The distribution of legislative powers between the Centre and the states is rigid. Consequently, the Centre cannot delegate its legislative powers to the states and a single state cannot request the Parliament to make a law on a state subject. The distribution of executive power in general follows the distribution of legislative powers. But, such a rigid division in the executive sphere may lead to occasional conflicts between the two. Hence, the Constitution provides for inter-government delegation of executive functions in order to mitigate rigidity and avoid a situation of deadlock.
Accordingly, the President may, with the consent of the state government, entrust to that government any of the executive functions of the Centre. Conversely, the governor of a state may, with the consent of the Central government, entrust to that government any of the executive functions of the state. This mutual delegation of administrative functions may be conditional or unconditional.
The Constitution also makes a provision for the entrustment of the executive functions of the Centre to a state without the consent of that state. But, in this case, the delegation is by the Parliament and not by the president. Thus, a law made by the Parliament on a subject of the Union List can confer powers and impose duties on a state, or authorise the conferring of powers and imposition of duties by the Centre upon a state (irrespective of the consent of the state concerned). Notably, the same thing cannot be done by the state legislature.
From the above, it is clear that the mutual delegation of functions between the Centre and the state can take place either under an agreement or by legislation. While the Centre can use both the methods, a state can use only the first method.
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