India’s Cooperative Federalism during Covid-19 Pandemic

Date01 June 2022
Published date01 June 2022
Subject MatterArticles
India’s Cooperative
Federalism during
Covid-19 Pandemic
Prakash Chandra Jha1
The role of cooperative federalism in India in dealing with the challenges of
the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects such as economic crisis and large-scale
human migration, among others, is put to test. The initial stages of the pan-
demic response highlighted the unitary tilt in the Indian federal structure. At
the later stages of this crisis, cooperative federalism also appears to be visible.
Nevertheless, the lack of cooperation between the States, and the Centre’s fail-
ure to facilitate horizontal federalism without invoking any intergovernmental
agency for the purpose has made the lives of migrant workers miserable. An
intergovernmental institution such as Inter-Sate Council (ISC) could have been
used as a common forum for the Centre and the States for the purpose of both
vertical and horizontal cooperative federalism. The pandemic has also brought
to the fore the importance of India’s grassroots level of government, though,
unfortunately, their potential remains underutilised.
Covid-19, cooperative federalism, local government
Ideally, the relations between the Centre and the States should be guided by the
spirit of cooperative federalism, on the one hand, among different States, and on
the other, between the States and the Panchayati Raj Institutions and the Urban
Local Bodies. It is ironic that States in India are very possessive of their constitu-
tional rights protected under the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution and are
often heard invoking the principle of federalism in case of central intrusion in
Indian Journal of Public
68(2) 245–256, 2022
© 2022 IIPA
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/00195561211072568
1 School of Law, SVKM’s NMIMS (Deemed to be) University, Hyderabad Campus, Telangana, India.
Corresponding author:
Prakash Chandra Jha, School of Law, SVKM’s NMIMS (deemed to be) University, Hyderabad Campus,
Plot No. B4, Green Industrial Park, Polepally SEZ, TSIIC, Jadcherla, Mahbubnagar, Telangana 509301,

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT