federalisms of US and India

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federalisms of US and India
  Being the largest democratic countries in the world, both United States and India are based on federalism in their political structure. US became a Federal Republic State by promulgating its constitution in the year1789; whereas India became a Socialist, Sovereign, Secular, Democratic Republic by formally launching its constitution only in the year 1950.Thereby both countries attained dominion status in which a number of smaller states got affiliated forming a union with a strong central government that came to be called as Federal Government in the US and Central Government in India. Thus both states became Federal Republics. While framing the Indian constitution, its drafting committee headed by Dr.Ambedkar, had borrowed many salient features from various constitutions in the world including US but adopted them in the Indian context. Hence, both U.S and India, despite being federal in structure have many similarities and differences between them. Differences between the federalisms of US and India:-  The differences that exist between the federalisms of US and India are unique. These differences have been wantonly created by the architects of the Indian constitution. The US federalism is very strong and more rigid as envisaged in their constitution by its leaders. It is more federal than character Whereas, India is more unitary than federal and we can even say that it is a quasi-federal state. 1) The Constitution of US is very rigid than the Indian Constitution:-  i)The constitution of US is very brief and rigid running into only a few pages, whereas the constitution of India is very voluminous containing as many as XXII parts, 395 articles and ten schedules. Since the US constitution is very rigid, the provisions meant for amending the constitution are also very rigid and more formal. The last amendment carried out in the US constitution was in the year 1992.Between the period 1989 and 1992, the US constitution has been amended only 27 times, in which the 21 st amendment was to reverse the 18 th amendment Whereas, the Indian constitution which came into force in the year 1950, has so far been amended 94 times.Therefore, it is easy to amend the Indian constitution, since it involves four different types of procedures which are comparatively easy than the US constitution. For example, recently, the salaries and allowances of the Indian MPs have been hiked through a voice vote of the members of the Indian Parliament, whereas in the US, the 27 th amendment srcinally proposed on 25th September, 1789, was ratified on May 7 th, 1992, regulating the provision for varying the compensation of the members of the House of Senate and Representatives. ii) In the US, though there is a Federal Constitution, all the states affiliated with the Federal Government,owing their allegiance to the Federal Constitution, have their own constitutions to regulate their own governance. In India, all the states affiliated with the Indian Union owe their allegiance only to the Indian constitution and do not have their own constitution; however, each state is empowered to enact its own laws included in the state as well as in the concurrent list of the constitution. 2) While US have Presidential form of Government, India has Parliamentary form of Government:-     In the US, the President is the head of the state and so his government is invariably mentioned as the Presidential form of government or democracy; In India, the President is only a nominal head or titular sovereign power;( dejure sovereign),whereas the Prime Minister and his cabinet is the defacto or popular sovereign in whom the real power exists.In the US, the President is popularly elected ,besides chosen through an electoral college.However, nominating a candidate for contesting the Presidential election by his own party is a cumbersome process in US. This process is comparatively simpler than the Indian system of forming the cabinet and electing the Prime Minister from a party which enjoys a majority of elected members of the Lok Sabha.While US follows the bi-party system, India has a multi-party system and a complicated process of election US President holds power for a period of 4 years,while the Indian Prime Minister holds power for five years as long as his political party enjoys majority in the Lok Sabha. However, the US President irrespective of his affiliation with a political party, Republican or Democrat and irrespective of his party’s success or failure in the elections for the House of Representatives or the House of Senate, he holds power for his full tenure. A person in the US can hold the post of President only for two terms, whereas, in India there is no such restriction to hold the post of a Prime Minister or President. For example, Nehru was the Prime Minister of India between 1947 and 1964 for a period of 17 years. The Indian cabinet and the Prime Minister are collectively and directly responsible and answerable to the parliament and indirectly to the people, whereas, the US President has constitutional obligations and duties and of course answerable to the people. For the dereliction of duty and blunder committed by a cabinet minister in India, the Prime Minister and his entire cabinet colleagues are liable,responsible and answerable, because they have collective responsibilities. 3) Differences between the legislatures of US and India:-  In India, the lower house or the Lok Sabha is more powerful and its members are directly elected by the people and the members of the Upper house or Rajya Sabha is indirectly elected every two years. The Lok Sabha members represent their constituencies on the basis of their population strength; In the US, the House of Representatives are elected on the basis of the population strength of a state, but irrespective of the size of the state or its population, each state in the US has only two senate members, totaling 100 members in all in the US. While the Lok Sabha or the lower house is more powerful in India, the House of Senate or the upper house is more powerful in the US. While a Senate member in the US is directly elected, a Rajya Sabha member in India is indirectly elected by a system of proportional and transferable voting system. 4) Differences in the judicial system between US and India:-  While US have an advanced judicial system, India has a rapidly developing judicial system. An accused or a witness in the US can depose from the place where he is imprisoned, thereby avoiding unnecessary travel all the way from Chicago or Los Angels to New York using advanced technology. Such facilities are yet to develop in India.While a Judge in the US can hold his post for life as long as he enjoys his good  health, in India it is slightly different. A District judge unless elevated retires at the age of 58, a High Court and a Supreme court Judge retires at the age of 65. Thus both US Federalism and Indian Federalism, despite having limitations are by and large successful.
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