The Similarities and Differences between American and Indian Federalism – Term Paper Example

The paper “The Similarities and Differences between American and Indian Federalism" is an outstanding example of a term paper on history. The word “Federalism” signifies the distribution of power between the central and the constituent units of the government of a country. This term is generally used for describing the political scenario prevailing in America. It is a system of government which bestows power to both the state and the central governments. The distribution of power among the central and the states is derived from the written constitution. Both forms of government rule directly over the people. It is also sometimes seen as a compromise between the extreme concentration of power and loose confederation of independent states for governing a variety of people living in a large territory. 

Similarities and Dissimilarities with India and USA’s Federal Form of Government
The USA is the largest democratic countries in the world became the Federal republic state in the year 1789 by promulgating its constitution and India on the other hand in the year 1950 by launching its constitution. Smaller states by forming a union got affiliated with the strong central government that came to be called as Federal government in the USA and the central government in India. Both countries have a written form of constitution. Secondly, the USA has got its bill of rights to protect the fundamental rights of the people and India has guaranteed the fundamental rights in the articles 14 to 34 in part iii. Thirdly both countries have Federal forms of government at the center. The law enacted by the center is much more superior to the law passed by the state. Both the countries have three basic divisions of labor and power in the Federal system of government; they are known as an executive, legislature and judiciary. The executive governs the country, the legislature enacts the law, and the judiciary administers justice. Both the countries have the bicameral form of legislature. In USA president is the chief executive head whereas in India prime minister is the head. The USA has got the House of Senate and the House of Representatives as the upper and lower house of the legislature while India has Rajya sabha and Loksabha as the upper and lower houses. A well-organized judiciary is present in both the countries as the apex and the Supreme Court. Lastly, both the countries have a threat to democracies so the divisions of power are somehow or the other checked by the other houses of power.

Firstly, the USA’s constitution is very rigid and has undergone amendment only 27 times but the Indian constitution, on the other hand, is very voluminous and flexible has been amended 94 times. In the USA all the states have their own constitution while in India all the states follow the Indian constitution. Secondly, the USA has the presidential form of government but India has the parliamentary form of government. The USA follows the bi-party system whereas India has got a multi-party system. President of the USA can hold his office for only two terms whereas in India nothing as such rule is there. In India, Loksabha or the lower house is much more powerful while in the USA the upper house i.e., house of a senate is more powerful. A senate member is directly elected whereas, in India, Rajyasabha members are indirectly elected. Last but not least, the USA has got the advanced judicial system while India is rapidly developing in its judicial system (Lingam)

Possible Reforms for the US Government Adopting from India:
India has always followed and encouraged in peacekeeping operations but on the other hand, the USA has tried to maintain peace with the help of machinery and men. India has shown real patience to its rival countries by providing timely help to those in need. It had also undergone a friendship agreement with its enemy countries like China & Pakistan, timely help to Bangladesh when Pakistan tried to overtook it. These are the policies which the US government may adopt from India (Schaffer, 73; Kesselman, Krieger and Joseph, 286)

Possible Reforms for the Indian Government Adopting from the US
Technology transfer is what India can learn from the US Federal government. It is quite evident from the history and experiences of the US government regarding the technology transfer that it has played a prominent role in boosting the same. For example, in 1862, the Morrill Act was further strengthened in 1890. In 1924, the license for the patent act was generated by the University of Wisconsin. In 1941, a large corpus was given to the office of scientific research for the development of weapons. National science foundation was established in 1950 to support research. The Bayh Dole Act of 1980 brought a remarkable change in the US (Hyndman, Gruskin, and Iyer)

Sentiments Attached With Each Country
The strengthened belief of public on state governments rather than on the Federal government as better functioning machinery of governance has been the predominant episode regarding the implementation of “devolution” policy in the United States during the 1990s. With the onset of election results in 1994, the concept of new Federalism infiltrated with a group of democrats with national assistance concentrated more on microanalysis strategy or grass root analysis with a holistic view to uplift the existing social condition of the state. During this period it has been empirically found that public opinion is largely in favor of state government’s mechanism in delivering services and economic growth. Such opinion was formed concentrating mainly on much more efficient financial performance by the state rather than the center. However such favorable public opinion regarding devolution of power in favor of state was largely ignored when under President Bush the system of governance again became centralized.

Some state-authorized laws like “school testing systems, driver’s license procedures, right to die laws, medical use of marijuana” was preempted by the Federal government which later became the reason for agitation among the common masses (Bowman and Kearney, 40). In India, the emphasis on the state government can be readily found in the very popular “Panchayati Raj”. Panchayati raj system took its predominance during the 50s in India and it is a classic example of decentralized governance policy mainly designed to monitor politics and law and order in the villages of India. In order to protect themselves from extreme exploitation of the zamindars and village sardines the people sort resort to Panchayats for justice. The functioning of the Panchayati system has been a completely central driven phenomenon and it has been found in many cases that there is no such separation in the allocation of budget in State and district level leading to the absence of focus on several priorities in Panchayats. Thus it has been seen there is a departure from the legislative devolution (Swain, 10-38). Thus there has been a mass agitation against the central government about the actual implementation of these policies.

Conclusions
From the discussion in the above paragraph, it is found that both the countries have adopted “devolution” policies at different time frame and authorization of central has been profound over the state governments and the main concern about the common people's agitation centered around this which has been a matter of debate.