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Commissions On Centre State Relations

Commissions On Centre State Relations

Different commissions and committees like Rajamannar Committee, Sarkaria Commission, etc. were constituted by the Central as well as state governments to perform comprehensive study on Centre State relations in India. These committees made their recommendations to the Governments. Some of the recommendations were accepted and some were rejected.

Commissions On Centre State Relations

Sarkaria commission

The Sarkaria Commission was formed by the Indian government in 1983 to examine several relationships of portfolios and generate frame changes in the Indian constitution.

Recommendations made by Sarkaria Commission

Justice R. S. Sarkaria headed a three member commission, instituted in 1983 which gave 247 recommendations for betterment of centre state relations, of which important few are listed below:-

  • Advocacy of strong centre
  • Establishment of Inter State Council
  • National Development Council
  • Zonal Councils
  • Careful use of President’s rule in states
  • Appointment of Governors
  • Appointment of High Court Judges
  • All India Services
  • Emphasis on local / regional languages
  • Planning Commission: A fair play of states
  • Balanced Distribution of Powers
  • Deployment of Armed Forces

Rajmannar Commission, 1969

In 1969, the Tamil Nadu government appointed Rajmannar Commission to look into this aspect and it submitted its report in 1971. It demanded readjustment of the VII schedule and residuary power to the states. Its other important recommendations are given in the following:

  • The setting of an Inter-State council immediately
  • Finance commission to be made a permanent body
  • Deletion of Articles 356, 357, and 365 which dealt with the President’s rule
  • Abolition of All-India Services (lAS, IPS, and IFS)
  • Planning Commission to be replaced by a statutory body
  • The Central government completely ignored its recommendations.

Punchhi Commission, 2007

The Government of India constituted a Commission on Centre-State Relations under the chairmanship of Justice Madan Mohan Punchhi, former Chief Justice of India on 27 April 2007 to look into the new issues of Centre-State relations keeping in view the changes that have taken place in the polity and economy of India.


There were about 312 recommendations given in the reports of the Punchhi Commission, some of the major recommendations which were given in the report are given below:

In article 355 and article 356

The reports that were commissioned made the recommendation for the amendment of both articles (Article 355,356). The center is said to be trying to bring in only a few of the specific areas which have their specific troubles and also for only a few periods which is only about three months.

The appointments of chief ministers of different states
  • there should be a pre-poll alliance that is to be regarded as a political party.
  • There have to be proper guidelines when there are the major appointments of the chief ministers so that there is a proper discretionary of powers in the governors which are limited to this regard.
  • India post-poll alliances there should only be a few parties, who will be joining to be a part of the Government of India.
The Appointment of the Governors from the Government
  • The people who are already incumbent in any office should keep their distance from politics, also they should not be in politics even if that is at a local level that minimum for two before their appointment in the government as a governor.
  • There must be a committee that should entrust the appointments of all the governors. This has included the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, a few state ministers, and the speaker of the Lok Sabha. The Vice President of the country can also join as a member of the committee.

Anandpur Sahib Resolution, 1973


In December 1977, the Communist government in West Bengal published a memorandum called the West Bengal memorandum, which made the following recommendations:

  • The word ‘union’ in the constitution should be replaced by the word ‘federal’
  • The centre’s jurisdiction to be restricted to only defence, foreign affairs, communications, and economic coordination
  • Deletion of articles 356, 357 and 360
  • Rajya Sabha to have equal powers with that of the Lok Sabha
  • Abolition of All-India services
  • 75 percent of the revenue raised by the centre should be allocated to the states


The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (NCRWC) put forth its suggestions, many of which were a reiteration of Sarkaria Commission recommendations. Some of the novel recommendations are enumerated in the following:

  • A statutory body called Inter-State Trade and Commerce Commission should be established as given under Article 307.
  • The Governor should be appointed by a committee comprising the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Speaker of Lok Sabha, and the Chief Minister of the state concerned.
  • Management of disasters and emergencies should be included in the Concurrent List of the Seventh Schedule.
  • In case of a political breakdown in a state, before invoking Article 356, as far as practicable, the state should be given an opportunity to explain its position and redress the situation.
  • The Inter-State Council order of 1990 should clearly specify the matters that should form part of the consultations.

Administrative reforms commission:

  • Establishment of an Inter-state council under Article 263 of the constitution
  • Appointment of persons having long-experiences in public life and non-partisan attitudes as governors
  • Delegated maximum powers to the states
  • Transferring of more financial resources to the states to reduce their dependency upon the centre
  • Deployment of central armed forces in the states either on their request or otherwise
  • Rajamannar committee appointed by Tamil Nadu government made various recommendation to address the asymmetry between powers of centre and the state
  • Punjab through Anandpur Sahib resolution and West Bengal through a memorandum made similar recommendations to address these asymmetry
  • Government appointed Sarkaria Commission in 1983 and Punnchi Commission in 2007 to examine the status of centre-state relations

Read Also: Role of Governor in India

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