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3)The terms of reference of the 15th Finance commission seriously undermine Indian federalism. Discuss.(250 words)

Topic – Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

3)The terms of reference of the 15th Finance commission seriously undermine Indian federalism. Discuss.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The terms of reference (TOR) of the 15th finance commission have been under criticism from the states, especially the southern states, for various reasons. The question is related to GS-2 syllabus under the following heading-

Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to bring out the salient provisions of the TOR of the 15th finance commission and discuss how they would affect federalism in India.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to write in detail about the important provisions of the TOR of the 15th finance commission and how they would affect the federal structure of India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– give a brief description of the finance commission, its constitutional powers and mandate.

Body- Discuss in points, how the TOR of 15th finance commission will affect federalism.

e.g. change in population base and consequent change in resources allocation,

power of the commission to review the award of its predecessor i.e 14th finance commission, increase in share of centrally sponsored schemes, reversing the 14th Finance Commission’s efforts to ensure that the discretionary element in the grant given by the Commission is totally eliminated etc.

Conclusion- mention the imperative of fiscal federalism and diverse nature of states which demands devolution of sufficient powers- legal and financial.