National Seminar on Indian Federalism

August 25, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

The front view of Centre for Culture and Development, Vadodara

The front view of Centre for Culture and Development, Vadodara

Manglore, August 23, 2012: Mangalorean,  Prof Lancy Lobo, SJ  the Founder Director of the Centre for Culture and Development (CCD) at Vadodara along with several thinkers and intellectuals, many with connections to Mangalore ; supported by Indian Council of Social Science Research (Ministry of HRD – Government of India) are organizing two days National Seminar on “Indian Federalism: Intergovernmental Relations Revisited: Towards a Fresh Balance of Power” on 24th and 25th August, 2012 at the Conference Hall of CCD at Sevasi in Vadodara. This should interest and spur the intelligentsia of  Canara and all over the country too.

An official Press Note states: The keynote address will be delivered by renowned constitutional expert Dr. Subash Kashyap. Her Excellency, the Governor of State of Gujarat Shrimati Dr. Kamala Benival will deliver concluding address. Prof. Lancy Lobo, Dr. Jayesh Shah and Dr. Mrutyunjay Sahu will co- ordinate the seminar. Eminent scholars Prof. A. M. Shah, Prof. Ghanshyam Shah, Prof. Samir Joshi, Prof. J.S. Bandukwala, Prof. Biswaroop Das and Achyut Yagnik will give their expert comments.

In a period of widespread corruption, discontent of economic growth and in the midst of all the tumult in the Indian polity, the issue of Center-state debates is back again. Centre for Culture and Development wishes to initiate a discussion and debate among academicians, social activists, research scholars and organizations that are genuinely committed to federalism and enable the emergence of a common platform to bring about a restructuring of Centre-State relations. The two day seminar will focus on Center-state relation in India. Topics will be discussed on: (1)Theory and Practice of Indian Federalism (2)Federalism and Decentralization (3)Fiscal  Federalism (4)Internal Security and Federalism (5)Regionalism and Federalism and (6) Resource Federalism. After independence, India adopted the federal structure for, perhaps, administrative convenience. The Constitution of India is federal in form but is more unitary in character. Therefore, Centre- State relations, i.e. the arrangements between the Union Government and the States in regard to their powers, functions and responsibilities, have always been a crucial issue.

The framers  of the Indian Constitution were keen on federalism as a functional instrument for the creation of an Indian nation and a strong, cohesive state. The framework of Centre-State relationship had worked fairly smoothly till eighties and the institutions created under or inspired by the Constitution for this purpose enjoyed complete trust and respect of all concerned. Sixty five years of Independence have witnessed tremendous changes and there is immediate need to have a fresh look in an introspective spirit at the Centre-State relations. All is not well with the present federal system. Over the years the Central government adopted increasingly interventionist practices in the States. There are a number of issues that need to be constantly addressed to keep the fine balance of power between the Centre and the states in a federal structure. Centralized planning, through the Planning Commission appointed by the Centre, considerable preponderance in legislative power for the Union, the financial dependency of the states on the Centre’s mercy, the administrative inferiority of the states, aggravated by the appointment of strategic instruments like Governors, Election Commissioner, Comptroller and Auditor General and Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, without reference to the states, make them meek and weak. Also, recent rise of regionalism, NCTC and militancy and naxalite movements needs adequate attention to strengthen Indian federalism. The failure of any one party to gain majority in the Parliament, and the growing dependence of national parties on regional parties to run the government at the centre, has given more elbow room for the federal units to bargain and influence important decisions at the centre. The challenge of environment i.e., green federalism and also water sharing disputes between different states have also been challenged the federal structure of the Indian Constitution.These are some of the issues will be discussed during the process of seminar.

Leading international and national scholars and researchers will be participating and presenting their research papers. Few among them, Prof, Balveer Arora, Padamshri Mr. Prakash Singh, Ex- DG of BSF and Ex-D.G. of Assam, Prof. P.M. Patel, , Prof. S.N. Sangeeta, Dr. Ligia Noronha, Fr. Cedric Prakash, Mr. Nagindas Sanghvi, Prof. R. C. Popat, , Prof. Harihar Bhattacharyya,  Prof. Surya Narayan Misra, Dr. Dhananjay Tripathi, Prof. Susmita Sen Gupta, Prof. Debasish Bhattacharjee will present their research papers during the seminar on various issues.  Website:,  Email:

– mangalore today

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