7th Schedule of Indian Constitution – Union, Concurrent, State List Subjects of Seventh Schedule

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The 7th Schedule of Indian Constitution is the schedule that divides the legislative power between the Union and State Governments on the subject matters listed in three lists – the union list, the state list, and the concurrent list. The 7th schedule under Article 246 of the constitution segregates the powers between the parliament and the state legislatures. Most of the subjects are covered by the union list. Hence it exercises more power.

Comparatively, fewer subjects are included in the state list and are overlooked by the state. The concurrent list is taken care of by both Union and State. The Constitution, however, grants Parliament federal primacy over contemporary list items in the event of a conflict. This article will throw light on 7th Schedule of Indian Constitution and the subjects included under the Union and concurrent list.

7th Schedule of Indian Constitution

The 7th Schedule of Indian Constitution has three lists namely, the Union list, state list, and concurrent list that show the division of power between the Union and States concerning certain subjects. The Union List has a total of 97 subjects, the State List has 66 subjects, and the Concurrent List has 47 Subjects.

7th Schedule of Indian Constitution UPSC Notes

The union list now has 100 subjects, the State list has 61 subjects, and the Concurrent List has 52 subjects summarized under it. Before we learn about the subject included in these three lists, let’s first look at the key features of union, state, and concurrent lists.

Union List of Seventh Schedule

The following are the features of the union list under the 7th schedule of Indian Constitution:

  • The central government or the union government can make laws on all the subjects mentioned under the union list in the Indian Constitution.
  • The union list is considered stronger and more powerful as it has more subjects than the state list.
  • It has many important subjects apart from those mentioned in the concurrent list.
  • All the issues or subjects related to the nation’s security, the nation’s welfare, and the uniform legislation throughout the country are secured by India’s constitution and included in the union list.
  • The union list is always considered dominant to the state list, and it is taken care of by the constitution of India in case any subject overlaps with each other. The judgment made by the union will prevail.
  • It is possible for the Parliament to confer power and impose duties upon a state through the law made on a subject of the union list or to authorize the centre to conform power and impose duties on a state.
  • The union list has 15 specific subjects on which the Parliament can exercise power to levy taxes.
  • A new subject named taxes on services was added to the union list by the 88th Amendment.
  • The Parliament has got the power to expand the jurisdiction and powers of the Supreme Court concerning the matters subjected to the union list.

State List of 7th Schedule

The second list included under the 7th schedule of Indian Constitution is the State list. Listed are a few important features of the state list:

  • The 42nd amendment act 1976 was made where five subjects were descended from the state list to the concurrent list. These five subjects are the administration of justice, constitution, and organization of all the courts, except the supreme court and the high court, Education, Forests, Protection of Birds and Wildlife, Weights, and Measures.
  • Under the Indian Constitution, only state legislatures can pass the laws on the subject listed under the state. Nevertheless, all of these can only be achieved under normal circumstances.
  • The subject enumerated in the state list can be legislated on by parliament in the national interest under Article 249.
  • The parliament is also authorized to overpower the legislation making of the state list under 3 main conditions, i.e., if the Rajya Sabha passes any resolution, On the imposition of article 250, i.e., the national emergency, If two or more states pass the resolution, the parliament can legislate the subjects in the state lists.

Importance of State List in 7th Schedule of Indian Constitution

A law made under the resolution of states applies to the state that passed such a resolution. It can be adopted by other states if they pass the same resolution. Changing or repealing a law made by the parliament in response to a state resolution can only be done by Parliament and not by any States on their own, during the active president’s rule, and for implementing the international agreements.

  • The issues related to the regional and local importance that allows the diversity of interest are mentioned in the state list.
  • The state list has 20 specific subjects on which the Parliament can exercise power to levy taxes.
  • There were special provisions relating to the national capital in the 69th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1991.
  • Public order, police, and land are the three subjects on the state list that the daily government cannot legislate for.

Concurrent List of Indian Constitution

Both the union and the state manage the concurrent list. Mentioned are the features of the concurrent list incorporated under the 7th Schedule of Indian Constitution:

  • Five subjects were added to the concurrent list after the 42nd Amendment of 1976. These five subjects are the administration of justice, constitution, and organization of all the courts, except the supreme court and the high court, Education, Forests, Protection of Birds and Wildlife, Weights, and Measures.
  • The concept of a concurrent list wasn’t originally of India as it is adopted from the constitution of Australia.
  • As the central and state governments are authorized to make laws on concurrent subjects, if any legislation classes between the state and Centre, then the law made by the central government can overrule the legislation by the State Government.
  • The topics which are not very important but on which uniformity of legislation is required throughout the country are enlisted in the concurrent list.
  • The Concurrent list has 03 specific subjects on which the Parliament and state can exercise power to levy taxes.

Union List, State List, Concurrent List Subjects

As of 1st November 2021, there were 97 subjects covered in the union list (now 100 subjects); in the state list, there were 66 subjects (now 61 subjects), and the concurrent list has 52 subjects (originally 47 subjects). Below we have mentioned subjects for each list in detail.

Union List Subjects

The union list under the 7th Schedule of Indian Constitution originally had 97 subjects which have been revised to 100 subjects. Some of the important subjects under the Union list include Defence, Army, International Relations, Ports, Railways, Highways, Communication, etc.

Subjects Under Union List
Defence of India Naval, military, and Air Force works Arms, firearms, ammunition, and explosives Atomic energy and mineral resources
Industries declared by Parliament by law Central Bureau of Intelligence and Investigation Preventive detention for reasons connected with defence or Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs: related to Union and any foreign country
United Nation Organization War and Peace Foreign jurisdiction Citizenship, Naturalization and Aliens
Extradition Pilgrimages to places outside of India Railways Piracy and crime committed on higher seas
Highways declared by law made by parliament Lighthouses, including the light ships and bacon Maritime shipping and navigation Reserve Bank of India

State List Subjects

The state list under the 7th schedule originally had 66 subjects which have been revised to 61 subjects. A few of the important subjects in State list are Public order, Police, Public health and sanitation, Hospitals and dispensaries, Betting and gambling, and more.

Subjects Under State List
Public order Prisons, reformatories, and other institutions of the same nature Public health and sanitation Pilgrimages other than those outside of India
Relief of the disabled and unemployable Burials and burial grounds, cremations, and cremation grounds Libraries, museums, and other similar institutions Communication through roads, bridges, ferries, and other means of communication
Agriculture, including agricultural education and research Pounds and prevention of cattle trespass Water supplies, irrigation, canal, drainage, and embankments Fisheries
Gas and Gas works Inns and innkeepers Betting and gambling Salaries and allowances of members of the Legislature of the state
State public services and state public service commission Public Debt of the state Taxes on Agriculture Income Duties in respect of succession to agricultural land

Concurrent List Subjects

A total of 52 subjects are enumerated in the concurrent list that is illustrated below. Some crucial broad subjects under the Concurrent list of 7th Schedule of Indian Constitution are Trade unions, Education, Marriage, Succession, Forest, and Adoption.

Subjects Under Concurrent List
Actionable wrongs Bankruptcy and insolvency Trust and trustees Evidence and oaths, recognition of laws, public acts, and judicial proceedings
Prevention of cruelty to animals Economic and social planning Charities and charitable trust Factories
Protection of wild animals and birds Commercial and industrial monopolies Relief and rehabilitation of people displaced from their original place of residence Price control
Adulteration of foodstuffs and Other goods Trade unions and Industrial and Labour disputes Shipping and navigation on inland waterways Boilers
Drugs and poisons Legal Medical and other professions Vital statistics, including registration of birth and death Electricity

Residuary Powers Under Schedule 7 of Indian Constitution

The Residuary powers refer to the exercising of jurisdiction on subjects that are not mentioned either in the state list or the concurrent list. The subjects like cyber laws, Information Technology, etc., are included in the residual list. Ideally, just topics are handled by the union government, and under Article 248, the parliament can exercise its authority to decide such subjects.

Issues with 7th Schedule Indian Constitution

The first issue concerning the seven schedules in the Indian Constitution is that according to it, there should be separate powers for state and union where no one should interfere with each other. However, in some matters, the Union has the leverage to extend its duration over some subjects mentioned in the state list.

For example, if any law made by the state legislature is unacceptable to the Parliament or the central government, under Article 254 Union has the right to void the law. In such cases, the law made by Parliament will prevail over the state.

  • Any legislation not covered by the state list of the concurrent list must be passed by the parliament, which has the sole authority to make any laws about them under Article 248.
  • The parliament is solely authorized to make the laws about National interest in the state list under Article 249.
  • Several states have been arguing and demanding providing them with more authority in health restructuring the 7th schedule.
  • The P.V. Rajamannar Committee was formed in 1969 and examined the relationship between the Centre and the states. Based on it, the committee made recommendations, demanding federalism at the centre and the autonomy of states.
  • On some grounds, the state and union’s roles are quite uncertain. For example, during the pandemic, the Union imposed a public curfew by invoking the Disaster Management Act 2005. In contrast, the states imposed the curfew by invoking the Epidemic Disease Act of 1897.

7th Schedule of Indian Constitution UPSC

The 7th Schedule of Indian Constitution is an important topic from the perspective of the UPSC Prelims exam. There are many acts along with the subjects mentioned in these three lists. For this, it is important to have a basic knowledge of Indian polity, which can be gained from NCERT books for UPSC and advanced preparation from reference books.

For better preparation and an idea of the type of questions being asked in the exam, one should follow the mock tests and UPSC question papers to keep themselves updated.

7th Schedule MCQs

Question 1: Concerning the constitution of India, which of the pair is incorrectly matched? (UPSC Prelims 2004) (1) Forests: Concurrent List, (2) Stock Exchange: Concurrent List, (3) Post Office Savings Bank: Union List, (4) Public Health: State List
Answer: B
Question 2: Which of the following subjects is under the union list in the 7th schedule of the Constitution of India? (UPSC Prelims 2011) (1) Regulation of labour and safety in mines and oil fields, (2) Agriculture, (3) Fisheries, (4) Public health
Answer: A
Question 3: The 7th Schedule of Indian Constitution is related to which of the following? (1) Acts and Regulation, (2) Division of Powers, (3) Union of States, (4) Provision of Schedule Area, (5) Official Language
Answer: Division of Powers

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