Federal System In India


Inspired by the Federal System of Canada, federalism of India describes the distribution of legal authority across national, state and local governments in India. The Constitution Of India came into existance on 26th January, 1950. It establishes a federal structure to the Indian government, declaring it to be a “Union of States”. It specifies the distribution of legislative, administrative and executive powers between the Central government and the States of India.

The Legislative Powers

The division of powers are defined by the constitution and the legislative powers are divided into three lists


The parliament has exclusive power to legislate including:  defence, armed forces, arms and ammunition, atomic energy, foreign affairs, war and peace, citizenship, extradition, railways, shipping and navigation, airways, posts and telegraphs, telephones, wireless and broadcasting, currency, foreign trade, inter-state trade and commerce, banking, insurance, control of industries, regulation and development of mines, mineral and oil resources, elections, audit of Government accounts, constitution and organisation of the Supreme Court, High courts and union public service commission, income tax, custom duties and export duties, duties of excise, corporation tax, taxes on capital value of assets, estate duty and terminal taxes.


 Uniformity is desirable but not essential on items in this list: maintaining law and order, police forces, healthcare, transport, land policies, electricity in the state, village administration, etc. The state legislature has exclusive power to make laws on these subjects. In certain circumstances, the parliament can make laws on subjects mentioned in the State List, but to do so the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) must pass a resolution with a two-thirds majority that it is expedient to legislate in the national interest.


Uniformity is desirable but not essential on items in this list. The list mentions: marriage and divorce, transfer of property other than agricultural land, education, contracts, bankruptcy and insolvency, trustees and trusts, civil procedure, contempt of court, adulteration of foodstuffs, drugs and poisons, economic and social planning, trade unions, labour welfare, electricity, newspapers, books and printing press NS stamp duties.