Q. Write a note on federalism.


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The term "Federalism" was very first time coined by Jeremy Bentham.

Federalism can be understood as:

A system of governance or polity, where the powers are divided on 2 levels:

i.       With the central government, (Federal government), and

ii.     State government.

Montesquieu also defined federalism as: separation of powers between Centre and states.

United states of America is the best example of federal system of governance. Some of the essential features of federalism are as follows:

I.                     Dual polity: it simply means, functioning of government on 2 levels: Centre and states.

II.                   Supremacy of constitution: to characterized a state as federal one, it needs to be satisfied that they have a written constitution, and which should be the supreme authority.

III.                 Written and rigid constitution: along with the written constitution, it is also necessary that it should be rigid, means; amendment process should not remain like a cake-walk for the central government.

IV.                Strict distribution of powers: the demarcation of powers, between the organs of the government, is necessary condition for a federal state.

V.                  bicameral legislature in Centre: it means 2 houses: upper and lower house.

VI.                independent judiciary: this concept doesn’t require any sort of description. Without an independent judiciary, one even cannot imagine about a federal state.

Whether the Indian Constitution is federal or not? Read Here.


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