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SHIKHAR Mains 2023 Day 38 Model Answer English

Updated : 2nd Aug 2023
SHIKHAR Mains 2023 Day 38 Model Answer English

Q1: संघीय और एकात्मक शासन के बीच अंतर क्या है? भारतीय संविधान की एकात्मक और संघीय विशेषताओं का विवरण दीजिए।

What is the difference between Federal and Unitary government? Enumerate Unitary as well as Federal features of the Indian Constitution.    (8 Marks)



  • In introduction give definitions of federal as well as unitary form of government.

  • Then provide difference between these two. 

  • Further, list out the federal as well as unitary features of the Indian Constitution. 

  • Conclude with a judicial interpretation. 



Political scientists have classified governments into unitary and federal on the basis of the nature of relations between the national government and the regional governments. 

By definition, a unitary government is one in which all the powers are vested in the national government and the regional governments, if at all exist, derive their authority from the national government. 

A federal government, on the other hand, is one in which powers are divided between the national government and the regional governments by the Constitution itself and both operate in their respective jurisdictions independently. 

Britain, France, Japan, China, Italy, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Spain and so on have the unitary model of government while the US, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Russia, Brazil, Argentina and so on have the federal model of government.




Dual Government (that is, national government and regional government)

Single government, that is, the national government which may create regional governments

Written constitution

Constitution may be written (France) or unwritten (Britain) 

Division of powers between the national and regional government

No division of powers. All powers are vested in the

national government

Supremacy of the Constitution

Constitution may be supreme (Japan) or may not be supreme (Britain)

Rigid Constitution

Constituion may be rigid (France) or flexible (Britain)

Independent judiciary

Judiciary may be independent or may not be independent

Bicameral legislature

Legislature may be bicameral (Britain) or unicameral (China)


Federal features of the Indian Constitution- 

The federal features of the Constitution of India are explained below:

  • Dual Polity- The Constitution establishes a dual polity consisting the Union at the Centre and the states at the periphery. Each is endowed with sovereign powers to be exercised in the field assigned to them respectively by the Constitution.

  • Written Constitution- The Constitution is not only a written document but also the lengthiest Constitution of the world.

  • Division of Powers- 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.

  • Supremacy of the Constitution- The Constitution is the supreme (or the highest) law of the land. The laws enacted by the Centre and the states must conform to its provisions. 

  • Rigid Constitution- The Constitution is rigid to the extent that those provisions 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.

  • 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 two, to settle the disputes between the Centre and the states or between the states.

  • Bicameralism- The Constitution provides for a bicameral legislature consisting of an Upper House (Rajya Sabha) and a Lower House (Lok Sabha). The Rajya Sabha (even though a less powerful chamber) is required to maintain the federal equilibrium by protecting the interests of the states against the undue interference of the Centre.


Unitary features of the Indian Constitution- 

Besides the above federal features, the Indian Constitution also possesses the following unitary or non-federal features:

  • Strong Centre- The division of powers is in favour of the Centre and highly inequitable from the federal angle.

  • States Not Indestructible- Unlike in other federations, the states in India have no right to territorial integrity.

  • Single Constitution- Usually, in a federation, the states have the right to frame their own Constitution separate from that of the Centre. In India, on the contrary, no such power is given to the states. 

  • Flexibility of the Constitution- The process of constitutional amendment is less rigid than what is found in other federations.

  • No Equality of State Representation- The states are given representation in the Rajya Sabha on the basis of population. 

  • Emergency Provisions- The Constitution stipulates three types of emergencies–national, state and financial. During an emergency, the Central government becomes all powerful and the states go into the total control of the Centre. 

  • Single Citizenship- In spite of a dual polity, the Constitution of India, like that of Canada, adopted the system of single citizenship.

  • Integrated Judiciary- The Indian Constitution has established an integrated judicial system with the Supreme Court at the top and the state high courts below it.

  • Integrated Audit Machinery- The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India audits the accounts of not only the Central government but also those of the states. 

  • Parliament’s Authority Over State List- Even in the limited sphere of authority allotted to them, the states do not have exclusive control. The Parliament is empowered to legislate on any subject of the State List if Rajya Sabha passes a resolution to that effect in the national interest.

  • Appointment of Governor- The governor, who is the head of the state, is appointed by the President. He holds office during the pleasure of the President.

  • Integrated Election Machinery- The Election Commission conducts elections not only to the Central legislature but also to the state legislatures. But, this body is constituted by the President and the states have no say in this matter.

  • Veto Over State Bills- The governor is empowered to reserve certain types of bills passed by the state legislature for the consideration of the President. 


From the above, it is clear that the Constitution of India has deviated from the traditional federal systems like US, Switzerland and Australia and incorporated a large number of unitary or nonfederal features, tilting the balance of power in favour of the Centre.

In Bommai case (1994), the Supreme Court laid down that the Constitution is federal and characterised federalism as its ‘basic feature’. It observed: “The fact that under the scheme of our Constitution, greater power is conferred upon the Centre vis-a-vis the states does not mean that the states are mere appendages of the Centre.”


Q2: भारत में नागरिक चार्टर या नागरिक अधिकार पत्र में सामान्यतः कैसी कमियां विद्यमान हैं? नागरिक चार्टरों को अधिक प्रभावी बनाने हेतु कुछ सुझावों का उल्लेख कीजिये|

What are the common issues in the Citizen Charter in India? Also give some suggestions to make Citizen Charter more effective. (12 Marks)



  • Begin the answer by defining Citizen's Charter and highlighting its development in India.

  • In the next section, mention the shortcomings existing in the Citizen's Charter in India.

  • In the next section, give suggestions to make citizen charters more effective.

  • Conclude the answer by stating the views of the Parliamentary Committee on Citizen's Charters.



Citizen Declaration is a written document/affidavit submitted by public service providers through which a pre-emptive declaration is made to increase the trust between the service provider organization and the consumers and to make the organization more transparent, responsive and accountable. This includes announcements related to quality of service, standardization, service options, element of accountability, value of money and availability of grievance redressal mechanism.


This is an ethical effort to make the service delivery organization transparent, which was started in 1991 from UK. In India, during the Conference of Chief Ministers 1997, an 'Action Plan for Effective and Responsive Government' at the Centre and State levels was adopted. One of the major decisions at that Conference was that the Central and State Governments would formulate Citizens' Charters, starting with those sectors that have a large public interface (e.g. Railways, Telecom, Posts, Public Distribution Systems). These Charters were required to include standards of service and time limits that the public can reasonably expect, avenues of grievance redress and a provision for independent scrutiny with the involvement of citizen and consumer groups. Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances in Government of India (DARPG) initiated the task of coordinating, formulating and operationalising Citizen’s Charters.


Characteristics of Citizen's Charters

  • List of specific services provided by the department;

  • the location, and time period of the offices responsible for service delivery;

  • the names of the officials who provide the service and the expected time taken;

  • Grievance RedressalOfficer and provisions relating to compensation;

  • In the last 23 years, although the Citizens Charter came into force in the country, many flaws are visible in it.


In this context, the following are the major shortcomings pointed out by the Second Administrative Reforms Commission-

  • Lack of necessary infrastructural development and new initiatives;

  • the creation of Citizens' Charters without laying down sufficient groundwork to assess and improve upon the promises made in the Charter;

  • Lack of awareness and publicity;

  • Lack of training among functionaries at various levels;

  • Lack of communication between administrative functionaries;

  • Lack of motivation and accountability among employees;

  • the problem of linguistic complexity in the civic manifesto;

  • The problem of citizens charter not passing through the rounds of re-evaluation and review;

  • Lack of consultation process with all stakeholders (civil societies, NGOs, consumers etc.) at the time of formulation of charters;

  • Poor design and content;

  • Most organizations do not have sufficient qualifications to prepare meaningful and substantive Citizens' Charters;

  • Not paying enough attention to the needs of senior citizens, persons with disabilities, etc.;


Suggestions for making the citizen manifesto effective by the Second Administrative Reforms Commission

  • Change in mindset so that the administration becomes people oriented;

  • Taking initiatives related to awareness and counseling;

  • Comprehensive consultation involving civil society in the process.

  • Effective implementation of e-governance;

  • To make the grievance redressal mechanism effective and to create a database on complaints and resolution;

  • To develop the concept of Citizen Ombudsman;

  • To make citizens aware of their duty under Article 51A of the Constitution;

  • To provide periodic training to the officials/personnel involved in preparing, implementing and supervising the Citizen's Charter;

  • Replicating world best practices in this area;

  • One size is not fit for all sectors so the decentralized approach should be adopted while preparing the Charter;

  • A Citizen's Charter should be prepared for each independent unit within the overall scope of the charter of the organisation.

  • Citizen's Charter should be concise and make a firm commitment to the services.

  • The internal process and structure should be improved to meet the commitments given in the Charter.

  • Development of resolution mechanism in case of defaults;

  • Periodic assessment of the Citizen's Charter;

  • setting benchmarks with the help of user feedback;

  • to hold officials accountable for the consequences;


The Parliamentary Committee observed that charters in most government organizations are at the initial or intermediate stage of formulation and implementation. These need to be accelerated on priority. Through these charters, the administration can be helped in a better way to make it accountable, transparent and more responsive.