The Sarkaria Commission was a high-powered commission set up by the Government of India in 1983 to examine the relationship between the Union and the States of India. The Commission was headed by Justice R.S. Sarkaria, a retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India. The Sarkaria Commission Report was submitted in 1988, which contained 247 recommendations. In this blog, we will learn more about this commission and its report.
Why was the Sarkaria Commission formed?
The Sarkaria Commission was formed in the backdrop of increasing tensions between the Centre and the States. The States were alleging that the Centre was encroaching on their powers and that there was an imbalance of power between the two tiers of government. The Commission was tasked with examining the existing arrangements between the Centre and the States and suggesting measures to improve Centre-State relations.
Also Read – The Simon Commission: A Watershed Moment
Who were the members of the Commission?
The Commission consisted of the following members:
- Justice R.S. Sarkaria (Chairman)
- Shri Dhirendra Singh, IAS (Retd.)
- Shri Vinod Kumar Duggal, IAS (Retd.)
- Dr. N.R. Madhava Menon
- Dr. Amaresh Bagchi
What were the key recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission?
The Commission made a number of recommendations to improve Centre-State relations. Some of the key recommendations included:
- Establishment of a permanent Inter-State Council.
- Empowerment of the Inter-State Council to resolve disputes between the Centre and the States.
- Strengthening of the financial autonomy of the States.
- Reducing the discretionary powers of the Governor.
- Making the process of deploying armed forces in the States more consultative.
Outcome of the Sarkaria Report
The Sarkaria Commission Report has had a significant impact on Centre-State relations in India. The Government of India has accepted and implemented a majority of the recommendations of the Commission. The Inter-State Council, which was established in 1990, has played a key role in resolving a number of disputes between the Centre and the States, including the Cauvery water dispute and the Krishna water dispute.
The report recommended that the process of deploying armed forces in the States be made more consultative. The Government of India has accepted this recommendation of the Sarkaria Commission Report and has established a mechanism for consultation between the Centre and the States before deploying armed forces in a State.
Overall, the Sarkaria Commission has had a positive impact on Centre-State relations in India. Its recommendations have helped to improve the relationship between the two tiers of government and strengthen the federal structure of India.