4. Territory of the Union and Formation of States

indian polity study materials 04


Indestructible Union of States:

  •  India is called a Union of States. It was advisedly called Union (and not federation). The states have no right to secede. They cannot separate themselves. The federation is a union because it is indestructible. For the convenience of administration the country may be divided into different States. But the country is one integral whole.

Part 1 : The Union and its Territory:

 Art 1 –       Name and Tetrritory of the Union

Art 2 –       Admission or establishment of new States

Art 3 –       Formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States.

Art 4 –       Laws made under Articles 2 and 3 to provide for the amendment of the First and the Fourth Schedules and supplemental, incidental and consequential matters.

Re organisation of States:

  •  The Constitution of India empowers the Union government to create new states out of existing states or to merge one state with other. This process is called reorganisation of the states. The basis of reorganisation could be linguistic, religious, ethnic or administrative.
  • During the work of the Constituent Assembly demands for linguistic reorganisation of states were raised. But the leaders thought that, immediately after Partition, creation of linguistic states might create further tension. So the decision was postponed. But Parliament was given the power to create new states or merge old states or parts of such states or alter their boundaries in future.
  • The Constituent Assembly appointed by K.Dhar Commission in November 1947 to study the issue of the reorganisation of the States on linguistic basis.
  • The Congress, in its Jaipur session in 1948, appointed a three member committee to consider the recommendation of the Dhar Commission.
  • The Committee is popularly known as the JVP Committee after the names of its three members – Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabh Bhai Patel and Pattabhi Sitaramaiah. The Committee rejected language as the basis for the reorganisation of the States. JVP Committee suggested security, unity and economic prosperity of the nation as the criteria of the reorganisation.
  • The Congress Working Committee accepted its recommendations in 1949, but the demand for the linguistic reorganisation of the States persisted in the southern States particularly in the Telugu speaking areas.
  • Shortly after the making of the Constitution the agitation for an Andhra State began. Potti Sriramalu, a respected Andhra Congress leader, fasted unto death demanding creation of Andhra State on the linguistic basis. As a result on October 1, 1953 the Andhra State was carved out of the State of Madras.
  • This led to further agitations for linguistic reorganisation. Therefore, the government set up a three-member States Reorganisation Commission in 1953. The commission was supposed to examine the reorganisation of the state of the Indian Union taking into consideration the historical background, the contemporary situations and the language etc.
  • The Commission consisted of Fazul Ali, H.N. Kunzru and K.M.Panikar . The Commission recommended creation of new states in south on the basis of language. The Commission submitted its report in 1955. In 1956 the States Reorganisation Act was passed.

State Reorganisation Committee (1953):

 Chairman  :       Fazul Ali

 Members     :      1. Hriday Nath Kunzru

                          2. K.N.Panikkar

  • The Commission in its report, submitted in 1955, acccepted the language as the basis of the reorganisation of the States.
  • It suggested the reorganisation of 27 states of various categories into 16 States and three Union Territories.
  • The State Reorganisation Act, 1956 was passed by the Parliament to give effect to the recommendations of the Commission.

New States Created After 1950:

 Andhra Pradesh : Created by the States of Andhra Pradesh Act, 1953 by carving out some areas from the State of Madras.

Kerala : Created by the State Reorganisation Act, 1956, it comprised Travancore and Cochin areas.

Karnataka : Created from the Princely State of Mysore by the State Reorganisation Act, 1956. It has been renamed Karnataka in 1973.

Gujarat and Maharashtra : The State of Bombay was divided into two States i.e., Maharashtra and Gujarat by the Bombay (Reorganisation) Act, 1960.

Nagland : It was carved out from the State of Assam by the State of nagaland Act, 1962.

Haryana : It was carbed out from the State of Punjab by the Punjab (Reorganisation) Act, 1966.

Himachal Pradesh : The Union Territory of Himachal Pradesh was elevated to the status of State by the State of Himachal Pradesh Act, 1970.

Meghalaya : First carved out as a sub-State within the State of Assam by 23 rd

Constitutional Amendment, 1969. Later, in 1971, it received the status of a full- fledged State by the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971.

Manipur and Tripura : Both these States were elevated from the status of Union Territories by the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971.

Sikkim : Sikkim was given first the Status of Associate State by the 35 th

Constitutional Amendment Act, 1974. It got the status of a full State in 1975 by the 36th Amendment Act, 1975.

Mizoram : It was elevated to the status of a full State by the State of Mizoram Act, 1986.

Arunachal Pradesh : It received the status of a full State by the State of Arunachal Pradesh Act, 1986.

Goa : Goa was separated from the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu and was made a full-fledged State by the Goa, Daman and Diu Reorganisation Act, 1987. But Daman and Diu remained as Union Territory.

Chhattisgarh : Formed by the Constitutional Amendment Act, 2000 by dividing Madhya Pradesh on November 1, 2000.

Uttarkhand : Formed by the dividing Uttar pradesh on November 9, 2000. In January 2007, the name of the state was officially changed from Uttaranchal to Uttarakhand. Jharkhand : Formed by the Constitutional Amendment Act 2000 by dividing Bihar on November 15, 2000.

Procedure for Creation of New States:

  •  Parliament can form new States, alter the area, boundaries or names of the existing States by a law passed by a simple majority.
  • No Bills for the formation of new States or alteration of the boundaries or names of the existing States shall be introduced in either House of the Parliament, except on the recommendation of the President.
  • The President, before introducing the Bill in the Parliament, shall refer it to the concerned State Legislature for its opinion within a specified time limit.
  • If the State Legislature does not give its opinion within the specified time limit, the time limit may be extended.
  • The Bill may be introduced even if the opinion has not come.
  • The Parliament is not bound to accept or act upon the views of the State legislature. It is not necessary to make fresh reference to the State Legislature every time on an amendment to the bill, proposed and accepted.

29th state formed on June 2 nd 2014 – Telangana:

  •  They differ in size as well as population and resources. The most populous is U.P. with a population exceeding 17 crores and the smallest is Sikkim with about 5.5 lack inhabitants. The States are a family of unequal members.

The States number 29 they are,


1.  Andhra Pradesh 15. Jammu and Kashmir
2.  Assam 16. Nagaland
3.  Bihar 17. Haryana
4.  Gujarat 18. Himachal Pradesh
5.  Kerala 19. Manipur
6.  Manipur 20. Tripura
7. Tamil Nadu 21. Meghalaya
8.  Maharashtra 22. Sikkim
9.  Karnataka 23. Mizoram
10. Orissa 24. Arunachal Pradesh
11. Punjab 25. Goa
12. Rajasthan 26. Uttaranchal
13. Uttar Pradesh 27. Chhattisgarh
14. West Bengal 28. Jharkhand


Special Status of Jammu & Kashmir – Article 370:

  •  At the time of independence in 1947, the Stte of Jammu and Kashmir decided not to join either Pakistan or India. However, soon Pakistan attempted to annex the State militarily.
  • Meanwhile, the Maharaja signed the “Instrument of Accession” with India along with certain concessions for the autonomy of the State. This special status of the State is enshrined in Art.370 of the Constitution.
  • This peculiar position was due to the fact that having regard to the circumstances in which the State acceded to India, the Government of India had declared that it was the people of the State of Jammu & Kashmir, acting through their Constituent Assembly, who were to finally determine the Constitution of the State and the jurisdiction of the Union of India.
  • The Jurisdiction of Parliament in relation to Jammu & Kashmir shall be confined to the matters enumerated in the Union List, and the Concurrent List, subject to certain modifications, while it shall have no jurisdiction as regards most of the matters enumerated in the Concurrent List.
  • In the case of Jammu & Kashmir, the residuary power shall belong to the Legislature of that State, excepting certain matters, specified in 1969, for which Parliament shall have exclusive power, e.g., prevention of activities relating to cession or secesion, or disrupting the sovereignty or integrity of India.
  • The power to legislate with respect to preventive detention in Jammu & Kashmir, under Art 22 (7), shall belong to the Legislature of the State instead of Parliament, so that no law of preventive detention made by Parliament will extend to the State.
  • The important features of the Special status are as follows :
  1. The State has its own This also implies that ‘dual citizenship’ principle is followed in this State.
  2. Contrary to the case with the other States, the residuary power lies with the Legislature of the Jammu & Kashmir (and not the Parliament)
  3. The National emergency proclaimed only on the ground of war or external aggression shall have automatic extension to the State of Jammu & This means that the national emergency proclaimed on the ground of armed rebellion shall not have automatic extension to J & K.
  4. The Governor of the State is to be appointed only after consultation with the Chief Minister of the
  5. The Parliament is not empowered to make laws on the subjects of State List (7 th Schedule) for the State of Jammu and Kashmir under any circumstance.
  1. Financial emergency (Art 360) cannot be imposed on the
  2. Apart from the President’s rule, Governor’s rule can also be imposed on the State for a maximum period of six months.
  1. The preventive detention laws (Art 22) of Parliament do not have automatic extension to the
  2. The name, boundary or territory of the State cannot be changed by the Parliament without the concurrence of the State
  3. Arts 19 (1) (f) and 31 (2) have not been abolished for this State and hence ‘right to property’ still stands guaranteed to the people of Jammu & Kashmir



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