Indian Federal System

The Indian Constitution has all features of a federal state. In a federal system of government, there is a need for clear cut division of power between the Union and States. The federal polity, in other words, provides a constitutional device for bringing unity in diversity and for the achievement of common national goals.

Features of Indian Federalism

Written Constitution - The Constitution of India is a written document and is the most elaborate Constitution of the world.

Rigid Constitution - The procedure of amending the Constitution in a federal system is normally rigid. Indian Constitution provides that some amendments require a special majority.

Division of Powers - There is a clear division of powers, so that the States and the Centre are required to enact and legislate within their sphere of activity, and none violates its limits.

Supremacy of the Judiciary - A federation is an independent judiciary to interpret the Constitution and to maintain its sanctity. The Supreme Court of India has the original jurisdiction and supreme power.

Nature of Indian Federation

Article I of the Constitution describes India as a "Union of States" which implies two things:

  • it is not the result of an agreement among the States.
  • the States have no freedom to secede or separate from the Union.