Published date01 June 2021
AuthorMahendra Prasad Singh
Date01 June 2021
Subject MatterEditorial
This issue of the journal contains seven Articles, one Note and three Book Reviews.
The range of themes is quite wide, covering Indian federalism, Election Commission
of India (ECI), Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), Bureaucracy at the
Block level, social change in tribal women at District level, poverty-alleviation
programmes in forest fringe areas, and development-caused displacement and
rehabilitation in India and Bangladesh.
Rekha Saxena analyses intergovernmental relations in ‘cooperative’ and
‘collaborative’ federalism in India, borrowing these theoretical constructs from
the Canadian administrator and federal theorist Harvey Lazar: ‘While “collabora-
tive” federalism has some things in common with “cooperative” federalism of
earlier decades, it differs … [in that] this new federalism envisages partnership
and equality between orders of governments whereas cooperative federalism
involved strong federal government leadership’. Saxena has opened up an impor-
tant vista on India’s evolving federalism through various phases so far, which is
worth exploring more comprehensively and systematically in a series of studies.
This is to be done from the perspectives of validity of comparability of Canada
and India as well as the current phase of the Modi regime which has set in with
new features in multi-party coalitional governance prevailing prior to 2014.
Mayengbam Nandakishwor Singh presents an interesting study of the ECI,
which is a unique institution of its own kind in the universe of cooperative federal
government and politics. For one thing, it is entrenched in the Constitution with
independence comparable to the judiciary, whereas Election Commissions else-
where are products of only parliamentary statutes. This obviously lends it greater
power and independence in the federal structure than in any other country. For
another, the ECI is entrusted with conducting both important Union and state
elections whereas the elections in the two domains are conducted by two separate
commissions formed by the federal and state governments elsewhere.
Sharat Kumar examines the relatively autonomous CPSEs as vehicles of large-
scale investments in the country and a good number of these are also listed on the
stock exchanges. They are economically more efficient than the direct govern-
ment departmental enterprises and in some measures comparable to the private
sector corporations. The author pins his hope on their still better performance if
the reforms recommended by the panel of experts set up by the erstwhile Planning
Commission are not shelved by the government in its greed to retain its control
over the CPSEs.
Indian Journal of Public
67(2) 151–152, 2021
© 2021 IIPA
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DOI: 10.1177/00195561211034868

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