India has 28 States, and seven Union Territories. While States have their own elected Governments, Union Territories are directly controlled by the federal government.

  1. What was the purpose of creating two different types of administrative division?

  2. Why are the Union Territories not, instead, States?

1 Answer 1


Wikipedia briefly justifies it as:

Union Territories of India have special rights and status due to their constitutional formation and development. They may be given this constitutional status for reasons such as safeguarding the rights of indigenous cultures of that region, averting political turmoil related to matters of administration and so on. These union territories could be changed to states in the coming times to exercise better control in their administration.

Yet that text, only partly answers the question. Here is a reference which is a first hand description of the reasons and proceedings.

In the above citation SHRI SRIBALLAV PANIGRAHI explains:

There have been references to the provisions of the Constitution dealing with the Union Territory, statehood etc. When we achieved Independence, we had nine regular States. At that time, the States were coming under four categories. These were Part 'A', Part 'B' and Part 'C' States. They were also called `A' class, 'B' class and 'C' class States.

In Part 'A', the States were nine in number. In Part 'B', we had Hyderabad, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Bharat, Mysore, Patiala and East Punjab. In Part 'C', we had five States, namely, Ajmer, Bhopal, Bilaspur, Kooch Bihar and Coorg. In Part 'D', only one Territory, namely, Andaman and Nicobar Islands found its place. There was a provision kept for future and if need be and if we acquire a new territory in course of time, then that would join Andaman and Nicobar Islands in Part `D' category.

There was a dramatic change in this arrangement in course of time. As you know, there were demands from different areas for separate States. There was also a Boundary Commission, the States Reorganisation Commission. I think the Commission was constituted under the Chairmanship of Fazal Ali. P.M. Panicker was one of the three Members of the Committee. They were brilliant and seasoned people with experience in different areas. Their recommendations were accepted and States were reorganised. And the old arrangement disappeared and under the new arrangement, States and Union Territories were formed.

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