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Features of the federal system in India

The federal features of the constitution of india are explained below.

1. Dual polity.
2. Written constitution.
3. Division of powers.
4. Supremacy of the constitution.
5. Rigid constitution.
6. Independent judiciary.
7. Bicameralism.

Dual polity

The constitution establishes a dual polity consisting the Union at the centre and state at the Periphery. each is endowed with Sovereign power to be exercised in the field assigned to them respectively by the constitution. the union government deals with the matters of national importance like defence, Foreign Affairs, currency, communication and so on. the state governments on the other hand look after the matters of regional and local importance like public order, agriculture, health, local government and so on.

Written constitution

The constitution is not only a written document but also the lengthiest constitution of the world. originally, it contained a Preamble, 395 articles divided into 22 parts and 8 schedules. at present it consists of a Preamble 448 articles divided into 25 parts and 12 schedules. it is specifies the structure, organisation, powers and functions of both the central and state governments and prescribes the limit within which they must operate. Thus, it avoids the misunderstanding and this agreement between the two.

Division of power

The constitution divided the powers between the centre and the states in terms of the union list, state list, and concurrent list in the seventh schedule, the union list consists of 100 subject (originally 97) the state list 61 subjects (original 66) and the concurrent list 52 subject (original 47) both the centre and the state can make laws on the subjects of the concurrent list but in case of a conflict Central law prevails. The Residuary subjects (i.e., which are not mentioned in any of the three list) are given to the centre.

Supermacy of the Constitution

The constitution is the supreme (or the highest) law of the land. the laws  enacted by the centre and the state must confirm to its provisions. otherwise, they can be declared invalid by the Supreme Court or the high courts through their power of Judicial review. Thus, the organs of the government (legislative, executive and judicial) at both the levels must operate within the jurisdiction prescribed by the constitution.

Rigid constitution

The division of powers established by the constitution as well as the Supremacy of the Constitution can be maintained only if the method of its amendment is rigid. hence, the constitution is rigid to the extent that those provision which are concerned with the federal structure (i.e., Centre -state relations and judicial organisation) can be amended only by the Joint Action of the central and state governments. such provisions require for their amendment special majority of the Parliament and also an approval of half of the state legislatures.

Independent Judiciary

The constitution establishes an independent Judiciary headed by the supreme court for two purposes, one, to protect the Supremacy of the Constitution by exercising the power of Judicial review, and to to settle the dispute between the centre and the states or between the states. the constitution contains various measures like security of tenure to judges, fixed service condition and so on make the Judiciary independent of the government.


The constitution provides for a bicameral legislature consisting of an upper house (rajya sabha) and lower house (Lok Sabha). The Rajya Sabha represents the state of Indian Federation, while the Lok Sabha representa the people of India as a whole. the Rajya Sabha (even though a less powerful chamber) is required to maintain the federal equilibrium by protecting the interest of the states against the undue interference of the centre.


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