27th December, 2015 (MAINS)


Q1. The concept of cooperative federalism has been increasingly emphasized in recent years. Highlight the drawbacks in the existing structure and the extent to which cooperative federalism would answer the shortcomings.

[12.5marks/2015/GS-2] 200 words.

Please write answer in the comments section.

  • KK

    Cooperative federalism implies the centre and state share a horizontal relationship, where they cooperate in the larger public interest. It is visualized as an important tool to enable states participation in the formulation and implementation of national policies.

    Though the constitution doesn’t explicitly mention the term “federalism”, it does provide for a governance structure primarily federal in nature through article 1 and 7th schedule. Though the Constitution had enshrined federal principles, some drawback which are affecting this federal nature which include:
    1. Designing of schemes: Majority of the schemes are designed in a top down manner with less autonomy for making improvements/changes in these schemes by the states.
    2. Financial autonomy-states are financially starving and are majorly dependent on the central government’s grants and allocations, which are mostly scheme based and are available only on the implementation of those schemes.
    3. Both the state and central governments are still grappling with the empowerment of local bodies, by not fully transferring the powers enshrined in the schedules XI and XII of the constitution.

    The above shortcomings can be overcome by some of the measures of cooperative federalism:
    1.Government’s decision to accept the recommendations of 14th Finance Commission is indeed a right move coupled with the restructuring and cutting down of the Central Sector Schemes and giving more autonomy to the states in implementation.
    2. NITI Aayog unlike the Planning Commission should be open to the views of the states to have more say in the affairs affecting them.
    3. Constitutional body like the Inter State Council and statutory body like the Zonal Councils needs to be strengthened to improve the coordination between centre and states.
    4. Prominent role should be laid out for local bodies in implementation of schemes and necessary devolution of financial
    powers should be emphasized.

    • http://shashidthakur23.blog.com Shashi Thakur

      good answer bro.