Daily News Analysis

Competitive and Cooperative Federalism  

17th November, 2021 Polity


Figure 1: No Copyright Infringement Intended


  • Recently, Home Minister has emphasized on competitive and cooperative federalism for growth of the nation.


About Federalism:

  • Federalism is a system of government in which states or provinces share power with a national government. 
  • The quasi-federal structure of the Indian nation was settled in after the country became free of colonialism and gained independence from the British.


About Cooperative and Competitive Federalism


Cooperative Federalism

Competitive Federalism

Type of Relationship

horizontal relationship between the Central as well as the State governments

vertical relationship with the Central government while competing amongst themselves.

Working Method

Cooperation between the central and state government for larger public interest

States individually work towards attracting funds and investment to aid their developmental activities.

Feature of Economy


Free Market Economy


raise resources by the Government at different levels in a co-ordinated way and channel them for use for the common good of the people. 

bottom-up approach as it will bring the change from the states

Relationship with Centre

 harmonious relationship 

Strained Relationship

Accountability and Responsibility framework

Ensure unity of interest

Instill Sense of Responsibility


Ensure Equal development of the states

Ensure Continuous reforms in the states


Better Outcomes and Output for the Policies

Efficiency and Effectiveness in the Policy Implementation


Needed for bigger projects like Infrastructure projects, to tackle the organized crime and to ensure the inclusive growth

Does so for  the enhanced developmental aid from the government or to attract the FDI.

Government Initiatives

Formation of Niti Ayog, Implementation of 14th Finance Commission Recommendations; GST council

Multiple index like SDG index, Quality of Education in state ; Ease of Doing Business Ranking for the States;Aspirational District programme



  • While prosperous States may be able to execute both policies effectively but economically backward States would require the Centre’s support to achieve their goals.
  • Hence, there is a need for more cooperative federalism than competitive federalism in present times where states come together to help each other develop.