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HomeINDIAN POLITYSarkaria Commission: Unearthing Gains and Griefs

Sarkaria Commission: Unearthing Gains and Griefs

The Sarkaria Commission – A Glimpse into India’s Political Landscape


Intricately woven into the tapestry of India’s political history, the Sarkaria Commission is a name that resonates with significance. Established to address the complex issue of center-state relations, this commission has had a profound impact on the country’s governance. In this article, we will delve deep into the historical context, objectives, and outcomes of the Sarkaria Commission. Join us on a journey through the annals of Indian politics as we uncover the mysteries and implications of this noteworthy commission.

The Genesis of the Sarkaria Commission

Setting the Stage

To understand the Commission’s role, we must first rewind the clock to the 1980s. During this period, India grappled with multifaceted challenges related to the distribution of powers between the central and state governments. The constitutional framework was often marred by disputes and conflicts, necessitating a comprehensive review.

Establishment of the Commission

In 1983, the Government of India constituted the Commission, officially known as the “Commission on Centre-State Relations.” Named after its chairperson, Justice Ranjit Singh Sarkaria, the commission embarked on a mission to recommend measures for enhancing the harmonious relations between the center and the states.

The Commission’s Objectives

The Commission was tasked with several pivotal objectives, aiming to bring about clarity, coherence, and collaboration within India’s federal structure:

Balancing Powers

One of the primary goals was to strike a balance between the powers of the center and the states. This involved examining areas of legislative authority, administrative responsibilities, and financial resources.

Dispute Resolution

The commission aimed to provide an effective mechanism for resolving disputes and conflicts that arose between the central and state governments.

Promoting Cooperative Federalism

In line with the principles of cooperative federalism, the Commission aspired to foster a spirit of cooperation and coordination between the two tiers of government.

The Commission’s Recommendations

After years of meticulous research, consultations, and deliberations, the Sarkaria Commission presented a set of recommendations that would shape the course of India’s federalism:

Criteria for Governors

The commission outlined comprehensive criteria for appointing Governors, emphasizing qualities like impartiality and integrity.

Use of Article 356

The Commission offered guidelines for the judicious use of Article 356, which deals with the imposition of President’s Rule in states.

Inter-State Council

To facilitate better coordination, the commission proposed strengthening the Inter-State Council, a constitutional body for resolving disputes.

Financial Arrangements

Recommendations were made to improve financial arrangements between the center and the states, promoting fiscal autonomy for the latter.

Impact and Legacy

The Sarkaria Commission’s recommendations, while not binding, have significantly influenced India’s political landscape. Several states have implemented its suggestions, resulting in enhanced cooperation and reduced conflicts. The criteria for Governors, in particular, have been pivotal in selecting individuals with a non-partisan approach.


In conclusion, the Sarkaria Commission stands as a testament to India’s commitment to a strong and functional federal structure. Its recommendations continue to shape the governance and politics of the nation, providing a sturdy framework for center-state relations. As India evolves, the lessons from the Sarkaria Commission remain invaluable, reminding us of the importance of cooperation, collaboration, and unity in a diverse and complex nation.


What were the major issues addressed by the Sarkaria Commission?

The Sarkaria Commission primarily addressed issues related to center-state relations in India, including the distribution of powers, dispute resolution, and financial arrangements.

How did the Sarkaria Commission impact Indian politics?

The commission’s recommendations have had a significant impact on Indian politics by influencing the appointment criteria for Governors, guiding the use of Article 356, and strengthening the Inter-State Council.

Are the Sarkaria Commission’s recommendations legally binding?

No, the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission are not legally binding, but they serve as influential guidelines for improving center-state relations.

Who was the chairperson of the Sarkaria Commission?

Justice Ranjit Singh Sarkaria served as the chairperson of the Sarkaria Commission.

Can you provide more information about the Inter-State Council mentioned in the article?

The Inter-State Council is a constitutional body that plays a crucial role in resolving disputes and promoting cooperation between Indian states. It was strengthened based on the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission.



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