To prepare for INDIAN POLITY for any competitive exam, aspirants have to know about Centre-State Relations. It gives an idea of all the important topics for the IAS Exam and the polity syllabus (GS-II.). This is an essential portion of the polity.  As IAS aspirants, you should be thorough with Centre-State Relations. In this article, you can read all about the Committees on Centre-State Relations.



a. Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC)

  • The Central government appointed a six-member ARC in 1966 under the chairmanship of Morarji Desai
  • In final report of 1969, it made 22 recommendations for improving the Centre-state relations. The important recommendations are:
    1. Establishment of an Inter-State Council under 263 of the Constitution.
    2. Appointment of persons having long experience in public life and administration and non-partisan attitude as governors.
    3. Delegation of powers to the maximum extent to the states.
    4. Transferring of more financial resources to the states to reduce their dependency upon the Centre.
    5. Deployment of Central armed forces in the states either on their request or otherwise.
    6. No action was taken by the Central government on the recommendations of the ARC.


b. Raja Mannar committee

  • In 1969, the DMK govt. in Tamil Nadu appointed a three – member committee under the chairmanship of Dr. V. Rajamannar to examine the entire question of Centre-state relations.
  • The committee submitted its report to the Tamil Nadu Government in 1971.
  • The Committee identified the following reasons for the prevailing unitary (centralisation) trends:
    1. Certain provisions in the Constitution which confer special powers on the Centre;
    2. One-party rule both at the Centre and in the states;
    3. Inadequacy of states’ fiscal resources and consequent dependence on the Centre for financial assistance;
    4. The institution of Central planning and the role of the Planning Commission.
  • The important recommendations of the committee are as follows:
    1. An Inter-State Council should be set up immediately;
    2. Finance Commission should be made a permanent body;
    3. Planning Commission should be disbanded and its place should be taken by a statutory body;
    4. 356, 357 and 365 (dealing with President’s Rule) should be totally omitted;
    5. The provision that the state ministry holds office during the pleasure of the governor should be omitted;
    6. Certain subjects of the Union List and the Concurrent List should be transferred to the State List;
    7. the residuary powers should be allocated to the states;
    8. All-India services should be abolished.


c. Anandpur Sahib resolution

  • In 1973, the Akali Dal (Punjab) adopted a resolution containing both political and religious demands in a meeting held at Anandpur Sahib in Punjab.
  • The resolution demanded that the Centre’s jurisdiction should be restricted only to defence, foreign affairs, communications, and currency
  • The entire residuary powers should be vested in the states. It stated that the Constitution should be made federal in the real sense and should ensure equal authority and representation to all the states at the Centre.


d. West Bengal memorandum

  • In 1977, the West Bengal Government (led by the Communists) published a memorandum on Centre-state relations and sent to the Central government.
  • The memorandum, among others suggested the following recommendations:
    1. The word ‘union’ in the Constitution should be replaced by the word ‘federal’;
    2. The jurisdiction of the Centre should be confined to defence, foreign affairs, currency, communications and economic co-ordination;
    3. All other subjects including the residuary should be vested in the states;
    4. 356 and 357 and 360 should be repealed;
    5. State’s consent should be made obligatory for formation of new states or reorganisation of existing states;
    6. Of the total revenue raised by the Centre from all sources, 75 per cent should be allocated to the states;
    7. Rajya Sabha should have equal powers with that of the Lok Sabha;
    8. There should be only Central and state services and the all India services should be abolished.
  • The Central government did not accept the demands made in the memorandum.


e. Sarkaria commission

  • In 1983, the Central government appointed a three-member Commission on Centre– State relations under the chairmanship of S. Sarkaria.
  • The commission was asked to examine and review the working of existing arrangements between the Centre and states in all spheres and recommend appropriate changes and measures.
  • The Commission made 247 recommendations to improve Centre– state relations. The important recommendations are mentioned below:
    1. A permanent Inter-State Council called the should be set up under 263.
    2. 356 (President‘s Rule) should be used very sparingly, in extreme cases as a last resort when all the available alternatives fail.
    3. The institution of All-India Services should be further strengthened and some more such services should be created.
    4. The residuary powers of taxation should continue to remain with the Parliament, while the other residuary powers should be placed in the Concurrent List.
    5. When the president withholds his assent to the state bills, the reasons should be communicated to the state government.
    6. The zonal councils should be constituted afresh and reactivated to promote the spirit of federalism.
    7. The Centre should have powers to deploy its armed forces, even without the consent of states. However, it is desirable that the states should be consulted.
    8. The Centre should consult the states before making a law on a subject of the Concurrent List.
    9. The procedure of consulting the chief minister in the appointment of the state governor should be prescribed in the Constitution itself.
    10. The net proceeds of the corporation tax may be made permissibly shareable with the states.
    11. The governor cannot dismiss the council of ministers so long as it commands a majority in the assembly.
    12. The governor‘s term of five years in a state should not be disturbed except for some extremely compelling reasons.
    13. No commission of enquiry should be set up against a state minister unless a demand is made by the Parliament.
    14. The surcharge on income tax should not be levied by the Centre except for a specific purpose and for a strictly limited period.
    15. Steps should be taken to uniformly implement the three language formula in its true spirit.
    16. No change in the role of Rajya Sabha and Centre‘s power to reorganise the states.
    17. The commissioner for linguistic minorities should be activated.
  • Till December 2011, the Central government has implemented 180 (out of 247) recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission.
  • The most important is the establishment of the Inter-State Council in 1990.


f. Punchhi commission

  • The Second commission on Centre-State Relations was set-up by the GoI in April 2007 under the Chairmanship of M. Punchhi. It submitted its report in April 2010
  • In finalizing the report, the Commission took extensive help from the Sarkaria Commission report, the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (NCRWC) report and the Second ARC
  • The Planning Commission has a crucial role in the current situation. But its role should be that of coordination rather that of micro managing sectoral plans of the Central ministries and the states.
  • Steps should be taken for the setting up of an Inter-State Trade and Commerce Commission under 307 read with Entry 42 of List-I.
  • This Commission should be vested with both advisory and executive roles with decision making powers.
  • As a Constitutional Body, the decisions of the Commission should be final and binding on all states as well as the Union of India.

Any party aggrieved with the decision of the Commission may prefer an appeal to the Supreme Court.