Political Science Answer Writing Practice 2018 - Week 11 - Question 6

90 Days Political Science Answer Writing Practice Question 2 for 25-Jan-2019

Instructions for Writing Answer

1. Write your answers in the comment section.

2. Experts will provide their feedback in reply.

3. Model Answers will be uploaded on this page the next day.

4. Rectify your mistakes and progress further.

5. All the Best.

25-Jan-2019 - Question 2

Discuss asymmetrical federalism in India. (2018) - 200 words

Question 1 - Click Here

Model Answer

One of the major concerns about the Indian federalism that it is asymmetric. By “Asymmetric” we mean that Indian federalism is based on unequal distribution of powers in political, administrative and fiscal sphere. Further, this asymmetry is both vertical {between centre and states} and horizontal {among states}.

Asymmetry in vertical {between centre and states}

Generally, the federations are seen as “indestructible units” of “indestructible states”; and neither of the constituent unit has power to make inroads into the defined territory of other. In India, this is different. Here, India is considered to be an indestructible union of destructible states. There is considerable domination of the union over states, and the later have no territorial integrity defined.

Asymmetry in horizontal {among states}

  • Firstly, there is a universal asymmetry affecting all units. For instance, States in India are represented by Rajya Sabha not on the basis of formal eqality between states {as in United States} but has on the basis of their population. Due to this while UP has 31 seats in Rajya Sabha, States like Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur and Goa, and UTs like Pondicherry have just one seat each. Some UTs have no representation in Rajya Sabha.
  • Secondly, there are specific asymmetries with regard to the administration of tribal areas, intra-state regional disparities, law and order situation and fixation of number of seats in legislative assemblies in relation to states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Assam, Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa under article 371.
  • Thirdly, the Union Territories also represent a kind of asymmetry. They were created on varied reasons They were either too small to be full states or too diverse and difficult to merge into the nearby states.
  • Fourthly, the greatest of all asymmetries is because of article 370. Article 370 provides different constitution for Jammu & Kashmir; and part-VI is not at all applicable to that state. The most notable feature that marks the relationship of Jammu and Kashmir with the Union of India is that an Act of the Parliament does not automatically apply to this State unless and until it is endorsed by the State legislature.

Reasons for the Asymmetric Federalism in India

1 Historic reasons

Before Independence Indian provinces were ruled differently by British and Princes, the regions which were under accession of British were wholly controlled by British and the other which are under control of Pinces (Princely states) had some autonomy.

2 After independence

  • Dynamics created by the end of single party rule in the centre and states.
  • Emergence of coalition government at centre.
  • Regional dominance of regional parties in the coalition.

Despite of the Asymmetry in the Indian federalism the continuity of the democracy in India, regular elections, unity among people, and no army control over India is the sign of success for India.

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