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Indian Polity (The Union and its Territories)


India is a union of states and union territories, which are governed by the Constitution of India. The Constitution defines the relationship between the union and the states, as well as the powers and functions of each level of government. The Constitution also lays down the procedure for the creation and reorganisation of states and union territories, as well as the conditions for ceding territory to a foreign country. Here, we will discuss the various aspects of the union and its territories, and how they have evolved over time.


Articles Related to States and Union Territories


The Constitution of India contains several articles that deal with the states and union territories. Some of the important ones are:


  • Article 1: It declares India as a union of states and specifies the names of the states and union territories.

  • Article 2: It empowers the Parliament to admit new states into the union or establish new states on the existing states’ territory.

  • Article 3: It empowers the Parliament to form new states or alter the boundaries, names, or areas of the existing states, with the prior recommendation of the President.

  • Article 4: It states that any law made by the Parliament under Article 2 or 3 shall not be deemed as an amendment of the Constitution and shall not require ratification by the states.

  • Article 239: It provides for the administration of union territories by the President through an administrator appointed by him/her.

  • Article 239A: It empowers the Parliament to create a legislature and a council of ministers for certain union territories, such as Puducherry and Delhi.

  • Article 239AA: It confers special status to the National Capital Territory of Delhi and provides for a legislative assembly and a council of ministers with limited powers.

  • Article 240: It empowers the President to make regulations for the administration of certain union territories, such as Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.

  • Article 241: It provides for the establishment of a high court for a union territory or a group of union territories by a law of the Parliament.

  • Article 242: It empowers the Parliament to create a body for the administration of the tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.


Constitutional Provisions Related to the Creation of New States


The Constitution of India envisages two ways of creating new states: by admission and by reorganisation.


Admission:

Admission is the process of admitting a new state into the union, which may or may not be a part of the existing territory of India. For example, Sikkim was admitted as a state in 1975, after it ceased to be a protectorate of India. The Parliament can admit a new state by passing a law under Article 2, with a simple majority.


Reorganisation:

Reorganisation is the process of forming new states or altering the boundaries, names, or areas of the existing states, within the territory of India. For example, Telangana was for