Union Territories In India

What is Union Territories?

  • As per the Constitution provisions, during independence, the union territories were either not a part of India or they were too small to be made into a state.
  • Further, the States Reorganisation Commission in 1956 recommended generating a different category for these territories named Union Territory

History of Union Territories

  • The concept of a ‘Union Territory’ is unique to India.
  •  First introduced in the States Reorganisation Act of 1956, the term refers to those territories that were too small to be independent or too significantly different (economically, culturally or geographically) to be merged with the states that surrounded them. These territories were to be administered directly by the Centre.
  • The State Reorganisation Commission (SRC) was inspired by the “major and minor provinces” that existed at the “close of the 18th century”. These were managed by governors and chief commissioners and the central government respectively.
  • Initially, the Constitution recognised four different categories of territories in Schedule 1: Former British India provinces (Part A), princely states (Part B), chief commissioner provinces (Part C) and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (part D).
  •  When the states were reorganised, Part D became the basis for UTs. During the discussion on reorganisation of states in 1956, the States Reorganisation Commission recommended creation of a different category for these territories since they neither fit in the model of a state nor do they follow a uniform pattern when it comes to governance

UTs: Constitutional Status

  • The Union Territories are specified in Schedule I Part II of the Constitution of India.
  • These territories are administered in accordance with the provisions of Article 239 to 241 of the Constitution of India.
  • Under the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules 1961, Ministry of Home Affairs is the nodal Ministry for all matters of Union territories relating to Legislation, Finance & Budget, Services and appointment of Lt. Governors and Administrators.
  • Every Union territory is administered by an Administrator appointed by the President under Article 239 of the Constitution of India.
  • In Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Puducherry and Delhi, administrator is called Lt. Governor, while in Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu and Lakshadweep he/ she is known as Administrator.

8 union territories in India:

  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, National Capital Territory of Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Ladakh and Puducherry.

Union territories with their own elected legislatures and governments:

Name UT established

Delhi. 1 November 1956

J&K 31October 2019

Pondicherry. 1 November 1954

Union territories without elected legislatures:

A&N Islands. 1November 1956

Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. 26 Jan 2020

Chandigarh. 1 November 1966

Lakshadweep. 1 November1956

Ladakh. 31 October 2019

Power of Union Territories

  • UTs are administrated by the President acting to such extent.
  • Administrators of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Delhi and Puducherry are designated as Lieutenant Governors.
  • The Governor of Punjab is concurrently the Administrator of Chandigarh. The Administrator of Dadra and Nagar Haveli is concurrently the Administrator of Daman and Diu. Lakshadweep has a separate Administrator.
  • The NCT of Delhi and UT of Puducherry each has a legislative assembly and council of ministers. Legislative assembly of UT of Puducherry may make laws with respect to matters enumerated in List II or List III in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution in so far as these matters are applicable in relation to the UT.
  • The legislative assembly of NCT of Delhi has also these powers with the exceptions that Entries 1, 2 and 18 of the List II are not within the legislative competence of the legislative assembly. Certain categories of Bills, however, require the prior approval of the Central government for introduction in the legislative assembly.
  •  Some Bills, passed by the legislative assembly of the UT of Puducherry and NCT of Delhi are required to be reserved for consideration and assent of the President.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The Andaman islands are located in the Indian Ocean, about 600 km east off the southern coast of Myanmar (Burma), between the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, to the north of Indonesia’s Sumatra island.
Ten Degree Channel. The Ten Degree Channel is a channel that separates the Andaman Islands and Nicobar Islands from each other in the Bay of Bengal. The two sets of islands together form the Indian Union Territory (UT) of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Capital : Port Blair

Puducherry

Puducherry and Karaikal are situated on the East Coast of Tamil Nadu, Yanam in Andhra Pradesh and Mahe on the West Coast in Kerala. The city of Puducherry is the Capital of this Union Territory. It lies on the east coast about 162 kms south of Chennai (Madras) located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal.
Capital: Puducherry

Lakshadweep

Lakshadweep is a tropical archipelago of 36 atolls and coral reefs in the Laccadive Sea, off the coast of Kerala, India. Not all of the islands are inhabited, and only a few are open to visitors (permits required). Kavaratti, one of the more developed islands, is home to dozens of mosques, including the ornately decorated Ujra Mosque, as well as Kavaratti Aquarium, showcasing regional fish, shark and coral species.
Capital: Kavaratti

Dadar and Nagar Haveli & Daman and Diu

Dadra and Nagar Haveli is a region in western India. It is composed of two separate geographical entities: Nagar Haveli, wedged between Maharashtra and Gujarat, and, 1 km to the northwest, the smaller enclave of Dadra, which is surrounded by Gujarat.
& (Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli to be one Union Territory by The Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (Merger of Union Territories) Bill, 2019

The town of Daman was chosen to be the capital of the new combined union territory.

Daman and Diu, a union territory in west India, consists of 2 separate areas divided by the Arabian Sea. The Daman Ganga River flows through the coastal town of Daman. Diu is a small island and mainland village. The Fort of Moti Daman, Diu Fort and 16th-century churches reflect the territory’s past as a Portuguese colony. In the town of Moti Daman, the Basilica of Bom Jesus Church is known for its gilt altarpiece.
Capital : Daman

Ladakh

Ladakh is a region administered by India as a union territory, and constituting a part of the larger region of Kashmir, which has been the subject of dispute between India, Pakistan, and China since 1947
Capital: Leh and Kargil

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