In the United States the dual polity is followed by dual citizenship (the citizenship of the United States and that of the individual state). The Indian federation provides for a single citizenship for the whole of India. There is no state citizenship. Every Indian has the same rights of citizenship, no matter in which State he resides.
2. A Strong Centre:
The Union Government is a government which has power even over the Stale governments and has the residuary power over the whole territory.
3. Single Constitution for Union and States:
USA, the States have their own constitutions separate from that of the Union. The Indian Constitution, on the contrary, embodies not only the Constitution of the Union but also those of the States.
4. Centre can change name and boundaries of States:
In a Federation the Centre has no right whatsoever to change the boundaries of the States. But in India the Centre has a right to change the boundaries of the States and to carve out one State out of the other (Art 3). In fact, this has been done in India, not only once but several times.
There is perhaps no State whose boundaries have not been changed at one stage or another. The right of the Centre to change the boundaries of the States is against the federal set-up.
5. Single Judiciary:
In the United States the states have their own judicial systems unrelated to and uncoordinated with, the federal judiciary. But in India the Courts form a single integrated judicial system.
They have jurisdiction over cases arising under the same laws, constitutional, civil and criminal. The civil and the criminal law are codified and are applicable to the entire country. To ensure their uniformity, they are placed in the Concurrent List.
6. Unitary during Emergencies:
The Indian Constitution is designed to work as a federal government in normal times, but a unitary government in times of emergency. The effect of declaration of emergency is that administration of the State is taken over by the Centre, which is not in keeping with the spirit of federal polity at all.
7. Common All-India Services:
The Constitution has certain special provisions to ensure the uniformity of the administrative system. There is All-India Services such as the Indian Administration and Police Services and placing the members of these services in key administrative positions in the States.
8. Inequality of Representation in the Council of States:
In the Council of States, States have not been given equal representations. Here population system has been followed and bigger States have been given greater representation than the smaller ones. In the USA, the Senate, which is the upper House of US Congress, has equal representation from all the States.
9. Appointment of Governor by President:
The Heads of the State—the Governors—are appointed by the President. They hold office during his pleasure. This enables the Union Government to exercise control over the State administration.
10. Appointment of the High Court Judges by the President:
Appointments to the High Court are made by the President, and the Judges of the High Courts, can be transferred by the President from one High Court to another.
11. The Office of the Comptroller and Auditor- General:
The Comptroller and Auditor- General of India has an organisation managed by the officers of the Indian Audit and Account Services, a central service, who are concerned not only with the accounts and auditing of the Union government but also .those of the States.
12. Centralized Electoral Machinery:
The Election Commission, a body appointed by the President, is in charge of conducting elections not only to Parliament and to other elective offices of the Union, but also to those of the State legislatures.
13. Flexible Constitution:
In an ideal federation there should be rigid constitution, which implies that the Constitution cannot be easily amended. So that the Centre shall not be in a position to easily amend the Constitution. In the USA the Constitution is very rigid. But the Indian Constitution is not very rigid. Many parts of the Constitution can be easily amended.
14. Special Powers of Council of States over State List:
Under Article 249 the Parliament is also authorized by the Constitution to make laws on any subject mentioned in the State List, if the Council of States passes a resolution by a two-thirds majority declaring a particular subject or subjects to be of national importance.
Similarly, Parliament can pass laws on the items of State List, if it is deemed essential by the government of India to honour an international obligation. In short, in India the Centre can encroach on the field reserved for the States as and when it feels necessary.
15. Control Over State Laws:
Certain laws passed by the State Legislature cannot come into operation unless they have been reserved for the approval of the President of India.
Thus, all the laws concerning the acquisition of property, all laws on Concurrent List which are contrary to the laws passed by the Parliament; and the laws concerning the sales- tax on essential commodities, etc. need the approval of the Central Government.
Moreover, the Governor of a State reserves the right to reserve any bill passed by the State Legislature for the consideration of the President. The President may accord his approval to such a bill or may withhold his assents.
16. Financial Dependence of States:
In a federation, as for as possible States should be financially self-sufficient so that they enjoy maximum autonomy but in India the States depend on the Centre for all development
They have much less source of income but many more needs of expenditure. This financial dependency has very much hindered the growth of States on federal lines.