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Sarkaria Commission: An Insightful Overview of its Recommendations and Observations
The term “Sarkaria Commission”, have its own depth and weight in the history of Indian polity with regarding of the center states relations in India. It is a most important topic for any student or Candidate who studying Indian polity. There were many suggestions or recommendations by the Sarkaria commission that was implemented by the Government of India so far.
If you are a candidate who is preparing for the government exam in India and also want to increase the deep knowledge about Sarkaria commission and its recommendations, then please read this article entirely for your own benefits.
So, let's start-
Making of Sarkaria Commission
The Sarkaria Commission was formed by the Central Government of India in 1983 to examine and recommend changes to the Centre-State relations framework in the country. The commission was set up under the chairmanship of Justice Ranjit Singh Sarkaria, a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India.
The primary objective of the commission was to review and recommend changes to the existing distribution of powers and responsibilities between the central and state governments, and to suggest ways to strengthen the federal structure of the country.
The commission submitted its report in 1988 after five years of extensive study and consultation with experts, policymakers, and stakeholders.
Observations of Sarkaria Commission
Sarkaria Commission Observed many loopholes and fault lines in the administration and relation of the center state relations. We have listed a few of most important and popular observations of Sarkaria Commission below-
- The Constitution of India provided a balanced and workable framework for center-state relations.
- The misuse of Article 356 (President's rule) had become a matter of serious concern.
- The principle of federalism needed to be preserved, and there was a need for mutual respect and cooperation between the center and the states.
- The role of the Governor needed to be redefined to ensure that the office did not become an extension of the center's will.
- There was a need to strengthen the Inter-State Council as an effective forum for discussion and coordination between the center and the states.
- The financial position of the states needed to be strengthened to enable them to discharge their responsibilities effectively.
- The center should take steps to decentralize its administration and devolve powers to the states.
- The distribution of legislative powers needed to be reviewed to ensure that the center did not encroach upon the jurisdiction of the states.
- There was a need to review the working of the various all-India services to ensure that they remained responsive to the needs of the states.
- The center should ensure that it consulted the states before making any major policy decisions that affected them.
Objective of Sarkaria Commission
The main objective of the Sarkaria Commission was to examine and review the relationship and balance of power between the Union government and the State governments in India. Here are five specific objectives of it:
- To suggest measures to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the central-state relations in India.
- To suggest measures to promote cooperative federalism and harmonious relations between the Union government and State governments.
- To review the existing provisions of the Constitution relating to central-state relations and suggest changes, if required.
- To examine the role and responsibilities of the Governor in the state administration.
- To suggest measures for the better utilization of resources and development of the country as a whole.
Significance of Sarkaria Commission
The Sarkaria Commission's significance lies in its comprehensive and detailed examination of the Centre-State relationship in India. Its recommendations have been instrumental in shaping the nature of this relationship and the functioning of the federal system in India.
Some of the key contributions of the Sarkaria Commission are mentioned below-
Detailed Analysis of Issues
The Commission conducted a thorough analysis of various issues related to Centre-State relations and provided valuable insights into the functioning of the federal system.
Recommendations for Improving Centre-State Relations
The Commission made several recommendations for improving the Centre-State relationship, which have been implemented by the government over the years.
Framework for Cooperation
The Commission provided a framework for cooperation between the Centre and States in various areas, such as legislative and administrative relations, financial relations, and emergency provisions.
Improved Fiscal Federalism
The Commission's recommendations have helped to strengthen fiscal federalism in India by improving the distribution of resources between the Centre and States.
Promotion of National Unity
The Commission emphasized the need for promoting national unity and integrity through the strengthening of the federal system, which has helped to maintain the unity and diversity of India.
Recommendations of Sarkaria Commission
Here we have added a few of most important and popular recommendations made by the Sarkaria Commission below-
Restructuring of the Concurrent List
The Commission recommended that the Concurrent List should be restructured and entries should be added or deleted to bring clarity to the respective powers of the Centre and the states.
The Commission recommended that the Inter-State Council should be revived and reconstituted to promote cooperative federalism and facilitate consultation between the Centre and the states.
The Commission recommended that the Governor should play a more proactive role in facilitating communication and cooperation between the Centre and the states, particularly in times of political crises.
Appointment of Governors
The Commission recommended that the process of appointment of Governors should be made more transparent and consultative.
The Commission recommended that the distribution of financial resources between the Centre and the states should be reviewed periodically, and that a permanent finance commission should be established.
Dispute Resolution Mechanisms
The Commission recommended the establishment of a permanent tribunal for resolving inter-state water disputes and the creation of a new mechanism for settling inter-state disputes through negotiation and mediation.
The Commission recommended that the use of emergency powers by the Centre should be limited to situations of grave national importance and that the states should be consulted in advance.
The Commission recommended that administrative reforms should be undertaken to improve the efficiency and accountability of the bureaucracy at both the Centre and the states.
The Commission recommended that electoral reforms should be implemented to ensure free and fair elections and prevent the abuse of power by political parties.
Decentralization of Powers
The Commission recommended that powers should be decentralized to the local level, and that local bodies should be given greater autonomy and resources to enable them to discharge their functions effectively.
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