Union and its territory
Articles 1 to 4 under part – 1 of the constitution deals with the union and its territory. Article 1 in the Constitution of India describes India, that is, Bharat as a ‘union of states’ rather than a federation of states. The states in India have no right to secede from the federation. The federation is union because it is indestructible. The country is an integral whole and divided into different states only for the convenience of administration.
According to article 1, the territory of india can be classified into three categories.
- Territories of the States
- Union Territories
- Territories that may be acquired by the government of India at any time. (Being a sovereign state, India can acquire foreign territories according to the modes recognised by international law.
The name of states and union Territories and their territorial extent are mentioned in the first schedule of the constitution.
At present, there are 28 states and 9 union territories.
The special provisions (under part 16) applicable to the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, and Karnataka.
The fifth and sixth schedules contain separate provisions with respect to the Administration of scheduled areas and tribal areas within the states.
India acquired foreign territories
India acquired several foreign territories such as Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Goa, Daman and Diu, Puducherry and Sikkim.
Articles related to union and its territory
Article 1 name and territory of the union
Article 2 admission or establishment of new States
Article 3 formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing states
Article 4 laws made under article 2 and 3 provide for the amendment of the first and the fourth schedules and supplemental, incidental and consequential matters.
Amendment of articles 2 and 3 are not to be considered as amendments of the constitution under article 368. This means that such laws can be passed by a simple majority and by the ordinary legislative process.
Hence, Indian territory can be ceded to a foreign state only by amending the constitution under 368. Consequently, the 9th Constitutional amendment act 1960 was enacted to transfer the said territory to Pakistan.
In 1969, the supreme court ruled that settlement of a boundary dispute between India and another country does not require a Constitutional amendment. It can be done by executive action as it does not involve cessions of indian territory to a foreign country.
The 100th Constitutional amendment act 2015 was enacted to give effect to the acquiring certain territories by India and transfer of certain other territories to Bangladesh.
Evolution of States And Union Territories
Integration Of Princely States
At the time of independence, India comprised two categories of political units, namely, the British provinces and princely states (under the rule of native princes but paramountcy of the British crown). The independence act of 1947 created two separate dominions of india and pakistan states. Out of 552 princely states within India, 549 joined in India and the remaining 3 (Hyderabad, Junagarh and Kashmir) refused to join india. 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 Instrument of Accession.
In 1950, the Constitution contained four fold classification of the States of the Indian Union – Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D.
The government of India appointed the Linguistic Provinces Commission under the chairmanship of SK Dhar and later it appointed another committee consisting of Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and Pattabhi Sitaramayya, was Popularly known as JVP committee.
In October 1953, the government of India created the first linguistic state, known as andhra state.
Fazl Ail commission was appointed by the government of India to re-examine the creation of States on linguistic basis. 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 territories.
14 states and 6 union territories were created on November 1, 1956 by the 7th Constitutional amendment act 1956.
- Andhra Pradesh
- Jammu and Kashmir
- Madhya Pradesh
- Uttar Pradesh
- West Bengal
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- Himachal Pradesh
- Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands
New States and Union Territories Created After 1956
|Gujarat – 15th state||1960|
|Dadra and Nagar Haveli – Union Territory||1961||10th Constitutional amendment act, 1961|
|Goa, Daman and Diu – Union Territories||1961||12th Constitutional amendment act, 1961.|
|Puducherry (Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam) – Union Territory||1962||14th Constitutional amendment act|
|Nagaland – 16th state||1963|
|Haryana – 17th State||1966|
|Chandigarh – Union Territory||1966|
|Himachal Pradesh – Union Territory||1966|
|Manipur 19th state||1972|
|Tripura 20th state||1972|
|Meghalaya 21st state||1972|
|Sikkim 22nd state||1975||35th Constitutional amendment act,1975.|
|Mizoram 23rd state||1987|
|Arunachal Pradesh 24th state||1987|
|Goa 25th state||1987|
|Chattisgarh 26th state||2000|
|Uttarakhand 27th state||2000|
|Jharkhand 28th state||2000|
|Telangana 29th state||2014|
Change of names
The names of some union Territories and States have also been changed
United provinces – Uttar Pradesh in 1950
Madras – Tamilnadu in 1969
Mysore – Karnataka in 1973
Laccadive Minicoy and Amindivi Islands – Lakshadweep in 1973
The union territory of Delhi – National Capital Territory of Delhi by the 69th Constitutional amendment act, 1991.
Uttaranchal – Uttarakhand in 2006
Pondicherry – Puducherry in 2006
Orissa – Odisha in 2011
Territory of India in 2019 (and upto 2020)
|Andhra Pradesh||Andaman and Nicobar Islands|
|Assam||Dadra and Nagar Haveli|
|Bihar||Daman and Diu|
|Haryana||Jammu and Kashmir|
Indian Polity Notes
|Fundamental Rights||Fundamental Duties||Preamble of the Indian constitution|
|Making of Indian Constitution||Schedules of Indian constitution||Directive Principles of State Policy|