Administrative Relations

  • The executive power has been divided between the centre and the states on the lines of distribution of legislative powers
  • The power of the centre extends to the whole of India on matters where it has exclusive jurisdiction (union list) and to the exercise of rights, authority and jurisdiction conferred on it by any treaty or agreement
  • The jurisdiction of the state extends to those matters enumerated in the state list
  • In matters related to concurrent list, the executive power rests with the states
  • Obligation of states to the centre:
    • State’s executive power has to be conducted in such a way so as to ensure compliance with the laws made by the Parliament
    • And not to impede or prejudice the exercise of executive power of the centre in a state
  • These directions are coercive in nature (Article 365) since any failure to abide by them could invite the use of Article 356
  • Centre has been empowered to issue advice to states in the following instances:
    • Construction and maintenance of means of communication declared to be of national importance or military importance by the state
    • Measures to be taken for the protection of the railways within the state
    • Provision of adequate facilities for instruction in the mother-tongue at the primary stage of education to children belonging to linguistic minority groups
    • The drawing up and execution of the specified schemes for the welfare of the ST in the states
  • The coercive sanction behind the central directions under article 365 is also applicable in this case
  • Mutual delegation of functions: The constitution provides for inter-governmental delegation of executive functions in order to mitigate the rigidity and avoid a situation of deadlock
    • The president with the consent of the state government may delegate the executive functions of the union to the state
    • The governor with the consent of the central government may delegate the executive functions of the state to the union
    • This mutual delegation could be either conditional or unconditional
    • The constitution also provides for delegation of union executive functions to the state without the consent of the state. However, such delegation is made by Parliament and not President. However, a state cannot delegate its executive power in the same way
  • Cooperation between the centre and the states: The following provisions have been included to secure cooperation and coordination between the centre and the states
    • Parliament can provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution and control of waters of any inter-state river and river valleys
    • President can establish an Inter-state council to investigate and discuss subject of common interest between the centre and the states.
    • Full faith and credit is to be given throughout the territory of India to public acts, records and judicial proceedings of the centre and every state
    • Parliament can appoint an appropriate authority to carry out the purposes of the constitutional provisions relating to the interstate freedom of trade, commerce and intercourse


All-India services

  • In 1947, the colonial Indian Civil Service (ICS) and Indian Police (IP) was replaced by Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) respectively
  • In 1966, Indian forest service (IFS) was created as the third All-India service
  • Article 312 of the Indian constitution enables Parliament to create an All-India service based on a resolution passed by the Rajya Sabha to that effect
  • These three form a single service with common rights and status and uniform scales of pay throughout the country
  • Importance of AIS:
  • help in maintaining high standard of administration in the centre as well in the states
  • help to ensure uniformity of the administrative system throughout the country
  • they further liaison, cooperation, coordination and joint action on the issues of common interest between the centre and the states


Public Service Commission

  • In this field, the centre-state relations is as follows:
  • Chairman and members of the state public service commission are appointed by the governor, however, they can only be dismissed the President
  • Parliament can appoint a joint public service commission if two or more states request for it, in such cases, President appoints the chairman and members of the state public service commission
  • UPSC can serve the needs of the state public service commission on the request of the governor and the approval of the President
  • UPSC assists the states in framing and operating schemes of joint recruitment for any services for which candidates possessing special qualifications are required


Integrated Judicial system

  • An integrated judicial system has been setup even though India has a dual polity
  • This single system of court enforces both the central as well as the state laws
  • The judges of a high court are appointed by the President of India in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and governor of the state. They can also be removed or transferred by the President
  • Parliament has been authorized to setup common high courts for two or more states


Relations during emergency

  • During National emergency, the centre can issue directions to a state on any matter
  • During President’s rule, the president can assume to himself the functions of the state government and powers vested in the governor or any other executive authority in the state
  • During financial emergency, the centre can direct the states to observe canons of financial propriety and the President can give other necessary directions including the reduction of salaries of persons serving in the state and the high court judges


Other provisions related to centre-state relations in the executive sphere

  • Article 355 imposes two duties in the centre:
    • To protect every state against external aggression and internal disturbance
    • To ensure that the government of every state is carried in accordance with provisions of the constitution
  • The governor of state is appointed by the president. He holds office during the pleasure of the President.
  • The state election commissioner though appointed by the governor of the state, can be removed only by the President
  • Apart from the above, there are various extra-constitutional methods to seek centre-state cooperation. Ex: Forums such as National Integration council, chief minister’s conference etc