • Union List (97 subjects): Subjects of national interests come under this list. For example, defense, foreign policy, atomic energy, banking, post and telegraph, war and peace, etc. are included in this list. Only the central government can pass laws on subjects mentioned in this list.
  • State List (61 subjects): This is made of those important subjects in which the state governments can pass laws. Subjects like police, local government, trade and commerce within the state, public health, prison, police, agriculture, etc. are included in this list.
  • Concurrent List (47 subjects): This has subjects that are the common concern of both the center and state governments. In ordinary circumstances, both can make laws on these subjects. But if there is a conflict between central law and state law over a subject in the Concurrent List, then the Central Law would be effective. This includes subjects like criminal and civil procedure, marriage and divorce, education, economic planning, trade unions, etc.

Those subjects which do not fall under any three categories are put under the residuary subjects, over which the union government has the power to make laws.

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