Governments are classified as unitary or federal on the basis of the concentration of power between central and local authorities.
In countries like;

  • USA
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Malaysia

There exists a division of power between government and individual states or provinces, which makes up a federation. The division of power between federal and state is properly defined in the constitutional document.
But some powers are reserved for the central government such as:-

  • Defense
  • State security

And some powers are reserved for the regional government like:-

  • Planning
  • Raising of local taxation

And overriding power is reserved for the central government.
In the federal government, there is the supremacy of the constitution and distribution of powers and authority of the federal judiciary.
In federal polity, there must be usually Rigid and written constitution. The constitution must be supreme and must divide the powers between

  • Federal government and governments of the units.

The federal government enjoys only those powers which are allotted to them and there is individual judiciary to resolves disputes among union and its units.


In the unitary government, there is no division of power. Here sovereignty is undivided.
There are two basic features of a unitary form of government;

  • Supremacy of parliament
  • Absence of subsidiary organs

All the powers are vested with the central government and the subordinate units work as agents of the central government and exercise power delegated from center.
Examples- UK, France, Belgium.
There is no question of limitation being placed upon the power of the central government by any law-making body belonging to any smaller part of the state.


Indian constitution is Quasi-Federal this means federal with strong unitary pro-center. Bias Federal in structure but unitary in nature.
It is federal in normal time but can convert into unitary during the time of emergency etc. by this we concluded that the Indian constitution is both Federal and unitary. We cannot consider it as only unitary because;

  • Distribution of executive and legislative powers between the union of states.
  • The power of state and union of state cannot be amended by the rectification of state.

Dr. BR Ambedkar said,
Rigidity and legalism were the two serious weaknesses of federalism.
Indian constitution is unique because it has dual polity with single citizenship and can be both unitary or federal according to circumstances.


In a parliamentary form of government there are two executives;

  1. Nominal executive
  2. Real executive

Let us see who is a real executive and who is the nominal executive
President – nominal executive
A real – prime minister who is the head of the government.
India chooses parliamentary form because the makers of the constitution were highly impressed by the British constitution.
In this system, the role of president or monarch is ceremonial here prime-minister hold effective power.

What about India?

In India, there is a parliamentary form of government that the t center and state level.
Article 74 and 75 – deals with provisions for union level.
Article 163 and 164- deal with the provisions at the state level.
Why India chooses the parliamentary form of government?
Because of constitution-makers were highly impressed by the system in England.
In this form of government;
Supreme- parliament
Executive- is responsible to the legislature.
Parliamentary form of government is also termed as “cabinet form of government” and “responsible government”.

  • The leadership of the prime minister
  • Dual executive
  • Secrecy of the procedure
  • Bicameral legislature
  • Shadow cabinet (but it is absent in India)
  • The executive responsible for the legislature
  • No fixed tenure

Its origin trackback to England, France, and Scotland.
In the presidential form of government, there is only one executive that is president. President is the head of state as well as the government for example- the USA.
The executive is not responsible to the legislature for its polices and acts it is constitutionally independent of the legislature in respect of its term of office.
The head of state leads an executive that is distinct from the legislature. It is also called a congressional system. President is elected directly by the people it is the system of government where the president is the chief executive.
There are three branches that are;

  1. Legislature
  2. Executive
  3. Judiciary

Exists separately and it cannot dissolve one another.

  • Does not have a nominal head
  • Directly elected by the people
  • Separation of power
  • President has the power to pardon or commute judicial sentences awarded to criminals
  • It has a fixed tenure.