Geographical Basis of Indian Federalism

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Before knowing the Geographical basis of Indian Federalism, let us see understand what is Federalism?

“It is a form of governmental structure in which central and state governments co-exist with a predetermined distribution of powers. Federalism can be based on many factors, such as political, social, cultural, historical, geographical, etc”.

Federalism ensures the effective functioning of democratic Institutions by becoming more representative of local problems, demands, and aspirations.

The model of Indian federalism is called a quasi-federal system because it contains the main characteristics of a federation and a union.

Geography has a significant impact on the Federal structure of India. The big size of the country and the diversity of the physical, social and anthropological aspects of geography have created favorable conditions for the existence of the Federation in India.

Factors Influenced Geographical Basis of Indian Federalism

1) Geographical Size of the Country

India is the 7th largest country in the world having an area of 32,87,263 which is about 2.4% of the total land area of the world.

So, to control the administration with a single Government it will be a big task, hence favorable condition to adopt federal foam of Government.

2) Physiography Diversities

(a) Geomorphic diversity is reflected by the physiographic division of India into Northern Himalayan mountains, Indo-Gangetic plains, Deserts, Deccan Plateau and Central Highlands including the Western Ghats and Eastern Mountains along with the Coastal Plains and Islands.

(b) Although India is largely characteristic of the tropical monsoon climate, several distinct climatic regions coexist in India, from arid and semi-arid climates to humid and sub-humid climates.

The Topography influenced the climatic division of India by determining the spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall in India. example:

  • Cherrapunji > 1000 cm
  • Meghalaya > 300 cm

c) Geomorphic and climatic diversity has induced variations in the soil and natural vegetation in India. The diversity of the soil has led to different crop cultivation.

Model of combinations and agronomic practices culminating in the differential contribution of agriculture to the global economy of the region.

d) The natural vegetation goes from the arid deserts to the evergreen tropical forest, thereby created various kinds of flora and fauna. Climate, soil, and topography influenced the determination of the natural vegetation of a region.

Several physiographic regions require specific administrative responses from the region, which leads to the federal structure of the government.

3) Socio-Cultural Diversities

Linguistic diversity is the result of historical factors such as the presence of many kingdoms in the vast expanse of India.

Language, as an important cultural medium, has favored the federal structure due to administrative convenience. Many castes, tribes and linguistic groups coexist in the federal structure of the country.

The federal structure was present in history and even in the geography of India.

These are the main factors influenced Geographical basis of Indian Federalism.

Also, read the article Racial Groups of India


Our Constitution is so strong in terms of framing federal structure which directs towards the inclusive growth of the people by satisfying essential conditions with the specific points like dual government, power distribution between States and Center, the supremacy of Constitution, and the authority of high courts and supreme courts with final interpretation of Constitution.

Since India contains diverse geographical conditions the federalism helps to solve the problem.


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