Devolution of Power to States

India has a federal government which is tilted towards union government. Union government has more control over financial and economic affairs. At the time of Independence most of the states and central government had congress government so there were not much issues but later on it changed and so conflicts started where central was controlling the states. States for these reasons are demanding more powers and more financial autonomy.
  1. Many states have demanded division of powers should be changed and it should now be in favour of states, they want more important powers for states.
  2. Independent sources of revenue and greater control over the resources is another demand of many states
  3. Administrative control is another demand as Indian administrative services officers work in states but they are controlled by central government so states say that central government is interfering in their jobs.
  4. There is autonomy demands related to culture and languages also.
  5. Many states have resented the role of governor also and said governors interfere in their jobs.
India’s government is going through a period of restructuring. The government has taken many initiatives to strengthen the federal character of India:-
  1. 14th finance commission has awarded an increase in the share of tax revenue to the states.
  2. Central government has passed the control of many centrally-sponsored schemes to the states.
  3. The setting up of NITI aayog will ensure more meaning voice to the states.
But along-with these initiatives the central government need to take certain steps to  work efficiently in the post-devolution era:-
  1. Cutting down of ministries to a more rational size as the supervision of many centrally sponsored schemes have been shifted to the states.
  2. Distributing the staff of these cut down ministries to the states which lack manpower capacity.
  3. Coordination networks must be strengthened for creating synergies. Dedicated offices for this purpose could be created within Ministries.
  4. Technical capacity of states must be augmented. For this purpose centre must create mechanisms to extend its roots to the states for capacity building.
  5. Monitoring & Audit must receive renewed thrust. Since many of the states have doubtful audit mechanisms. CAG must be engaged for the purpose. Work could be delegated to civil society organizations.
  6. Reform the bureaucracy – such reforms will infuse vibrancy into “babudom”. Competitive environment will unlock efficiency and add to better governance.
Thus the decentralization is not an insulated exercise. It is well affected by externalities, including the role of centre in a post-devolution framework. The centre must take to this path & achieve the desired goal of “minimum government & maximum governance” in the devolved framework.
Note: Article 263 Interstate council and Zonal Councils – May be used as a forum to promote regional cohesiveness and give unified direction.
What are the demands raised by States in their quest for greater autonomy? Discuss recent measures, if any taken, to give more autonomy to states. (200 Words)
It is said that with more devolution of powers to states, the central government needs its own restructuring and reforms to be implemented to function efficiently post-devolution scenario. Comment on these impending restructuring and reforms measures. (200 Words)

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