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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Discuss the interplay between the Parliamentary System and the Federal System in India. How does it contribute to the country's governance and federal structure? (250 Words)

    19 Mar, 2024 GS Paper 2 Polity & Governance

    Approach

    • Start the answer by introducing the Parliamentary System and the Federal System in India.
    • Illustrate the interplay between the Parliamentary and the Federal Systems.
    • Analyze its contribution to the country's governance and federal structure.
    • Conclude suitably.

    Introduction

    The Indian Constitution establishes a unique governance framework that blends the Parliamentary System with a Federal System. India follows the Parliamentary System of government, where the executive is responsible to the legislature. It also features a Federal System, where powers are divided between the central government and the states.

    Body

    Interplay between the Parliamentary and Federal Systems:

    • Cabinet System:
      • The Parliamentary System in India influences the federal structure by ensuring that the Council of Ministers includes members from different states.
      • This promotes regional representation and ensures that state interests are considered at the central level.
    • Distribution of Powers:
      • The federal structure defines the powers of the central and state governments (7th Schedule), ensuring a balance of power. However, the Parliamentary System allows the central government to intervene in state matters through mechanisms like President's Rule, which can be imposed in case of a breakdown of constitutional machinery in a state.
        • President's Rule: The imposition of President's Rule in states under Article 356 reflects the interplay between the Parliamentary and Federal Systems. While it is a tool for maintaining constitutional order, its misuse can lead to conflicts between the Centre and states.
    • Legislative Relations:
      • The Parliament can legislate on subjects in the State List under specific circumstances, such as national interest or at the request of two or more states (Art 252).
      • This reflects the cooperative nature of federalism in India, where the central and state governments collaborate for effective governance.
    • Financial Relations:
      • The federal structure includes mechanisms like Finance Commission (Art 280), which recommends the distribution of financial resources between the Centre and states.
      • The Parliamentary System ensures that these recommendations are implemented through budgetary allocations and other financial mechanisms.
        • Finance Commission: The recommendations of the Finance Commission, which is a product of the federal structure, are implemented through the Parliamentary System. This ensures that financial resources are distributed equitably among states.

    Contribution to Governance:

    • Accountability:
      • The Parliamentary System ensures that the executive remains accountable to the legislature.
      • This accountability extends to both central and state governments, ensuring transparency and responsiveness in governance.
    • Efficiency:
      • The fusion of Parliamentary and Federal Systems allows for quick decision-making, as the executive can swiftly respond to legislative needs and challenges. This agility is essential in a diverse country like India.
    • Representation:
      • The Parliamentary System ensures that all regions and communities are represented in the government, promoting inclusivity and diversity in governance.
      • This representation is crucial for addressing regional disparities and ensuring equitable development.

    Contribution to Federal Structure:

    • Unity and Diversity:
      • The interplay between the Parliamentary and Federal Systems reflects India's commitment to unity in diversity.
      • It accommodates the country's diverse linguistic, cultural, and regional identities while maintaining national unity.
    • Flexible Federalism:
      • The Indian federal structure is flexible, allowing for the adaptation of governance models to suit regional needs.
      • This flexibility is essential in a country as diverse as India, where one size does not fit all.
        • GST Council: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council is an example of cooperative federalism in action. It comprises representatives from the Centre and states and decides on GST rates and other related issues, reflecting a collaborative approach to governance.
    • Conflict Resolution:
      • The interplay between the systems provides mechanisms for resolving conflicts between the Centre and states.
      • This includes the Constitutional provisions for dispute resolution and the role of institutions like the Inter-State Council.

    Conclusion

    The interplay between the Parliamentary System and the Federal System in India is a testament to the country's commitment to democracy, federalism, and unity in diversity. This interplay ensures that governance is effective, accountable, and inclusive, contributing to India's status as the world's largest democracy.

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