Administrative Relations Between Centre And State

administrative relations between centre and state
administrative relations between centre and state

Various government policies laid down in the Indian Constitution are crucial for the democratic functioning of the country and the idea of national federalism at large. The Constitution defines the distribution of powers between the state and center. The Constitution talks about the division of powers such as legislative power, executive powers, and financial powers and the role the centre-state relations plays in each. In Part XI of the Indian Constitution, Articles 256 to 263 discusses the administrative relations between the centre and state governments.

This topic holds importance for UPSC Preparation for Indian Polity and Governance Syllabus. This article on administrative relations between centre and state will discuss the administrative ties between both the central government and state government. The Centre-State relations in the federal structure of India are studied under three heads:

  1. Legislative relation
  2. Administrative relation
  3. Financial relation

Administrative Relations Between Centre And State

As discussed earlier, the administrative power relations between centre and state are described in Articles ranging from Article 256 to Article 263 of the Indian Constitution. In Article 246, the Constitution discusses various subjective laws that can be made by the Central Government and State Legislative Assemblies. Three lists are mentioned in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution dividing subjects between the Centre and States:

List I Union List
List II State List
List III Concurrent List

The Central Government, in general, has administrative control over topics over which the Parliament has legislative authority. The State Government is in charge of the administrative matters contained in the State List. These lists define the federal structure of Indian democracy.

Distribution Of Executive Powers

  1. The Centre’s Executive Authority encompasses the entire country. A state’s executive power extends to areas where the state legislature has exclusive legislative power.
  2. Unless a Constitutional prerequisite or parliamentary act expressly vests executive power in the Centre, the executive power belongs to the states in subjects where both the state legislatures and the Parliament have legislative jurisdiction.

Directions To The States

In line with the Administrative Relations between Centre and State governments, States are liable to follow directions of the Centre for executing their executive powers in the areas given below:

  1. The state’s construction and upkeep of communication infrastructure;
  2. Provision of appropriate facilities for students from linguistic minority groups in the state to receive primary school education in their mother tongue.
  3. Developing and implementing specific programs related to welfare scheme/s of the state’s Scheduled Tribes.
  4. The coercive sanction underpinning the Central Directions under Article 365 also applies in specific circumstances.
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  1. There is an unbalanced state when it comes to legislative authority between the center and state governments.
  2. This results in a situation where the states can not ask the Parliament of India for passing legislation on a state’s issue. Likewise, the Centre lacks the authority to delegate legislative authority to the states.
  3. In the executive division, a sharp division can lead to clashes between the central government and the state government. As a result, inter-state assignment of executive responsibilities is permitted by the Constitution in order to reduce rigidity.


  1. Parliament can adjudicate any dispute between two states pertaining to the consumption, distribution, and management of waters of inter-state rivers and/or river valleys.
  2. Under Article 263 of the Indian Constitution, the President of India can fabricate an Inter-state Council to look into topics of mutual interest between the Centre and States. In 1990, the Inter-State Council was set up.
  3. The public acts, documents, and judicial proceedings of the Centre and each state are to be given complete faith and credit throughout India.
  4. In order to implement the constitutional provisions controlling interstate trade, commerce, and communications, Parliament has the authority to designate the proper authority.


  1. In order to give the Centre enough authority to use its executive dominion completely, the Constitution establishes two constraints on the state’s executive control and the subsequent centralisation of power
  2. This resulted in a limitation on the state’s executive power that it could only be exerted in ways described below:
    • It must ensure compliance with parliamentary legislation and/or any existing law pertaining to the state.
    • The state does not obstruct or prejudice any sort of exercise of the Centre’s executive power in the state.
  3. While the latter places a specific requirement on the state to not block the Central government’s executive power, the former places a general obligation on the state.
  4. In case of any kind of state’s failure to comply with any instructions issued by the Centre, Article 365 provides that the President may declare that there comes a circumstance for which the state’s administration cannot be carried out in accordance with the Constitution’s provisions.
  5. This means that in such cases, Article 356 can be invoked and the state can be placed under Presidential rule.
  6. Both The Centre and the States have their own public services. They are referred to as Central Services and State Services.
  7. Centre and States share the control of all Indian services like IFS, IPS, and IAS. Centre has the ultimate control but the state has direct control.
  8. However, only the Parliament has the power to form additional “all-India service”.
  9. A public service commission and its body can only be designated by the President. The authority of removal is also with the President of India.
  10. The UPSC is in charge of developing recruitment strategies and selecting candidates for certain programs.
  11. Judicial Functions: The president picks the judges of the high court with the help of the governor and the Chief Justice of India.
  12. Relations During Emergency: In the case of any national emergency, the Centre has the authority to issue executive orders to a state on any subject (as defined by Article 352).
  13. In the case of a financial emergency, the Centre could perhaps instruct states to follow economic propriety canons and issue other appropriate directives, such as reducing state employee compensation. (under Article 360).

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The Indian Constitutional Machinery aims at establishing cooperative federalism in India. The States are given specific autonomy in various regards. The Administrative relations and division of powers between Centre and State governments clearly show this. This ensures that administration and policies on all levels stay efficient and nobody, knowingly or unknowingly, creates contentious issues in the other’s administrative work. However, to maintain a balance the Centre is obviously given more power over the State. This, sometimes, create political power tensions and national issues in centre-state relations. We hope this article helped you with your query about the basic structure of Administrative Relations between Centre and State.

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