An Overview of Federalism and the Features of Federalism

By learning this chapter, you will be able to understand the entire theory about the introduction of federalism and how it is practised in a country like India. When we reach the end of this particular chapter, all your doubts regarding the chapter such as governments and other questions related to federalism will be solved.

That is why you need to thoroughly read the notes that we have provided to you right here. With the help of these notes, you can understand all the different terminologies and the features of federalism.


What Is Meant By Federalism?

When it comes to defining federalism, it can be said that it is basically a compound mode that is made of two different governments. To explain further, there is one system where there will be a mixture of 2 different types of government. One is the state government and the other one is the central government. In a country such as India, federalism is explained by distributing authority and power across the national, state, and local government. Now, this is something that is pretty much similar to the Canadian government organization.

So, to answer the question of is India a federal country, it can be said that it is because there is a mixture of governments that tend to rule the entire country.

At its very core, federalism defines a particular system where there is an existence of dual machinery including different government functions. In a general sense regarding federalism, there are about 2 different levels of the entire government. There is the central authority that is responsible for looking after different major affairs that take place in the country. Another main aspect of the federal government in India would have to be the local authority that is responsible for the daily activities and the functioning of any particular region or area.

To provide you with an example, the Indian Constitution is always stating that there is a federal setup in India. You all are familiar with the fact that the parliament of India has two different levels. Working at the centre of the parliament is the Union government and there is also the state level as well. 


What are the Features of Federalism

When it comes to discussing the features of Indian federalism, there are certain points that you need to understand to have a comprehensive idea about the topic. There are different characteristics that combine together to provide a complete essence to the entire concept of federalism. Here we are going to study them.

One of the main features of the federal government is that there are 2 different levels when it comes to the governance of the country at the very least. Now, there is a possibility of having more levels. However, one thing is for sure that the entire power doesn’t get concentrated on just one type of government in a federal country.

All of the different levels of governance tend to govern all the same citizens, however, there is a difference in the jurisdiction of these levels. So, that means, every single level of a government will have certain powers in order to form the laws that govern the country. These levels can only execute and legislate the laws that can be formed under their power. The jurisdiction of both these levels is clearly marked. For more details, refer to what is federalism Class 8.

The constitution has to guarantee the federal government system. Hence, the duties and powers of the levels of government have to be listed in the constitution. These government levels cannot make changes to the amendment.

Another one of the Indian federalism features is that in case there is a conflict in these different government levels, it is then up to the judiciary court to resolve that conflict. Also, Different revenue sources are specified for each government.


Is India A Federal Country?

One of the most important questions that people seem to ask is that is India a federal government? Well, it can be said without any doubt that India is a federal county. However, in the constitution of India, the word ‘federal’ isn’t really mentioned. However, it does state that India is basically a “Union of States”. So, many historians have been led to believe that India is not a federal but a quasi-federal country. This means there are some characteristics of having a unitary government apart from the federal laws as well.

The Indian constitution has prescribed a proper federal state of the government. You must be aware that we currently have different levels of the Indian government. There is the Lok Sabha along with the Rajya Sabha. Also included are our state governments such as Vidhan Sabhas as well as the Vidhan Parishad. Also, there are Municipal Corporations and our Panchayats, which are types of local governance.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What Do You Understand By Federalism?

Ans: A current government system where the division of power occurs between two or more levels of government is known as federalism. In the case of India, there are 2 levels of government. These particular levels have their own forms of jurisdiction and they tend to enjoy their individual power. One of the two levels includes the union government that is responsible for the entire nationality. The other one is the state government responsible for lost provinces and states that tend to monitor the daily administering. These two different levels of government have their power on different aspects of the country.

2.  State the Features of Federalism?

Ans: Students often want to know what federalism is and its features. We are mentioning them right here.

  • It consists of 2 or more tiers of any government.

  • While the tiers might be responsible for the same people, there is a difference in their jurisdiction when it comes to specific aspects of administration, taxation and legislation.

  • The constitution has to guarantee the authority and existence of each government level.

  • No changes are supposed to occur in the fundamental amendments and provisions of the constitution.

  • Judiciary courts are provided with the power to intervene in case of a conflict between the two tiers of the government.

  • Different revenue sources are specified for each government.