Explain the Three Fold Distribution of Legislative Powers Between Union and State Government

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The threefold distribution of legislative powers between Union and State governments are State List, Union List, and Concurrent List. According to Article 264 of the Indian Constitution, the division of power between the central and state governments is accomplished by giving each government three different types of legislative powers.

The State List defines the problems over which the State Legislatures have authority, while the Union List specifies the problems on which the Parliament can make laws. On the other hand, the Concurrent List includes subjects that come under the purview of the State Legislatures and Parliament.

Legislative Powers Distribution Between Union and State Government

The Indian Constitution clearly outlined a three-fold division of authority between the federal and state governments. The following distribution is based on three lists, each with a different legislative subject:

Union List

  • Because it covers more subjects than the State Lists, the Union List signifies a strong Centre.
  • The Parliament can modify the powers and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on the issues of the Union List.
  • The important subjects in the Union List are defense, military, ports, international relations, railroads, highways, and communications.
  • There are 97 subjects on the Union List.

State List

  • The State List outlines subjects with regional, local, and various interest-friendly implications.
  • Twenty subjects have been included in the State List, where MPs have the sole power to levy taxes.
  • Some of the important subjects under the state list are Police, Public Order, Sanitation and Public Health, Hospitals, and Pharmacies.

Concurrent List

  • The federal and state governments can pass laws on the concurrent list of subjects.
  • While the central and state governments can take action on the issues included in the concurrent list, priority is given to the central government’s bill in case of opposition.
  • The subjects in the Concurrent List include marriage, education, environment, and trade unions.

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