ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Technological Federalism

A Building Block to Constitutionalise the Digital Sphere

“Technological federalism” or the interface of the landscape of technological and data governance with the federal structure, as enshrined in the Constitution of India, needs to be ideally adjudicated upon. Till the time it happens, it needs to be theorised and understood in detail. The centralisation of data, digital architectures as well as decision-making will be inevitable in the absence of a new perspective.


The author would like to acknowledge and thank the anonymous reviewer for their inputs as they helped to enrich the discussion and put them in the right perspective.

Digital regulation in India is being undertaken through the introduction of ministerial policies, especially in the absence of an updated data protection legislation. This policymaking is an exercise of executive and administrative power of the Indian State (Deshpande 2006). The power along with the executive and legislative competence is sourced from the Constitution. In fact, delineation of such competence, among various tiers of the state, is a commonly accepted feature of federalism (Singh 2016).

Legislative competence has been enshrined in the Constitution in Part XI, Chapter I, Articles 24555, while executive power is provided in Chapter II, ranging from Articles 256 to 263. The executive power is also exercised according to Articles 73 (by the union) and 162 (by the states), which posit that it is coextensive with legislative power and competence (Hindustan Times v State of Uttar Pradesh 2003; Ram Jawaya Kapur v State of Punjab 1955; Somanathan 2016). Further, the asymmetrical federal apparatus (Sivaramakrishnan 2016) is effectuated through a range of subjects, enumerated in Schedule 7 of the Constitution. These include entries over which the union government has jurisdiction (union list), with certain matters in the sub-federal units control (state list) while the rest may be shared between the two zones of power and governance (concurrent list).

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Published On : 17th Jan, 2024

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