Federalism in India is at a crossroads. Over the last three decades, India has undergone significant social, political, and economic transformations which have created new fault lines in India’s precarious federal compact. Economic liberalization and political decentralization have fundamentally shifted the dynamics of union-state economic relations, creating the space for a renegotiation of fundamental frameworks of fiscal federalism. However, institutional inertia and, later, the emergence of a single party majority government at the center have called into question how deeply the new language of “cooperative federalism” has been embedded into actual practice.
The response to these newly emergent tensions in shaping India’s federal architecture must be both political and institutional. Indeed, there is a need for a deeper analytical engagement with the dynamics of contemporary federalism in India and a framework within which to debate the institutional and political solutions to the challenges as they unfold. This new working paper series on cooperative federalism—the product of a collaborative research program led by the Centre for Policy Research and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace—aims to fill this gap.
The research agenda underlying this new series has three parts: documenting the shifts in the economic realities of states and the evolution of centre-state dynamics; analyzing governmental institutions for managing federalism; and examining what institutional structures might be necessary for managing new or emerging priorities.
1. Statutory Regulatory Authorities and the Federal System in India – K.P. Krishnan, Amrita Pillai, and Karan Gulati
2. Resetting the Fiscal Architecture: Lessons for India – Kandarp Patel and Anoop Singh
3. Towards an Inter-State Migration Council – Chinmay Tumbe
4. Institutions of Political Mediation: The Office of the Governor – Chakshu Roy and M. R. Madhavan
5. The Adjudication of Federal Disputes – Raeesa Vakil
6. Parallel Streams: Political Federalism and Economic Integration in India – Niranjan Rajadhyaksha and Prakhar Misra
7. The Goods and Services Tax Council: Dialectics and Design – Haseeb A. Drabu
8. Federal Aspects of India’s Emerging Internal Migration Governance Frameworks – Mukta Naik
9. The Rise and Resilience of Fiscal Transfers Amidst Party System Change – Suyash Rai and Milan Vaishnav