In this article, we will discuss the Centre-State Administrative Relations in a simple and easy way and understand its various important aspects, So to understand well, definitely read this article till the end, as well as read other articles related to it.

In a federal system country, there can be many types of relations between the center and the state, administrative relations are one of them.

Centre-State Administrative Relations
Centre-State Administrative Relations
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Center-state relationship

 As we know that the Constitution of India is a federal system in itself. And the federal system is based on the principle of division of powers. Which means that all the powers conferred by the constitution such as legislative, executive and financial powers are divided between the center and the states. The center-state relationship is based on this.

Classification of Centre-State Relations

From the point of view of study, the relationship between center and state can be divided into three parts;

1. Centre-State Legislative relations 
2. Centre-State Administrative Relations
3. Centre-State Financial relations

In the earlier article, we understood the legislative relationship between the center and the state. If you have not read that article then read that article first so that things are very clear. In this article we will discuss the  Centre-State Administrative Relations between the Center and the State.

Centre-State Administrative Relations

The administrative relations between the Center and the States have been explained in Part 11 of the Constitution from Articles 256 to 263 . You can see the articles related to the Centre-State Administrative Relations in the chart below. Although apart from this, there are such provisions outside the constitution or constitution which determine the administrative relations between the center and the state, we will also discuss that.

Article numberprovision
Article 256 Obligation of the States and of the Union
Article 257Union control over states in certain cases
Article 257A Assistance to States in the deployment of the Armed Forces or other forces of the Union (Repealed)
Article 258 Power of the Union to confer powers on the States in certain cases, etc.
Article 258A Power of States to entrust functions to the Union
Article 259 Armed Forces in the States in Part B of the First Schedule (Repealed)
Article 260 Jurisdiction of the Union in relation to territories outside India
Article 261 Public Works, Records and Judicial Proceedings
Article 262 Adjudication of water disputes of inter-state rivers
Article 263 Provisions with respect to the Inter-State Council

Sharing of executive powers

We have learned in the Central-State Legislative Relations, how the legislative subjects of the Center and the State have been separated by making three lists.

Now, just as the Center can make legislation on the subjects of the Union List, so to implement that legislation, the Center can also do administration on that legislation. If we look on this basis, we already know that the center has a lot more subjects than the state to make laws, so obviously the executive or administrative powers of the center will also be more than that of the state. And there is too. The administrative powers of the center are spread over the whole of India, while the executive power of the state extends only within its limits.

Secondly, both can make laws on the subjects of the Concurrent List list, then both can also administer on that basis. However, Parliament can also direct executive powers to the state if it so desires.

Classification of Centre-State Administrative Relations

For ease of understanding, we divide the center-state administrative relationship into four parts.

1. Control of the center over the administration of the state
2. Supportive aspects of the center-state administrative relations
3. Extra-constitutional strategies of the center-state administrative relations
4. Other provisions of the center-state administrative relations

1. Control of the center over the administration of the state

The executive power of each State shall be so exercised as to ensure compliance with the laws made by Parliament and such existing laws as are in force in that State. and the executive power of the Union shall extend to the giving of such directions to any State as may appear to the Government of India to be necessary for that purpose.

Overall Article 256 and 257 are related to the obligation of the states and the union, in which mainly two things have been said

(1) The State shall not contempt any law made by Parliament. That is, the state is bound to obey the law made by the Parliament. And,

(2) Secondly, the State shall never obstruct the executive powers of the Center and shall not prejudice it.

In this way, these are two restrictions which apply to the state. It is the duty of the state to follow it. On the other hand, it is also the responsibility of the center to get it done by the state.

If the state contempts or refuses to implement the laws made by the center, then under article 365 it will be sufficient reason that the center can impose President’s rule there under article 356 and take all the powers. could. (Read from here – State Emergency )

Centre-State Administrative Relations during Emergency

1. During national emergency, Article 352 empowers the Center to direct the state or states on any matter. In this situation, the state becomes completely under the control of the center. However they are not suspended. 

2. During President’s rule which is mentioned in Article 356; All the executive powers of the state rest with the President. To come to the President means to come to the Center, because the President acts only on the advice of the Center.

Under Article 355, it is the duty of the Center to
1. Protect every State from external aggression and internal disturbance and 

2. To ensure whether the government of each state is functioning in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. 

3. During financial emergency, Article 360 ​​empowers the Center to direct the states to acquire financial assets. And the President may, if he so desires, order to cut the salaries of all government servants and judges of the High Court working in the state. 

Unified justice system

Although dual political system has been adopted in India but there is no dual policy in the matter of judicial administration. In other words, a unified judicial system has been established.

In this, the Supreme Court is at the highest level and the High Court comes below it and the District and Sessions Court comes under this High Court.

This single system ensures compliance with the legislations of both the Center and the State. Although this system has been adopted to eliminate mutual conflict and confusion, but overall the concentration of powers is at the center.

Center instructions to states

Looking at some other aspects of Article 257, it establishes the control of the Union over the states in certain cases. Under this, the center can direct the state to exercise its executive powers on the following matters:-

1. To maintain the means of communication,
2. To protect the railway property in the State, 
3. To make arrangements for the learning of mother tongue at the level of primary education for the children belonging to the linguistic minority group belonging to the State,
4. Make and implement special schemes for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes in the State. 

However, if there is an additional cost in compliance with any direction given by the Center for the protection of the means of communication or railways, then the Government of India will bear that extra amount to the state.

2. Collaborative Aspects of Centre-State Administrative Relations

There are many areas where there is mutual cooperation in center-state administrative relations , such as;

All India Services

These are public central services. Its officers provide their services in high positions under the center and states. But their appointment and training is done by the Centre.

At present there are three All India Services – (1) IAS (2) IPS (3) IFS .

Full control of these officers remains with the Center, but as long as these officers work under a state cadre; The immediate control rests with the state government.

Thus, both the Center and the states jointly control these officers. But since the ultimate control rests with the Centre, it is said that the All India Services violates the autonomy of the state; But it is also supported on the following grounds-

1. For the maintenance of high level administration at the center and the state,
2. To ensure the system of administrative integration throughout the country,
3. For cooperation and joint work in relation to the collective interests of the center-state. 

State Public Service Commission

By the way, the Constitution has given the right to the states to constitute their own public services. States also have their own Public Service Commission.

In any state, the officers of the State Public Service and the officers of the Union Public Service work together in the spirit of mutual cooperation.

The following is the Centre-State relationship in the context of Public Service Commission ;

(1) The Governor appoints the chairman and members of the State Public Service Commission, but the work of removing them is done by the President.

(2) Parliament may, if it so desires, constitute a Joint State Public Service Commission by combining two states, but it can be done on the request of the legislature of the respective states. Its chairman and members are appointed by the President. (Read from here – State Public Service Commission and Union Public Service Commission )

(3) On the request of the Governor and after getting the approval of the President, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) can work as per the requirement of the state. 

Executive functions at the level of President and Governor

As we know that India is a federal state and the constitution here does not allow at all that the center gives its legislative powers to the state and at the same time, even if the only state wants, it cannot ask the center to make laws for it.. In such a situation, the role of the President and the Governor increases here so  that the situation of conflict does not arise .

Under Article 258, the President can, with the concurrence of the State Government, entrust any executive function of the Center to it.

But in certain circumstances, the Center can do so without the consent of the states. Such work can be done by Parliament. For example, the Center can give a law made by the Parliament on the subject of the Union List such as ‘ Allocation of Powers and Right to Impose Tax ‘ to the State without its consent. Whereas the State cannot act here.

  • Remember here that only executive functions can be delegated under this clause, not legislative or judicial.

Similarly, under Article 258A , the Governor of a State , with the consent of the Center, gets his work done in the State. This matter of mutual agreement sometimes goes on conditionally and sometimes unconditionally.  

Overall, the point to be understood here is that Article 258 authorizes the Union to delegate its functions to the State with the consent of the State. And similarly Article 258A (which was added in 1956) authorizes the State to delegate its functions to the Union with the consent of the Union.

The governors of the states are appointed by the President . His tenure depends on the mercy of the President.

Besides being the constitutional head of the state, the governor acts as an agent of the Centre. He reports to the Center from time to time the administrative affairs of the State. In this way, it can be said that the governor acts as a bridge between the center and the state.

water dispute

Article 262 – Adjudication of disputes relating to waters of inter-state rivers or river basins

Parliament can adjudicate on any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution and control of the waters of any inter-state river or river basin. 

In such matters, Parliament has the power to provide by law that the Supreme Court or any other court shall not exercise its jurisdiction in such matters.

[For specific information in this regard , read the relation between the State and the State ]

Coordination between states

Under Article 263 , the President can constitute an Inter-State Council to investigate and debate matters of collective importance between the Center and the States. If disputes have arisen between the states, such a council may also be constituted to inquire into and advise thereon.

3. Extra-Constitutional Devices of Centre-State Administrative Relations

Apart from the above mentioned constitutional devices, there are many other extra-constitutional devices to further strengthen the centre-state administrative relations.

These include a large number of consulting bodies and conferences organized at the central level, such as –

Non-constitutional consultative body

Non-constitutional advisory bodies include – NITI Aayog , National Development CouncilNational Integration Council , Central Health Council , Central Council for Local Government and Urban Development , Regional Councils, North East Council, Central Indian Medical Council, Transport Development Council, University Grants Commission etc. 

Extra-constitutional convention

Various topics are discussed either annually or as required for the development of centre-state administrative relations.

These topics are as follows – Conference of Governors (presided over by the President), Conference of Chief Ministers (presided over by the Prime Minister), Conference of Chief Secretaries (presided by the Cabinet Secretary), Conference of Director Generals of Police, Conference of Chief Justices , Conference of Vice Chancellors, Conference of Home Ministers, Conference of Law Ministers etc.

4. Other provisions of Centre-State administrative relations

Article 261 – Public works, records and judicial proceedings

The public works, records and judicial proceedings of the Union and of each State shall be given full confidence and full recognition throughout the territory of India.

In addition, final judgments or orders made by civil courts in any part of the territory of India may be executed anywhere within that territory in accordance with law.

Article 260 – Jurisdiction of the Union with respect to territories outside India

The Government of India may, by agreement with the Government of any territory which is not a part of the territory of India, undertake upon itself the executive, legislative or judicial functions vested in the Government of such territory, provided that every such agreement is for the time being in relation to the exercise of foreign jurisdiction. shall be subject to and governed by any law in force.

Overall this is the Centre-State Administrative Relations, hopefully understandable. The link to the next part is being given, must also read it – Center-State Financial Relations

Centre-State Administrative Relations Practice Quiz – upsc

Finance Commission Article 280

Inter-State Water Disputes, Inter-State Council

Cauvery Water Dispute: History, Present and Settlements