Cooperative federalism, also known as marble-cake federalism, is a concept of federalism in which national, state, and local governments interact cooperatively and collectively to solve common problems, rather than making policies separately but more or less equally (such as the dual federalism of the 19th-century).
Federalism and cultural and ethnic pluralism have given the country’s political system great flexibility, and therefore the capacity to withstand stress through accommodation. However, continuation of the same requires not simply federalism, but cooperative and constructive federalism. The Judiciary has used numerous phrases to describe this concept of cooperative federalism, though all of them, in essence, have the same meaning.
In State of Rajasthan v UOI, 1977 , it was quoted that according to Granville Austin, the Constitution of India was perhaps the first constituent body to embrace from the start what A.H. Birch and others have called “cooperative federalism”. Chief Justice Beg called the Constitution ‘amphibian’,”....If then our Constitution creates a Central Government which is ‘amphibian’, in the sense that it can move either on the federal or on the unitary plane, according to the needs of the situation and circumstances of a case...”. In S R Bommai v Union of India , the phrase “pragmatic federalism” was used.
In the words of Justice Ahmadi, “....It would thus seem that the Indian Constitution has, in it, not only features of a pragmatic federalism which, while distributing legislative powers and indicating the spheres of governmental powers of State and Central Governments, is overlaid by strong unitary features...,” writes legalserviceindia.com