Indian system is federal with unitary bias i.e. it provides for regional autonomy but at the same time the centre is more powerful than the states. Also the states can’t cede from the union. The constitution also doesn’t mention federation anywhere. This is since a federation is formed by agreement between the units which isn’t the case in India. Canadian model of federation is used in India.

Federal features of the constitution   

Federal features of the constitution are dual government, written constitution, and independent judiciary, division of powers, bicameralism and rigid constitution.

Unitary features of the constitution   

Unitary features are unequal representation to the states at the centre, integrated judiciary, single citizenship, appointment of governors, all India services, veto over state bills, preference of union and concurrent list over state list, integrated audit and election machinery, indestructible centre and destructible states, emergency powers and constitutional provisions of allowing centre to give directions to states.

Federalism is a compromise between normal divisions of powers under which states enjoy autonomy within their own spheres and the need for a strong union under exceptional circumstances.


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