States and Territories

Indian sub-continent comprises seven union territories including national capital too namely Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Daman & Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep, Pondicherry, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Chandigarh and 28 states.

The names of Indian states are Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

History of State and Territories

Indian subcontinent had been ruled by many cultural groups and it was under the influence of varied administrative division by different rulers before the year 1956.

During the time of British Empire, the structure of administrative structure almost remained the same and the country was categorized into provinces which were directly under the control of British and there were princely states and a local prince or similar would control them ostensibly.

After the year 1956, the States Reorganization Act came to an end and the system of provinces and princely states were replaced by new states which were divided on the basis of culture and language. French and Portuguese colonies in the country were transformed into the union territories.

A number of new states as well as union territories emerged from the existing states at this time. On 1 May 1960, Bombay (now Mumbai) was divided into the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra while Nagaland got the status of a state on 1 December 1963. As per the Punjab Reorganization Act (1966), the state was divided into Haryana on 1 November while shifting the northern district of the state to Himachal Pradesh. Also Chandigarh which is still a common capital of Punjab and Haryana states was designed at this time and is union territory.

Himachal Pradesh got the status of a state on 25 January 1972 while other regions of the country namely Manipur, Meghalya and Tripura were conferred upon the title of states on 21 January 1972.  Sikkim also got place in the list of states in 1975 followed by tourist place Goa. But its northern exclaves comprising Daman & Diu were included as a union territory.

The year 2000 witnessed the emergence of three new states. These stats are Chattishgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttranchal which was later renamed as Uttrakhand. While Chattisgrah was created from the parts of eastern Madhya Pradesh, Uttrakhand was formed from the hilly areas of Uttar Pradesh and southern regions of Bihar constitute Jharkhand. Delhi and Pondicherry were given the right toe choose their respective legislatures and also constitute councils of ministers but have restricted powers and they are not only the part of Union Territories but are also considered as small states.

According to Indian Constitution, local government bodies come under the governance of State Statutes while in the case of Union Territories, it is the Union Parliament.

States and Union territories are further divided into smaller units using varied local titles for the same kind subdivisions like mandals (Andhra Pradesh), Tehsil (Uttar Pradesh and other Hindi speaking states etc.