Holding together federation
India is a ‘Holding Together Federation all states have not identical powers. Here some States enjoy a special status as is the Jammu and Kashmir. Special status to Jammu and Kashmir is due to the history of conflict state with Pakistan.
The state was given to the Indian Union under very special terms, providing the state with a unique position in the Indian Union. It also has its own constitution. Due to the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, various provisions of the constitution are not applicable to the state without prior permission and knowledge of the State Assembly.
Also, non-permanent citizens of the state cannot buy or sell land in the state. The Centre’s jurisdiction is restricted to foreign affairs, defense, and communications and the State’s legislature has the residuary powers. This is in contrast to the situation of others where the Centre’s responsibilities are much more extensive, and where the Centre retains the residuary powers.
However, there are some states in the Indian Union that enjoy very little power. They are called Union Territories. At present, there are seven Union Territories. These states are too small to become independent states but because of their special importance, they cannot be merged with other states.
The Central Government has got the special powers to run these states. At present, there are seven such states :
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- Dadra and Nagar Haveli
- Daman and Diu
- The Capital City of Delhi
Sharing of Powers between the Centre
Sharing of powers between the Centre and the States is another important feature of Indian federalism. But it is not so easy to make changes in the power-sharing arrangement. The parliament alone cannot make any decision relating to the power-sharing arrangements.
Any proposed change has to be first approved by the Houses of Parliament, RajyaSabha and LokSabha, with at least two-thirds of the majority. Then the proposed change has to be approved by the Legislatures of at least half of the total states.