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What is the Main Difference Between a Federal Form of Government and a Unitary One? Explain with an Example. - Social Science

Short Note

What is the main difference between a federal form of government and a unitary one? Explain with an example.

Distinguish between the unitary form of government and the federal form of government.

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Solution 1

In a federal form of government, the central government shares its powers with the various constituent units of the country. For example, in India, power is divided between the government at the Centre and the various State governments. 

In a unitary form of government, all the power is exercised by only one government. For example, in Sri Lanka, the national government has all the powers.

Solution 2

A unitary form of government is one wherein all the powers are concentrated in the hands of the central government. The central government delegates authority to local units that are created by it. These local units are referred as local governments. Countries like England, France, and Japan have Unitary Governments. Unitary Governments are suitable for smaller countries.

K. C. Where describes the federal principle as the method of divided power so that the general and regional governments are each within a sphere co-ordinate and independent.

Federalism is the theory of federal political order, wherein final authority is divided between sub-units and a center. Unlike a unitary state, sovereignty is constitutionally split at two tiers. Unlike Unitary form, in the Federal system the Constitution has absolute supremacy. There is also devolution of powers between the central government and state governments. Further an independent judiciary is a key feature of Federalism. The Indian system is relatively federal in nature with states enjoying reasonable powers on a number of subjects like law and order. The Judiciary in India too is independent and often gives verdicts that go against the governments. 

Concept: Decentralisation in India
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