Cooperation, competition, and confrontation have all played a role in shaping the nature of federation in India. Cooperation is necessary for the smooth functioning of the federal structure, as it requires the cooperation of both the Union government and the state governments to implement policies and resolve disputes. Competition exists between states as they often compete with each other for resources and development. Confrontation, particularly in relation to the distribution of powers and resources between the Union and state governments, has also been a significant factor in shaping the nature of federation in India.
Recent examples illustrate the role of these factors in shaping the federation, such as the COVID-19 pandemic requiring cooperation between the Union and state governments, states competing in the “ease of doing business” rankings to attract investment, and the ongoing protests by farmers highlighting tensions between the Union and state governments. The interplay of these factors will continue to shape the nature of federation in India in the future.