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Mains Answer Writing

One of the key components of these exams is the written test, which consists of a number of essay and comprehension questions. Candidates are expected to write clear and well-structured answers that demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the topics being tested.


1) Federalism is a key element of governing democracy. Enumerate traits of federalism and also discuss its role in centre state relation

Answer –

As per KC Wheare, Federalism is a system of shared power and decision-making between two or more freely elected governments with authority over the same people and geographical area, it helps in protecting the interest of the local communities, as well as at higher levels of government.

Federalism as key element of governing democracy –

  1. Mutually supportive – Both federalism and democracy are supportive to one another and help in fulfilling the characteristics of one another.
  2. Devolution of powers to local units- This helps in empowering the local units and thus helps them better policy and schemes as per local needs.
  3. Address the grievances of local people – Democracy envisages to address the local needs and demands of people and empower them.
  4. Provides Autonomy – It provides autonomy to local units to manage their resources and take decisions as per the wish of people.
  5. Cooperative Federalism – It ensures healthy cooperation and collaboration among various units of states and between center and states.

Traits of Federalism –

  1. Cooperation- The division of the entire administration into federal and local administration in a way of cooperation, which eventually helps to promote the interest to citizens in a smooth way.
  2. Build trust between government and people – The trust is important , and for federal units it’s easy to build the trust and cater the support of people in ensuring better governance of the nation.
  3. Distribution of power power, finance and functions – Local units were given autonomy by the center in these units which helps them in fulfilling local needs in a better way.
  4. Creation of mechanism at local levels- This helps the local units in self rule or self governance under their territory –

Role of Federalism importance in Centre-State relations

  1. Separation of power – Centre and states were given their own set of powers, under constitution article 245-263 ensure this.
  2. Build cooperative federalism – Federalism allows for better deliberation and discussion between center and state units for the interest of citizens or prosperity of the nation.
  3. Avoid centralization tendencies – The constitutional divisions of power between different units helps in protecting the states from center excess.
  4. Quasi Federalism – Though in India, a nature of quasi federalism prevalent which provides more power to center in managing states boundaries, during national emergency and protects the constitutional values.
  5. Three tier federalism – In addition to center and states, panchayati raj institutions were also made, which received support from both center and states in addressing the needs of citizens holistically.

Conclusion –

Thus federalism is fundamental concept in smooth functioning of the nation, and helps in managing the governance structure of a democratic system in prudent and efficient manner, eventually obligating to democratic spirit.


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