Federalism Full Chapter Class 10 Civics - India-CBSE

key features of federalism
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The student should have basic information about the key features of federalism.


  • All the students appearing or pursuing CBSE GRADE X Democratic politics, All TEACHERS teaching HISTORY in Secondary schools of CBSE in INDIA and ABROAD. All ASPIRANTS of CIVIL SERVICES IN INDIA. ALL HISTORY learners across the world.


  • We begin by describing federalism in general terms.

  •  To understand the theory and practice of federalism in India.

  • Discuss the features of federalism

• Discuss the types of federations.

• The federal constitutional provisions is followed by an analysis of the policies and politics that has strengthened federalism in practice.

What is federalism?

Federalism is a system of government in which power is divided between a central authority and various constituent units of the country.

A federation has two levels of government. Both these levels of governments enjoy their power independent of the other.

  1. One is the government for the entire country that is usually responsible for a few subjects of common national interest.

  2. Governments at the level of provinces or states that look after much of the day-to-day administering of their state.Key Features of Federalism

    Some of the key features of federalism system are:

    1. There are two or more levels (or tiers) of government.

    2. Different tiers of government govern the same citizens, but each tier has its own JURISDICTION in specific matters of legislation, taxation and administration.

    3. The existence and authority of each tier of government is constitutionally guaranteed.

    4. The fundamental provisions of the constitution cannot be unilaterally changed by one level of government. Such changes require the consent of both the levels of government.

    5. Courts have the power to interpret the constitution and the powers of different levels of government.

    6. Sources of revenue for each level of government are clearly specified to ensure its financial autonomy.

    7. The federal system has dual objectives: i) To safeguard and promote the unity of the country ii) Accommodate regional diversity.

    Different Routes Through Which Federations Can be Formed

    Two aspects are crucial for the institutions and practice of federalism: mutual trust between the government of different levels and agreement to live together. There are two kinds of routes through which federations have been formed.

    1. The first route involves independent States coming together on their own to form a bigger unit. This kind of “coming together” federations is formed in the USA, Switzerland and Australia.

    2. The second route is that a large country decides to divide its power between the constituent States and the national government. This kind of ‘holding together’ federations is followed in India, Spain and Belgium countries.

    What Makes India a Federal Country?

    All the features of the federal system apply to the provisions of the Indian Constitution. The Indian Constitution is a three-fold distribution of legislative powers between the Union Government and the State Governments. The 3 lists are mentioned below:

    1) Union List: It includes subjects of national importance such as the defence of the country, foreign affairs, banking, communications and currency. The Union Government alone can make laws relating to the subjects mentioned in this list.

    2) State List: It contains subjects of State and local importance such as police, trade, commerce, agriculture and irrigation. The State Governments alone can make laws relating to the subjects mentioned in this list.

    3) Concurrent List: It includes subjects of common interest to both the Union Government as well as the State Governments. The list includes education, forest, trade unions, marriage, adoption and succession. Both the Union as well as the State Governments can make laws on the subjects mentioned in this list. If their laws conflict with each other, the law made by the Union Government will be considered.

Who this course is for:

  • Students will be able to learn Enable the topics with a little more information which is missing in the NCERT grade X Democratic politics text book chapter-1.


Faculty of Political science and Social science
Seshu Cheera
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I am Seshu Cheera, holding a Master's degree in Political Science and have been teaching since 2008. Have a total experience of 13 years. Love teaching with heart.

I also learned the concepts of "Law of Attraction".

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