Federalism is a basic feature of the Indian constitution but it is also true that the constitution has a strong unitary bias.
Federalism under the Indian constitution has a unitary bias. The following features of the Indian constitution proves that:
- India is known as a ‘union of states’. No state in India has the right to recede or no new territory can admit in the union of India without the authority of the centre. (part 1)
- It provides a single citizenship to its people (part 2)
- The fundamental rights in case of violation can be directly challenged in the highest court of the country, the Supreme Court. (part 3)
- The President assigns a Governor in every state who is an outsider and free from local politics. (article 153)
- The President can declare an emergency in the states under article 256 due to the breakdown of the constitutional machinery in the state. In this case, all the powers get transferred to the centre.
- The concurrent list contains items that can be administered both by the centre and the states. But during a conflict the law made by the centre prevails over the state law.
- The governor also has ordinance making power when the state legislature is not in session. (article 213)
- The Judiciary in India is an integrated system in which the Supreme Court remains the highest court of appeal.
- The election to the state legislatures is conducted by the Election Commission of India only.
- The Reserve Bank of India is the central bank which decides the monetary policy for the country and other banks as well.
- The Rajyasabha can authorize the Parliament to make a law on a subject enumerated in the state list (article 249)
- The Rajyasabha can authorize the Parliament to create new All India Services that is common to both Centre and states. (article 312)