Cooperative Federalism in India: Obstacles

Cooperative Federalism in India: Obstacles

Question: Cooperative federalism is an abiding feature of the Indian Constitution. Discuss the main obstacles in the path of cooperative federalism in India

• NITI Aayog’s contribution to cooperative federalism is under utilised

• CoM has been working at odds with each other

• Breaking the stronghold of red-tapism and bureaucracy is also imperative

• Interstate Council under A263 has been totally ignored: this could have paved the way for genuine cooperative federalism in India

• Sharing of powers and responsibilities between 3 levels of the government requires participative policy making; this is missing from the Indian context

• The 7th Schedule needs to be reformed to ensure greater empowerment of States in accordance with increased financial transfers characteristic of cooperative federalism
• Enhanced devolutions across the board cannot solve the problem; a new asymmetric federalism framework needs to be put in place

• Centrally sponsored schemes in the socials sector have been cancelled; this also stands in the way of cooperative federalism

• Removal of governors of opposing political affiliations has also been a blow to cooperative federalism

• Several state governments have asked for the abolition of all India services; instead All India Services are being expanded to include judiciary and so on

• Imposition of President’s rule has been used to create complications between Centre-State relations and stand in the way of cooperative federalism

• Sarkaria Commission has pinpointed the real problem in the Indians system- over centralisation

• Broad agreement needs to be reached between Centre and States before introduction of bills on concurrent subjects as recommended by the Punchi Commission

• State Bills for Presidential Assent should be speedily disposed off by the Centre

• Greater participation of states need to be undertaken if international treaties impact them

• Equal representation of states should be there is RS

• While imposing President’s Rule, guidelines issued by SC in S. R. Bommai case should be followed

• Period of Finance Commission and NITI Aayog needs to be in tandem to ensure better coordination for attaining cooperative federalism

Facts and Stats

• Centre and States were envisioned as TEAM INDIA by PM Narendra Modi

• He spoke of cooperative, competitive federalism in promoting governance initiatives

• India cannot advance without progress in states; this is in line with the motto of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas

• CMs have been asked to focus on boosting job creation, growth and prosperity in states through this vision of cooperative federalism
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