Institute for Social and Economic Change

Established in 1972 by Professor V K R V Rao, ISEC is an All-India Institute for Interdisciplinary Research and Training in the Social Sciences

Federalism and the Formation of States in India – isec

Federalism and the Formation of States in India


In recent days, the process of federalization within the Indian Union has become more debatable due to the unequal federal development at various levels. In this context, the issues of state formation in India have become very crucial within the domain of the Indian federal structure. In the 1950s, the nature of demands for a new state was based on the ‘identity’ aspect under federal governance; but at present, the focus has shifted to ‘regional development,’ particularly to the aspects of socio-cultural, economic and political opportunities. The main objective of adopting the federal structure in Indian polity was to promote cultural homogeneity and improved federal governance in all the Indian states. However, the unequal development between the states and lack of socio-economic and political opportunities in society has challenged federalism in India. This situation has opened the door for the emergence of many regional parties, volunteer groups and civil society organizations to fight against their perceived discrimination. Therefore, the separation, creation or alteration of a state has great importance and needs to be discussed in depth. Hence, for this study, two case studies are taken, i.e., the Hyderabad-Karnataka region that has been assigned ‘Special Status’ within the State of Karnataka and the State of Telangana, which was carved out from the State of Andhra Pradesh. This paper is a part of a thesis, which is under progress.

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