What is federalism-

       Federation is an association of the States. In Federation Central and State government possesses sovereign power. According to A.V.Dicey federalism means the distribution of the powers of the State of a number of co-ordinate bodies each originating is and controlled by the constitution.

Must Read...Is Indian constitution Federal question?

Essential features of federalism-

Essentials of federalism are as follows-

1) Dual Government- 
   A dual system of government is essential under the federal constitution. Federation denotes a particular type of relationship between Central Government and government of units. There cannot be a federation without two sets of government (Central Government and State/regional government) States are not administrative agency of the centre. They are supreme and independent in their own sphere of activities.

2) Distribution of powers-
    The distribution of powers is an essential feature of federalism. Federalism ensures independence and coordination between both the government the governments are not dependent upon each other.

3) A Written constitution-
    A federal constitution must almost necessarily be a written constitution.  the written constitution provides the sovereign powers of both governments (for example, Centre and State).  In case disputes and issues arise between these two institutions, it can be settled with the provisions of the constitution.

4) Supremacy of the constitution

      A Federal state derives its existence from the constitution, just as a corporation derives its existence from the grant by which it is created. Hence every power,  executive,  legislative or judicial whether it belongs to the nation or to the individual State is subordinate to and controlled by the constitution. The constitution is supreme law of the land and therefore the provisions of the Constitution shall prevail over all other laws.

5) Independent judiciary

      An independent judiciary is an integral part of a federal form of government. In a federal State, the legal Supremacy of the Constitution is essential for the existence of the federal system.  A Federal state involves division of powers between the central and state government under the framework of Constitution. It is, therefore, essential to maintain this division of powers between the two levels of governments. Sometimes disputes between centre and state government arises in respect of any particular matter. Some third independent authority must resolve such dispute and this task is entrusted to the Judiciary, Hence, the independence of Judiciary is essential n federalism. The Judiciary has, in a federal polity, the final power to interpret the constitution and guard the entrenched provisions of the constitution.

6) Rigidity of the constitution-

     A natural corollary of a written constitution is rigidity. A constitution of which is the supreme law of the land must also be rigid. The principle of supremacy of the Constitution and the rigidity of the Constitution goes hand in hand. Federal constitution has to be a rigid and constitutional law has to be placed the above ordinary law. In a rigid constitution, the procedure of amendment is very complicated and difficult. but it does not mean that the constitution should be legally unalterable. it simply means that the power of amending the Constitution should not remain exclusively with either the central or state Governments

7) Dual system of court-
     In federalism, there is a division of Judiciary between the federal and state governments. Cases arising out of the Federal Constitution and Federal laws are tried by the federal courts, while State Court deal with cases arising out of the State Constitution and State Law.

See...The Constitution of India and High Courts

8) Division of public services -

    In federalism, it is essential that there must be the division of public services. in the United States of America, have their own officials to administer their respective laws and functions. Generally, the officials of Federal and State Governments are separate to execute the law.

9) Dual system of accounts and Audit machinery -

     In federalism, there is separate accounts and Audit machinery for Federal Government and state governments in the ideal form of Federation

10) Dual system of election machinery

     In federalism, there is a separate election machinery for Federal and State Government to deal with election process effectively.

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