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Federalism & Parliamentary Form of Government

Federalism :
Federalism means more than one level of government in the country.

India has three levels of government

  • Central Government
  • State Government
  • Panchayat Raj

India needed a three tier government because of the diverse religious and cultural composition of its citizens. A government at the centre alone could not be effective for every one.

  • State governments were required to govern that particular state as each state had unique features and problems.
  • State governments were given independence in exercising powers on certain issues.
  • State governments were under the jurisdiction of the Central Government.
  • The Constitution contains lists that detail the issues that each tier of government can make laws on.
  • The Constitution specifies where each tier of government can get the money from for the work that it does.
  • Under federalism, the states are not merely agents of the federal government but draw their authority from the Constitution as well.
  • All persons in India are governed by laws and policies made by each of these levels of government.

II. Parliamentary Form of Government
The different tiers of government consist of representatives who are elected by the people.

The Constitution of India guarantees universal adult suffrage for all citizens.

In a democratic country, like India, all have a right to vote. They may be poor or rich, educated or uneducated, a Hindu, Muslim or a Christian, all adults have a right to vote in India. This is called universal adult franchise and it is an important factor for all democracies. The idea of universal adult franchise is based on equality.

  • Members of the Constituent Assembly felt that the freedom struggle had prepared the masses for universal adult suffrage.
  • The leaders felt that universal adult suffrage would help encourage a democratic mindset and break the clutches of traditional caste, class and gender differences.
  • Universal adult suffrage means the people of India have a direct role in electing their representatives.
  • Every citizen of the country, irrespective of his/her social background, can also contest in elections.
  • These representatives are accountable to the people.

Every Citizen has a Right to Vote


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