Difference Between State Government and Union Government of India


State Government vs Union Government of India
 

Difference between state government and union government of India is mainly in the responsibility of each government section. India has a parliamentary democracy system of governance with bicameral legislature both at the central as well as state levels. The Union of India is divided into 29 states that have their own elected governments in place. There is a well laid out constitution that defines the roles, functions, and responsibilities of both the central as well as state governments so that they keep functioning within their domains without any friction. There are many differences in these duties that will be harped upon in this article.

More about Union Government of India

Union government of India is also known as the central government of India. India is a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic. Though the government in India is federal in nature like the US, the central government in India has more powers than the federal government in US. This is where the polity in India gets closer to the parliamentary system of democracy of UK. The constitution of India talks about subjects (union list) that are within the jurisdiction of the central government, those that are within the jurisdiction of state governments (state list), and a concurrent list in which both central as well as state governments can make laws. National defense, foreign policy, currency and monetary policies are in Union list and looked after exclusively by central government. Central government has no role to play in the subjects that come under the state list. The leader of the Union government is the Prime Minister as he is the one with executive powers.

Difference Between State Government and Union Government of India

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (2015)

More about State Government of India

Law and order, local administration and governance, and collection of some important taxes are in the state list,and they are looked after by the state governments. Central government has no role to play in these subjects within the states. State governments make laws regarding subjects in their list as they deem fit for the welfare and development of the state.

Some states in India have a bicameral legislature just like the central government while others have a unicameral legislature. The seven states that have bicameral legislature are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir, Andra Pradesh, and Telangana. The rest of the states in India have unicameral legislature. Chief Minister at the state level is the head of the government just likethe Prime Minister at the central level, and he is the person who is responsible for the development of the state. He is the head of the party that gets the majority in elections that are held after every 5 years. If you consider the economy, some of the states are rich while others are poor, deficient in resources, and are dependent upon grants and loans from the center for their development. State governments are free to make and implement programs for the development of the state and to uplift the people. However, they are dependent upon the largesse of the central government though the resources of the central government are distributed among all the states in proportion to their area and population.

Difference Between State Government and Union Government of India

Prithviraj Chavan, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, India (2010 – 2014)

This is precisely why state governments try to keep amenable relations with the government in power at the center. When the same party is in power at both central and state level, the relations are obviously harmonious, but the situation is different when an opposition party is in power at the state level.

What is the difference between State Government and Union Government of India?

• The powers of both central and state governments are clearly demarcated in the constitution of India.

• State governments receive revenues from the central government in proportion to their population and area and also when they face a calamity.

• The leader of the union government is the Prime Minister while the leader of the state government is the Chief Minister of each state.

• Central government has the power to take control of state government in case of breakdown of law and order in accordance with the article 356 of the constitution.

• Union government or the central government has the power over subjects such as national defense, foreign policy, currency and monetary policies.

• State government has the power over subjects such as law and order, local administration and governance, and collection of some important taxes.

• Some subjects are in a concurrent list; namely, education, transport, criminal law, etc. where both governments can issue ordinances and enact laws.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
  2. Prithviraj Chavan, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, India (2010 – 2014) by World Economic Forum (CC BY-SA 2.0)