Administrative Relations between Center and States

Administrative Relations between Center and States

This article deals with ‘Administrative Relations between Center and States – Indian Polity.’ This is part of our series on ‘Polity’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus. For more articles , you can click here

Division of Executive Powers

Executive powers are divided on the lines of Legislative powers

Executive powers between the Center and the States mirror the delineation of legislative powers:

Executive Power of the Center:

Executive Power of the Center extends to the following

  1. To all matters on which it can Legislate 
  2. To exercise rights, authority & jurisdiction conferred on it by Treaty or Agreement

Executive Power of the States

Executive Power of the States extends to the following

  1. To all matters on which States can legislate,
  2. On matters enumerated in the Concurrent list except when it is specifically mentioned for the centre

The Center can give directions to States in the following.

  1. Executive Power of the Union shall extend to giving such directions to the State as may appear to the Government of India necessary for the purpose of compliance with laws made by Parliament.
  2. To construct or maintain communication declared of national or military importance
  3. Measures to be taken for the protection of railways within the State
  4. To provide adequate facilities for instruction in the mother language to minority groups
  5. Drawing up & executing specific schemes for SC & ST in the State

The Government of India bears costs incurred on functions #1, 2 and 3.

Mutual Delegation of Functions

It can be under two conditions.


  • President may, with the consent of the State government, entrust to that government any of the executive functions of the Center.
  • The Governor of a State may, with the consent of the Central government, entrust to that government any of the executive functions of the State.


  • The Center can entrust its Executive function to the State without the State’s consent by making provisions about it in the Act itself (the Constitution confers this power to Parliament)

All India Services

Administrative Relations between Center and States
  • Centre and States have their separate Public Services, but in addition, there are All India Services, which include IAS, IPS & IFS (IFS was created later in 1966)
  • According to Article 312, Parliament can create any new All India Services with the resolution passed by the Rajya Sabha for this.
  • These services are unique in representing a single cadre with common rights and a uniform pay scale. This distinctive feature ensures a standardized and cohesive administrative framework, contributing to the overall efficiency of governance.
  • States have immediate control, while the Center has ultimate control over them.
  • Although they violate the principle of federalism, they were supported on grounds like maintaining high standards in administration, helping to ensure uniformity in administration, and facilitating liaison, cooperation & coordination.

Integrated Judicial System

  • Although India has a federal structure consisting of a dual polity, when it comes to the administration of justice, our Constitution advocates for the establishment of an Integrated Judicial System.
  •  Such integration intends to foster a cohesive legal framework that upholds the principles of justice, equality, and fairness for all citizens.

Relations during Emergencies

Done in emergency provisions (Click here )

Extra Constitutional Measures

Several advisory bodies and conferences are held at the Central level.

  • Niti Ayog, National Integration Council, North Eastern Council, Central Council of Indian Medicine, Central Council of Homeopathy, etc., are some of the Advisory bodies which help both states & centres to streamline policies.
  • Conferences – Chief Ministers Conference(Presided by PM), Governors Conference (Presided by President), Chief Secretaries Conference( Presided by Cabinet Secretary), etc. to facilitate Centre-State consultation on a wide range of matters

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