Under Article 1 of the Constitution, the territory of India comprises three categories of
(a) territories of the states;
(b) union territories
(c) territories that may be acquired by the Government of India at any time.
At present, there are Twenty-Eight states, Nine union territories and no acquired
Creation of Union Territories
In 1956, they were constituted as the ‘union territories’ by the 7th Constitutional
Amendment Act (1956) and the States Reorganisation Act (1956).
Gradually, some of these union territories have been elevated to statehood. Thus,
Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa, which
are states today were formerly union territories.
On the other hand, the territories that were acquired from the Portuguese (Goa, Daman
and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli) and the French (Puducherry)were constituted
as the union territories.
At present, there are seven Union Territories. They are (along with the year of
(1) Andaman and Nicobar Islands—1956,
(2) Delhi—1956,
(3) Lakshadweep—1956,
(4) Dadra and Nagar Haveli—1961,
(5) Daman and Diu—1962,
(6) Puducherry—1962, and
(7) Chandigarh—1966.
(8) Jammu & Kashmir-2019
(9) Ladakh-2019

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Till 1973, Lakshadweep was known by the name of Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi
Islands. In 1992, Delhi was redesignated as the National Capital Territory of Delhi. Till
2006, Puducherry was known as Pondicherry.
The union territories have been created for a variety of reasons. These are mentioned
1. Political and administrative consideration—Delhi and Chandigarh.
2. Cultural distinctiveness—Puducherry, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and
3. Strategic importance—Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.
4. Special treatment and care of the backward and tribal people—Mizoram,
Manipur, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh which later became states.
Articles 239 to 241 in Part VIII of the Constitution deal with the union territories.
Even though all the union territories belong to one category, there is no uniformity in
their administrative system.
Every union territory is administered by the President acting through an administrator
appointed by him. An administrator of a union territory is an agent of the President
and not head of state like a governor.
The President can specify the designation of an administrator; it may be Lieutenant
Governor or Chief Commissioner or Administrator. At present, it is Lieutenant
Governor in the case of Delhi, Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands and
Administrator in the case of Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Damavand Diu and
The President can also appoint the governor of a state as the administrator of an
adjoining union territory. In that capacity, the governor is to act independently of his
council of ministers.
The Union Territories of Puducherry (in 1963) and Delhi (in 1992) are provided with a
legislative assembly and a council of ministers headed by a Chief Minister. The
remaining five union territories do not have such popular political institutions.

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But, the establishment of such institutions in the union territories does not diminish
the supreme control of the president and Parliament over them. The Parliament can
make laws on any subject of the three lists (including the State List) for the union
This power of Parliament also extends to Puducherry and Delhi, which have their own
local legislatures. This means that, the legislative power of Parliament for the union
territories on subjects of the State List remain unaffected even after establishing a local
legislature for them.
But, the legislative assembly of Puducherry can also make laws on any subject of the
State List and the Concurrent List. Similarly, the legislative assembly of Delhi can make
laws on any subject of the State List (except public order, police and land) and the
Concurrent List.
The President can make regulations for the peace, progress and good government of
the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman
and Diu.
In the case of Puducherry also, the President can legislate by making regulations but
only when the assembly is suspended or dissolved. A regulation made by the President
has the same force and effect as an act of Parliament and can also repeal or amend any
act of Parliament in relation to these union territories.
The Parliament can establish a high court for a union territory or put it under the
jurisdiction of the high court of adjacent state.
Delhi is the only union territory that has a high court of its own (since 1966). The
Bombay High Court has got jurisdiction over two union territories—Dadra and Nagar
Haveli, and Daman and Diu. Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Lakshadweep
and Puducherry are placed under the Calcutta, Punjab and Haryana, Kerala, and
Madras High Courts respectively.
The Constitution does not contain any separate provisions for the administration of
acquired territories. But, the constitutional provisions for the administration of union
territories also apply to the acquired territories.

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Special Provisions for Delhi
• The 69th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1991 provided a special status to the
Union Territory of Delhi, and redesignated it the National Capital Territory of
Delhi and designated the administrator of Delhi as the lieutenant(lt.) governor.
• It created a legislative assembly and a council of ministers for Delhi. Previously,
Delhi had a metropolitan council and an executive council.
• The strength of the assembly is fixed at 70 members, directly elected by the
people. The elections are conducted by the election commission of India.
• The assembly can make laws on all the matters of the State List and the
Concurrent List except the three matters of the State List, that is, public order,
police and land. But, the laws of Parliament prevail over those made by the
• The strength of the council of ministers is fixed at ten per cent of the total
strength of the assembly, that is, seven—one chief minister and six other
ministers. The chief minister is appointed by the President (not by the lt.
governor). The other ministers are appointed by the president on the advice of
the chief minister.
• The ministers hold office during the pleasure of the president. The council of
ministers is collectively responsible to the assembly. The council of ministers
headed by the chief minister aid and advise the lt. governor in the exercise of his
functions except in so far as he is required to act in his discretion.
• In the case of difference of opinion between the lt. governor and his ministers,
the lt. governor is to refer the matter to the president for decision and act
• When a situation arises in which the administration of the territory cannot be
carried on in accordance with the above provisions, the president can suspend
their (above provisions) operation and make the necessary incidental or
consequential provisions for administering the territory.
• In brief, in case of failure of constitutional machinery, the president can impose
his rule in the territory. This can be done on the report of the lt. governor or
otherwise. This provision resembles Article 356 which deals with the imposition
of President’s Rule in the states.

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• The It. governor is empowered to promulgate ordinances during recess of the
assembly. An ordinance has the same force as an act of the assembly. Every such
ordinance must be approved by the assembly within six weeks from its
• He can also withdraw an ordinance at any time. But he cannot promulgate an
ordinance when the assembly is dissolved or suspended. Further, no such
ordinance can be promulgated or withdrawn without the prior permission of the
Integration of Princely States
At the time of independence, India comprised two categories of political units, namely,
the British provinces (under the direct rule of British government) and the princely
states (under the rule of native princes but subject to the paramountcy of the British
The Indian Independence Act (1947) created two independent and separate dominions
of India and Pakistan and gave three options to the princely states viz., joining India,
joining Pakistan or remaining independent.
Of the 552 princely states situated within the geographical boundaries of India, 549
joined India and the remaining 3 (Hyderabad, Junagarh and Kashmir) refused to join
However, in course of time, they were also integrated with India—Hyderabad by means
of police action, Junagarh by means of referendum and Kashmir by the Instrument of
In 1950, the Constitution contained a four-fold classification of the states of the Indian
Union—Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D State. In all, they numbered 29.
Part-A states comprised nine erstwhile governor’s provinces of British India.
Part-B states consisted of nine erstwhile princely states with legislatures.
Part-C states consisted of erstwhile chief commissioner’s provinces of British India and
some of the erstwhile princely states. These Part-C states (in all 10 in number) were
centrally administered.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands were kept as the solitary Part-D state.

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Dhar Commission and JVP Committee:
There has been a demand from different regions, particularly South India, for
reorganization of states on linguistic basis.
Accordingly, in June 1948, the Government of India appointed the Linguistic Provinces
Commission under the chairmanship of S K Dhar to examine the feasibility of this.
The commission submitted its report in December 1948 and recommended the
reorganization of states on the basis of administrative convenience rather than
linguistic factor.
This created much resentment and led to the appointment of another Linguistic
Provinces Committee by the Congress in December 1948 itself to examine the whole
question afresh.
It consisted of Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallahbhai Patel and Pattabhi Sitaramayya and
hence, was popularly known as JVP Committee. It submitted its report in April 1949
and formally rejected language as the basis for reorganization of states.
However, in October 1953, the Government of India was forced to create the first
linguistic state, known as Andhra state, by separating the Telugu speaking areas from
the Madras state.
This followed a prolonged popular agitation and the death of Potti Sriramulu, a
Congress person of standing, after a 56-day hunger strike for the cause.
Fazl Ali Commission
The creation of Andhra state intensified the demand from other regions for creation of
states on linguistic basis. This forced the Government of India to appoint (in December
1953) a three-member States Reorganisation Commission under the chairmanship of
Fazl Ali to re-examine the whole question.
The commission suggested the abolition of the four-fold classification of states under
the original Constitution and creation of 16 states and 3 centrally administered

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New States and Union Territories Created After 1956
Maharashtra and Gujarat
In 1960, the bilingual state of Bombay was divided 8 into two separate states—
Maharashtra for Marathi-speaking people and Gujarat for Gujarati-speaking people.
Gujarat was established as the 15th state of the Indian Union.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli
The Portuguese ruled this territory until its liberation in 1954. Subsequently, the
administration was carried on till 1961 by an administrator chosen by the people
themselves. It was converted into a union territory of India by the 10th Constitutional
Amendment Act, 1961.
Goa, Daman and Diu
India acquired these three territories from the Portuguese by means of a police action
in 1961. They were constituted as a union territory by the 12th Constitutional
Amendment Act, 1962. Later, in 1987, Goa was conferred a statehood. 9 Consequently,
Daman and Diu were made a separate union territory.
The territory of Puducherry comprises the former French establishments in India
known as Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam. The French handed over this
territory to India in 1954. Subsequently, it was administered as an ‘acquired territory’,
till 1962 when it was made a union territory by the 14th Constitutional Amendment Act.
In 1963, the State of Nagaland was formed10 by taking the Naga Hills and Tuensang
area out of the state of Assam. This was done to satisfy the movement of the hostile
Nagas. However, before giving Nagaland the status of the 16th state of the Indian
Union, it was placed under the control of governor of Assam in 1961.
Haryana, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh
In 1966, the State of Punjab was bifurcated to create Haryana, the 17th state of the
Indian Union, and the union territory of Chandigarh.
This followed the demand for a separate ‘Sikh Homeland’ (Punjabi Subha) raised by
the Akali Dal under the leadership of Master Tara Singh.

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On the recommendation of the Shah Commission (1966), the Punjabi-speaking areas
were constituted into the unilingual state of Punjab, the Hindi-speaking areas were
constituted into the State of Haryana and the hill areas were merged with the adjoining
union territory of Himachal Pradesh.
In 1971, the union territory of Himachal Pradesh was elevated to the status of a state
(18th state of the Indian Union).
Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya
In 1972, the political map of Northeast India underwent a major change. Thus, the two
Union Territories of Manipur and Tripura and the Sub-State of Meghalaya got
statehood and the two union territories of Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh (originally
known as North-East Frontier Agency—NEFA) came into being.
With this, the number of states of the Indian Union increased to 21 (Manipur 19th,
Tripura 20th and Meghalaya 21st). Initially, the 22nd Constitutional Amendment Act
(1969) created Meghalaya as an ‘autonomous state’ or ‘substrate’ within the state of
Assam with its own legislature and council of ministers.
However, this did not satisfy the aspirations of the people of Meghalaya. The union
territories of Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh were also formed out of the territories of
Till 1947, Sikkim was an Indian princely state ruled by Chogyal. In 1947, after the lapse
of British paramountcy, Sikkim became a ‘protectorate’ of India, whereby the Indian
Government assumed responsibility for the defence, external affairs and
communications of Sikkim.
In 1974, Sikkim expressed its desire for greater association with India. Accordingly, the
35th Constitutional Amendment Act (1974) was enacted by the parliament. This
amendment introduced a new class of statehood under the constitution by conferring
on Sikkim the status of an ‘associate state’ of the Indian Union.
For this purpose, a new Article 2A and a new schedule (Tenth Schedule containing the
terms and conditions of association) were inserted in the Constitution. This

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experiment, however, did not last long as it could not fully satisfy the aspirations of the
people of Sikkim.
In a referendum held in 1975, they voted for the abolition of the institution of Chogyal
and Sikkim becoming an integral part of India. Consequently, the 36th Constitutional
Amendment Act (1975) was enacted to make Sikkim a full-fledged state of the Indian
Union (the 22nd state).
This amendment amended the First and the Fourth Schedules to the Constitution and
added a new Article 371-F to provide for certain special provisions with respect to the
administration of Sikkim. It also repealed Article 2A and the Tenth Schedule that were
added by the 35th Amendment Act of 1974.
Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa
In 1987, three new States of Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa came into being as
the 23rd, 24th and 25th states of the Indian Union respectively. The Union Territory of
Mizoram was conferred the status of a full state as a sequel to the signing of a
memorandum of settlement (Mizoram Peace Accord) in 1986 between the Central
government and the Mizo National Front, ending the two-decade-old insurgency.
Arunachal Pradesh had also been a union territory from 1972.The State of Goa was
created by separating the territory of Goa from the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and
Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand
In 2000, three more new States of Chhattisgarh,17 Uttarakhand18 and Jharkhand19
were created out of the territories of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar
respectively. These became the 26th, 27th and 28th states of the Indian Union
In 2014, the new state of Telangana came into existence as the 29th state of the Indian
Union. It was carved out of the territories of Andhra Pradesh.
The Andhra state Act of 1953 formed the first linguistic state of India, known as the
state of Andhra, by taking out the Telugu speaking areas from the State of Madras (now
Tamil Nadu), Kurnool was the capital of Andhra state and the state high court was
established at Guntur.

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The States Reorganisation Act of 1956 merged the Telugu-speaking areas of Hyderabad
state with the Andhra state to create the enlarged Andhra Pradesh state.
The capital of the state was shifted to Hyderabad. Again, the Andhra Pradesh
Reorganisation Act of 2014 bifurcated the Andhra Pradesh into two separate states,
namely, the Andhra Pradesh(residuary) and the Telangana. Hyderabad is made the
joint capital for both the states for a period of 10 years.
During this period, the Andhra Pradesh should establish its own separate capital.
Similarly, the Andhra Pradesh High Court is renamed as the Hyderabad High Court
(High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad) and is made common for both the states till a
separate High Court is set-up for the State of Andhra Pradesh.
Thus, the number of states and union territories increased from 14 and 6 in 1956 to 29
and 7 in 2014 respectively.
Change of Names
The names of some states and union territories have also been changed. The United
Provinces was the first state to have a newname. It was renamed ‘Uttar Pradesh’ in
In 1969, Madras was renamed ‘Tamil Nadu’. Similarly, in 1973, Mysore was renamed
‘Karnataka’. In the same year, Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands were renamed
In 1992, the Union Territory of Delhi was redesignated as the National Capital
Territory of Delhi (without being conferred the status of a full-fledged state) by the 69th
Constitutional Amendment Act, 1991.
In 2006, Uttaranchal was renamed as ‘Uttarakhand’. In the same year, Pondicherry
was renamed as ‘Puducherry’. In 2011, Orissa was renamed as ‘Odisha’.
1. Discuss in detail about the evolution of states and union territories in India.
2. Write briefly about the Special Provisions for Delhi.

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