Sarkaria Commission – Recommendations, Report, Members

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Sarkaria Commission was constituted by the India Government in 1983 to investigate many issues. One of the major objectives of the commission was to investigate the relationship between the centre and states. Sarkaria Commission was constituted under the chairmanship of R.S. Sarkaria. The Sarkaria Commission was asked to review the arrangements between the states and the centre and then make the right recommendations.

One of the major Sarkaria Commission recommendations was the establishment of a permanent inter-state council known as the Intergovernmental Council. this article, we will discuss the background, composition, and key recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission, and analyze its impact on Indian federalism.

What is Sarkaria Commission?

The clash of interests between the center and states caused many disturbances in the functioning of democratic machinery. With time, India faced emerging issues and tensions along with developments in social, economic, and political areas. Cooperation is the key to the smooth running of the states and centers. As a result, The Ministry of Home Affairs established a commission to review the Centre and State relations.

Sarkaria Commission Notes

This commission is known as the Sarkaria Commission, as it was under the chairmanship of R.S. Sarkaria, who was a retired Supreme Court judge. The other members of the Sarkaria Commission were Dr. S.R. Sen and Shri B. Sivaraman.

Purpose of Sarkaria Commission

The Sarkaria Commission was established by the Central Government to make recommendations regarding the centre-State relationship in response to the movement for State autonomy. In 1988, the Commission turned in its final report. The nation’s unity and integrity were of utmost importance to the founders of the Indian Constitution. They were aware of the elements causing chaos and instability in the nation. Only a powerful central authority at the time of independence could counter these threats.

  • The Government of India established the Administrative Reforms Commission and other Commissions to oversee ties between the centre and States.
  • The Sarkaria Commission was established by the Union Government to make recommendations for methods to enhance centre-State relations.
  • The Sarkaria Commission was established in 1983 in response to calls for greater autonomy. Its purpose was to review all current agreements between the centres and the States and recommend adjustments and actions as necessary.

Sarkaria Commission Report

The Sarkaria Commission report has two parts. The first part of the report includes the main report, and the second part is about the memoranda provided by the political parties and the state governments. The report covers inter-governmental relations in the sphere of administration and legislation. The Sarkaria Commission report also highlights the need to establish an inter-state council and how it would smoothen inter-governmental coordination. The report has 247 recommendations that are discussed in 19 chapters.

Sarkaria Commission Recommendations

The Sarkaria Commission issued its first report in 1987, and it included 247 recommendations.

  • The commission strictly rejected the idea of reducing the centre’s powers. It stated that a strong centre is essential for maintaining integrity and national unity.
  • The Sarkaria Commission recommended appointing individuals with vast experience in public service.
  • The states must have enough financial resources to reduce their dependency on the central government.
  • Sarkaria Commission recommended setting up a permanent inter-state council for resolving any issues among the states.
  • The high court judges shouldn’t be transferred without their will.

Sarkaria Commission Recommendations on Governor

The Sarkaria Commission offered the following significant recommendations regarding the appointment of the Governors.

  • As per Sarkaria Commission, the Governor Should be a respected individual and must be an outsider to the country.
  • Not have been actively involved in politics, at least for a while prior to his appointment.
  • After leaving office, the person designated as Governor should not be eligible for any further appointments or prestigious positions in the Union or a State Government, with the exception of a second term as Governor or election as Vice-President or President of India, as the case may be.
  • As per Sarkaria Commission, at the end of the Governor’s tenure, reasonable benefits after retirement should be offered.
  • Governor should be impartial and not overly involved in the State’s regional politics as per Sarkaria Commission.
  • He must be chosen after consulting with the Lok Sabha Speaker, the Vice-President of India, and the State’s Chief Minister.

Features of Sarkaria Commission

Sarkaria Commission submitted its report to the Prime Minister of India in 1987, Rajiv Gandhi. This commission explained the relationship between the states and the centre in detail. The commission also described the utilization of Article 356 in brief. Sarkaria Commission explained the advantages of Article 252 and the prohibition of the power of the government of India. Another crucial recommendation by the Sarkaria Commission was the organization of a stable council in all the states under Article 263.

Sarkaria Commission UPSC

For UPSC aspirants, the Sarkaria Commission’s recommendations hold immense significance as questions related to center-state relations are frequently asked in the exam. A thorough understanding of the recommendations and their implications can help aspirants in answering questions related to polity and governance, which are an integral part of the UPSC polity syllabus. Therefore, it is essential for aspirants to have a clear understanding of the Sarkaria Commission’s recommendations and their impact on Indian federalism. Aspirants can go refer to the UPSC Polity Books, along with the notes to prepare this topic in-depth.

Sarkaria Commission MCQs

Question: What was the Sarkaria Commission formed for? a) To investigate corruption in the government b) To recommend changes in the appointment and transfer of governors c) To investigate the Bofors scandal d) To recommend changes in the appointment and transfer of judges

Answer: b) To recommend changes in the appointment and transfer of governors

Question: When was the Sarkaria Commission formed? a) 1983 b) 1990 c) 1996 d) 2002

Answer: a) 1983

Question: How many recommendations did the Sarkaria Commission make? a) 100 b) 247 c) 384 d) 678

Answer: b) 247

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