What do you understand by the terms ‘cooperative federalism’ and ‘competitive federalism’? Do you agree with the view that the Indian Constitution is based on the concept of ‘competitive federalism’ and not on the concept of ‘cooperative federalism’?
Importance of this question : This concept has been asked several times in UPSC Law Optional Mains. Federalism is always a major topic to be covered.
QUESTION POSTED ON | 16.09.2021
MODEL ANSWER WILL BE POSTED ON | 17.09.2021
Answers can be written till 17.09.2021.
How to post answer ?
1. Write your answer in a sheet of paper
2. Take picture
3. Login to get access to post answer
4. Upload the images to get them evaluated
ANSWER | On the basis of relationship between the central and state government, the concept of federalism is divided into Cooperative federalism and Competitive federalism.
Meaning | Competitive Federalism: It denotes a spirit of competition and rivalry between the Centre and the States. It promotes competition between the states and the union and between the state governments
Meaning | Cooperative Federalism: The States and National Governments are regarded as mutually complementary parts of a single governmental mechanism whose powers are intended to realize the current purposes of government according to their applicability to the problems in hand. Thus, it can be said that cooperative federalism helps the center and state governments, with its divided jurisdiction, to act in unity. It minimizes friction and promotes cooperation among the various constituent governments so that they can pool their resources to achieve certain desired national goals.
Position in India | In India, the constitution makers have established an infrastructure to promote co-operation and coordination, and minimize tensions, among the various governments.
Reason | For effective administration of state governments, it is essential for the central government to establish agencies to coordinate intergovernmental actions. Furthermore, when two governments with divided jurisdiction function in the same territory, inter-governmental disputes are inevitable. Therefore, it is essential that mechanisms be evolved to resolve these differences. This will help the governments to work in coordination for fuller utilization of resources to achieve social and economic objectives for the welfare of the people.
Provisions of the Constitution ensuring Cooperative Federalism | Many provisions of the Constitution have been designed to institutionalize the concept of Centre-State co-operation, they are as follows:
1. Article 1 of the Constitution of India states that India is a ‘Union of States’, which means that the states are not part of the country under an agreement and have no right to secede from it.
2. Article 245 vests legislative power in the Parliament to make laws for the country and states legislatures to make laws for their respective states.
3. Article 246 read with Schedule VII, demarcates the subject matters upon which the Centre and states may enact laws.
4. Article 262 allows the Parliament to adjudicate inter-state water disputes. In this context, in the case of T.N. Cauvery Sangam v. Union of India the Supreme Court clarified that the Parliament could appoint a Tribunal for such adjudication.
5. Article 263 enables the establishment of Inter-State Councils, which are empowered to investigate those matters that interest both the Centre and states.
6. Article 312 enables the establishment of Inter-State Councils, which are empowered to investigate those matters that interest both the Centre and states.
In this context, for identifying whether the goal of cooperative federalism has been achieved, it is important to look beyond what the constitution provides. This will also help in analyzing whether the actions of the central and state governments reflect the spirit of cooperative federalism or not.
Role of NITI AYOG in promoting cooperative federalism in India | In 2015, the Planning Commission was replaced by the NITI Aayog which has been constituted to actualize the important goal of cooperative federalism and enable good governance in India. As per NITI Aayog, two key features of cooperative federalism are
(1) a joint focus on the National Development Agenda by the Centre and States an
(2) advocacy of concerns and issues of States and Union Territories with Central Ministries.
In addition, NITI Aayog has also established models and programmes for the development of infrastructure and to reignite and establish public-private partnership, such as the Development Support Services to States and Union Territories, and the Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital programme.
Other Action of the Government |
(1) 101st Constitutional Amendment Act, 2016 introduced National Goods and Service Tax which is a single centralized tax. It removed all central and state indirect taxes, eliminated inter-state tariff barriers and enabled every state to obtain a portion of the central government’s tax income.
(2) Programmes like the Rural Employment Scheme (MGNREGA) have also been reformulated by the centre which can be implemented by the States at their discretion.
To conclude, it can be said that Indian Constitution is largely based on the concept of cooperative federalism. But, in 2017 NITI Aayog during a conference urged all states and union territories “to remain ever mindful of the credo of competitive cooperative federalism.” A blend of competitive cooperative federalism in India will also help in raising the overall productivity levels in all the sectors.UPSC LAW OPTIONAL COURSES STARTS THIS WEEK | CLICK HERE FOR OFFERS ALL THE VERY BEST