NCERT Class 10 Political Science Chapter 2: Federalism YouTube Lecture Handouts

Get unlimited access to the best preparation resource for IAS : Get detailed illustrated notes covering entire syllabus: point-by-point for high retention.

Get video tutorial on: Examrace YouTube Channel

NCERT Class 10 Political Science / Polity / Civics Chapter 2: Federalism

Case of Belgium

  • After 1993, regional government were given constitutional powers that were no longer dependent on central government.
  • Belgium shifted from unitary to federal government


  • Division of powers between central authorities and constituents
  • Government at central level – fewer subjects
  • Government at state level – more issues and day to day administering
  • Both enjoy powers independent of each other
Division of Powers

Division of powers

  • 25 of 192 nations have federal government which makes 40 % of total population
  • Unitary Government – either one level of government or sub-units are subordinate to central government; central govt. can pass orders to state government

Features of Federalism

  • There are two or more levels of government
  • Each tier has its own jurisdiction – these are specified in constitution
  • For change in fundamental provisions of constitution consent it required form both levels of government
  • Court can interpret constitution and powers of different levels of government
  • Sources of revenue for each government are specified to ensure financial autonomy
  • Safeguard and promote unity
  • Accommodate regional diversity
  • Mutual trust and agreement to live together

Independent States coming together on their own to form a bigger unit – pool sovereignty and retain identity and increase security – coming together federation (Australia, Switzerland, and USA) – all states have equal power and are strong vis-à-vis federal government

Holding together federation (India, Spain, and Belgium) – larger country divides power between state and nation & central government is more powerful, some are granted special powers

India as Federal Country

Princely states became part of India

Constitution declared India as Union of States

  • Central government
  • State government
  • Panchayats or Municipalities

3 Lists

  • Union List – defense, foreign affairs, banking, communications, and currency
  • State List - police, trade, commerce, agriculture, and irrigation
  • Concurrent List - education, forest, trade unions, marriage, adoption, and succession
  • Residuary Subjects – power lies with union government – for example, computer software that came up after constitution was made
  • Holding together federation – each state has different powers (e. g. , J&K has its own constitution – only permanent residents of state can buy land or house there)
  • UTs don՚t have powers of state and central government has special powers to run these areas
  • For any change in this arrangement – both houses must have rd majority & then ratified by legislatures of at least half of states
  • Can levy taxes to carry on government and responsibilities


Disputes on division of powers – High Court or Supreme Court make the decision

Practicing Federalism

  • Ideas laid down in constitutional provisions
  • Nature of democratic politics in India
  • Spirit of federalism, respect for diversity and desire for living together became shared ideals

Linguistic States – 1st major test for democratic politics – initially divided based on language (created fear of disintegration of union but made easy to administer)

  • Some create based on culture, geography or ethnicity like Nagaland, Jharkhand, or Uttarakhand
  • Telangana became 29th state on 2nd June 2014

Language Policy – Hindi is official language but only 40 % speak Hindi. There are 21 other languages recognized as Scheduled Languages & states have their own official language

  • There are around 1500 distinct languages, 114 major languages and 22 languages in 8th Schedule & known as “Scheduled Languages”
  • 40 % speak Hindi as first language & 50 % as second and third language
  • 0.02 % speak English as 1st Language and 11 % as second and third language
  • There was suggestion to stop use of English as official language in 1965 but non-Hindi states were against it. Central government worked for both Hindi and English but many thought it favored English speaking elite

Centre-State Relations – start of coalition government (alliance) after 1990 where many regional parties came together – created new culture of power sharing and respect for autonomy

Decentralization in India

  • States in India are of the size of countries in Europe
  • In Population, UP is more than Russia & Maharashtra more than Germany
  • Therefore, we have local government as third tier
  • Power is taken from center and given to states and local government – local people have better knowledge and ideas about the region
  • Panchayats in villages and municipalities in urban areas
  • Major step in 1992 for decentralization
  • Mandatory to hold regular elections to local government
  • Seats reserved in elected bodies for ST/SC & OBCs
  • rd seats for women
  • State Election Commission conducts panchayat and municipal elections
  • States to share power and revenue with local bodies

Panchayati Raj System

  • Village – Gram Panchayat (many ward members with Panch and head as sarpanch) – directly elected by people and is decision making body for village. Meet twice or thrice in a year to approve budget and review performance.
  • Panchayat Samiti or Block or Mandal – at district level and is group of gram panchayats. Members are elected by all panchayat members. They form Zilla parishad (have elected members, also sometimes have MLAs & MPs) . Zilla parishad chairperson is the political head of the zilla parishad.
  • Municipalities in towns - Municipal chairperson is the political head of the municipality
  • Big cities have municipal corporations - Mayor
  • There are now about 36 lakh elected representatives in the panchayats and municipalities etc. , all over the country. This number is bigger than the population of many countries in the world
  • Institution of Zilla Parishad is chaired by a “political head” (and is elected)
  • Whereas institution of District Magistrate (DM) is chaired by “nonpolitical head” / Administrative head (and is appointed by the government)
  • Decision making is done by Zilla Parishad & implementation is done by DM.
  • Chairperson of Zilla Parishad comes under Collector and above Additional collector

Brazil՚S Experiment

  • Porto Alegre - decentralization with participative democracy
  • 13 lakh people participate to make budget
  • City is divided in sectors or wards & each sector has its own meeting
  • Now buses run in poor colonies and builders cannot evict slum-dwellers without resettling them

Developed by: