Puducherry (union territory)

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Puducherry
Territoire de Pondichéry
(see other local names)
Rock beach aerial view.jpg
Image pondicherry.jpg
Matrimandir, Soul of the Auroville, near Pondicherry.JPG
Long exposure shot of Beach road near Pondicherry harbour.jpg
Clockwise from the top:
Promenade Beach, Matrimandir, Pondicherry harbour, Beach in Pondicherry
IN-PY.svg
Location of Four districts of Puducherry
Coordinates: 11°54′40″N79°48′45″E / 11.911082°N 79.812533°E / 11.911082; 79.812533 Coordinates: 11°54′40″N79°48′45″E / 11.911082°N 79.812533°E / 11.911082; 79.812533
Country Flag of India.svg  India
Region South India
De-facto transfer1 November 1954 [1]
Renaming as State of Pondicherry6 January 1955 [2]
De-jure transfer16 August 1962
Formation as UT1 July 1963
Capital and Largest city Pondicherry
Districts 4
Government
  Body Government of Puducherry
   Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan (additional charge)
   Chief Minister N. Rangaswamy (AINRC)
   Chief Secretary Ashwani Kumar, IAS [3]
   Parliamentary constituencies
   Legislature Unicameral
Area
  Total483 km2 (186 sq mi)
  Rank 34th
Population
 (2011)
  Total1,394,467
  Rank 29th
  Density2,900/km2 (7,500/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Puducherrian, Pondicherrian, Pondian
Languages
  Official Tamil, [5] English, [5] French [6] [7]
  Additional official Malayalam (in Mahé), [5] Telugu (in Yanam) [5]
Time zone UTC+05:30 (IST)
PIN CODE
6050(01)-(14) [note 1]
ISO 3166 code IN-PY
Vehicle registration PY 01, PY 02, PY 03, PY 04, PY 05
HDI (2018)Increase2.svg0.740 (High) •7th
Literacy (2017)Increase2.svg 86.55% [8]
Sex ratio (2019)1037 /1000 [9]
Coastline 30.6 km (19.01 mi)
Website www.py.gov.in
Symbols of Puducherry
Emblem Emblem of Puducherry
Mammal
Funambulus palmarum (Bengaluru).jpg
Indian palm squirrel (Funambulus palmarum) [10]
Bird
Asian koel.jpg
Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) [10]
Flower
Lingam Flower.jpg
Cannonball tree flower [10]
Tree
Bael (Aegle marmelos) tree at Narendrapur W IMG 4116.jpg
Bael fruit tree [10]
^* 30 elected, 3 nominated

Puducherry ( /ˌpʊdʊˈɛri/ ), also known as Pondicherry ( /ˌpɒndɪˈɛri/ ) or Pondichéry, is a union territory of India, consisting of four small geographically unconnected districts. It was formed out of four territories of former French India, namely Pondichéry (Pondicherry; now Puducherry), Karikal (Karaikal), Mahé and Yanaon (now Yanam), excluding Chandannagar (Chandernagore), and it is named after the largest district, Puducherry, which was also the capital of French India. Historically known as Pondicherry (Pāṇṭiccēri), the territory changed its official name to Puducherry on 20 September 2006. [11] [12]

Contents

The Union Territory of Puducherry lies in the southern part of the Indian Peninsula. The areas of Puducherry district and Karaikal district are bound by the state of Tamil Nadu, while Yanam district and Mahé district are enclosed by the states of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, respectively. Puducherry is the 29th most populous of the 36 states and union territories of India, and the third most densely populated union territory. It has a gross domestic product (GDP) of 210 billion (US$2.6 billion) and ranks 25th in India. [13]

History

The earliest recorded history of the municipality of Puducherry can be traced to the second century CE. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea mentions a marketplace named Poduke (ch 60). G. W. B. Huntingford suggested this might be a site about 2 miles from the modern Puducherry, which was possibly the location of Arikamedu (now part of Ariyankuppam). Huntingford noted that Roman pottery was found at Arikamedu in 1937. In addition, archaeological excavations between 1944 and 1949 showed that it was "a trading station to which goods of Roman manufacture were imported during the first half of the 1st century" Subsequent investigation by Vimala Begley from 1989 to 1992 modified this assessment, and now place the period of occupation from the third or second century BCE to the eighth century CE. [14] [15]

In 1674, the municipality of Pondicherry (Pondichéry) became a French colony in the French colonial empire. Together with Chandernagor (already French since 1673), Mahé (since 1721), Yanam (Yanaon) (since 1723), Karaikal (Karikal) (since 1739) and Masulipatam (1760), it formed the colony of French India, under a single French governor in Pondicherry, although French rule over one or more of these enclaves was repeatedly interrupted by British occupations. The territories of French India were completely transferred to the Republic of India de facto on 1 November 1954, and de jure on 16 August 1962, when French India ceased to exist, becoming the present Indian union territory of Pondicherry, combining four coastal enclaves. The fifth, Chandannagar, merged with the state of West Bengal in 1954. Immediately after the de facto transfer, the area was renamed the State of Pondicherry by the “French Establishments (Change of Name) Order, 1954” issued by the Ministry of External Affairs of India. [16] :37 The State of Pondicherry continued to be under the direct control of Government of India under the aegis of the Ministry of External affairs until 31 August 1964. Meanwhile, with effect from 1 July 1963, the State of Pondicherry officially became the Union Territory of Pondicherry and after 31 August 1964 it came under the control of the Ministry of Home Affairs. [16] :37

Until 2016, the de jure transfer day (i.e. 16th of August) was a public holiday with no official celebrations taking place. [17] [18] In 2016, Lt. Governor of Puducherry, Kiran Bedi, made it a holiday as “De Jure Transfer Day.”

Since 2010, de facto transfer day (i.e. 1st of November) has been celebrated as Liberation day throughout Puducherry. [19] In 2014, Liberation day was declared as a public Holiday. This initiative was taken shortly after the NDA government came to power in 2014 and newly appointed Lt. Governor A. K. Singh issued a notification regarding that decision of the central government. [20]

Geography

Map showing the districts of Puducherry Puducherry Map.svg
Map showing the districts of Puducherry

The Union Territory of Puducherry consists of four small unconnected districts: Puducherry district (293 km2 or 113 sq mi), Karaikal district (161 km2 or 62 sq mi) and Yanam district (20 km2 or 7.7 sq mi) on the Bay of Bengal and Mahé district (9 km2 or 3.5 sq mi) on the Laccadive Sea, covering a total area of 483 km2 (186 sq mi). Puducherry and Karaikal have the largest areas and population, and are both enclaves of Tamil Nadu. Yanam and Mahé are enclaves of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, respectively. Its population, as per the 2011 Census, is 1,3,94,467. Puducherry is the smallest union territory in terms of sea coastline with 30.6km length.

Some of Puducherry's regions are themselves amalgamations of non-contiguous enclaves, often called "pockets" in India. The Puducherry region is made of 11 such pockets, some of which are very small and entirely surrounded by the territory of Tamil Nadu. Mahé region is made up of three pockets. This unusual geography is a legacy of the colonial period with Puducherry retaining the borders of former French India.

All four regions of Puducherry are located in the coastal region. Five rivers in Puducherry district, seven in Karaikal district, two in Mahé district and one in Yanam district drain into the sea, but none originates within the territory.

Districts of Union Territory of Puducherry

Demographics

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901246,354    
1911257,179+0.43%
1921244,156−0.52%
1931258,628+0.58%
1941285,011+0.98%
1951317,253+1.08%
1961369,079+1.52%
1971471,707+2.48%
1981604,471+2.51%
1991807,785+2.94%
2001974,345+1.89%
20111,247,953+2.51%
20211,691,969+3.09%
source: [21]

Religion in Puducherry

   Hinduism (87.30%)
   Christianity (6.29%)
   Islam (6.05%)
  Others (0.36%)

Hinduism is the major religion with 87.3% of the population adhering to it. Other religions include Christianity (6.29%) and Islam (6.05%). [22]

Government and administration

Puducherry Assembly seats Puducherry Electoral Constituencies Map.svg
Puducherry Assembly seats

Puducherry is a union territory of India rather than a state, which implies that governance and administration fall directly under federal authority. However, Puducherry is one of the three union territories in India (the others being National Capital Territory of Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir) that is entitled by a special constitutional amendment to have an elected legislative assembly and a cabinet of ministers, thereby conveying partial statehood. [23] There has been some interest by the territory's government in receiving full statehood, but budgetary issues remain a consideration. Also, Mahe and Yanam may oppose such a change of status. [24]

The central government is represented by the Lieutenant Governor, who resides at the Raj Nivas (Le Palais du Gouverneur) at the Park, the former palace of the French governor. The central government is more directly involved in the territory's financial well-being unlike states, which have a central grant that they administer. Consequently, Puducherry has at various times, enjoyed lower taxes, especially in the indirect category.

Special administration status

According to the Treaty of Cession of 1956, the four territories of former French India territorial administration are permitted to make laws with respect to specific matters. In many cases, such legislation may require ratification from the federal government or the assent of the President of India.

Article II of the Treaty states:

Ces établissements conserveront le bénéfice du statut administratif spécial en vigueur avant le 1er novembre 1954. Toute modification constitutionnelle à ce statut ne pourra intervenir, le cas échéant, qu’après consultation de la population.
(The Establishments will keep the benefit of the special administrative status which was in force prior to 1 November 1954. Any constitutional changes in this status which may be made subsequently shall be made after ascertaining the wishes of the people).

Languages

The most widely spoken first language is Tamil, which is native to 88.2% of the population. There are also speakers of Telugu (5.96%), Malayalam (3.84%) and Urdu (0.69%). The official languages of Puducherry are French , [7] Tamil , Telugu (in Yanam), Malayalam (in Mahe) and English . An official mention in Rajya Sabha Parliamentary debates during 2006 confirms that Puducherry have all these five languages as official. [25]

Continuation of French

Even after the de facto transfer of the French Indian settlements in November 1954, French continued to remain as the official language according to Article XXVIII of the Traité de Cession (Treaty of Cession) of 1956.

Article XXVIII of the Treaty states:

Le français restera langue officielle des Établissements aussi longtemps que les répresentants élus de la population n'auront pas pris une décision différente.
(The French language shall remain the official language of the Establishments so long as the elected representatives of the people shall not decide otherwise).

The 1963 Pondicherry representative assembly resolution also voted for continuance of French as official language and addition of other languages spoken in Puducherry such as Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam along with English and Hindi. [7] :151–152

Inclusion of other languages

Considering the 1956 Treaty of cession and 1963 Assembly resolution, the 1963 Union Territories Act reconfirmed the 1963 resolution that French shall continue to be used as an official language unless the legislative assembly does not decide otherwise. The 1963 act allowed provision for inclusion of more official languages. Two years later, new official languages were recognised by The Pondicherry Official Language Act, 1965 which makes no mention of French (but also not officially denying it) implying the implicit continuation of its official language status. The same act stated that the Tamil language shall be the language to be used for all or any of the official purposes of the Union territory and the same official recognition is given for English. The same act also recognized officially Malayalam and Telugu in the Mahé and Yanam districts respectively. [5]

The widespread anti-Hindi agitations in mid-1960s in South India would have prompted for inclusion of all the languages suggested in the 1963 assembly resolution except Hindi in the list of official languages of Puducherry. While the Union Territory official gazette's name is in French (La Gazette de L'État de Poudouchéry), it is published exclusively in English. [26]

Judiciary

The jurisdiction of the Madras High Court has been extended to Pondicherry with effect from 6 November 1962. [note 2] The Chief Justice of the Madras High Court is the head of the judiciary of Puducherry. The present chief justice is Munishwar Nath Bhandari. [27]

Economy

The gross domestic product of Puducherry, at market prices estimated by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation with figures in millions of Indian rupees grew from 1,840 to 258,190 million rupees from 1980 to 2014.

YearGross domestic product[ clarification needed ]
19801,840
19853,420
19906,030
199513,200
200037,810
2010130,920
2014258,190 [28] [29] [30] [ better source needed ]

Fisheries

The potential for fisheries is substantial in the Union Territory. The four regions of the Union Territory have a coastline of 45 km with 675 of inshore waters, 1.347 hectares (3.33 acres) of inland water and 800 ha of brackish water. 27 marine fishing villages and 23 inland fishing villages host a fishermen population of about 65,000 of which 13,000 are actively engaged in fishing. Tanks and ponds are also tapped for commercial fish rearing.

Tourism

Puducherry is one of the most popular tourist spots in India for national and international tourists. Puducherry was the residence of Sri Aurobindo (1872–1950) and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram still operates from Puducherry. A unique experimental city Auroville, the brainchild of the Mother, whose inhabitants are drawn from all parts of the world is situated on the outskirts of the city. There are several temples, churches, monuments, parks, and mosques which attract tourists.

Transportation

Rail

Puducherry railway station Puducherry train station.JPG
Puducherry railway station

Puducherry is connected by a railway branch line from the five-way junction at Viluppuram and Chennai. The railway line is a broad gauge line with 16 originating trains and 17 terminating trains. [31]

Meanwhile Karaikal and Mahe also well connected by railway lines. Several railway lines are also under construction in Karaikal district. [32] The nearest major railway station to Yanam is Kakinada (CCT) in Andhra Pradesh (33 KM).

Air

Puducherry has an airport called Puducherry Airport. It has flight operations between Puducherry and Hyderabad. [33] A new airport is proposed in Karaikal which is called as Karaikal Airport. [34] The nearest airport to Yanam is Rajahmundry Airport (IATA: RJA, ICAO: VORY), 90 KM away.

Sea

Puducherry U.T. has several ports namely Karaikal port, Puducherry port, Mahe port. Among them, Largest port is Karaikal Port. [35]

Road

Puducherry has a network all-weather metalled roads connecting the territory. Puducherry has a road length of 2,552 km (road length per 4.87 km2), the highest in the country. PRTC buses play a vital role in Puducherry U.T.

Yanam Draksharamam Road, Puducherry Yanam Draksharamam Road.jpg
Yanam Draksharamam Road, Puducherry
Road length comparison with Tamil Nadu and India as a whole
Total road length (in Puducherry)2,552 km
Road length per 1000 km2PuducherryTamil NaduIndia
4,5751,572663
Classification of roads
Sl. No.Type of roadLength (km)
1National highways64.450
2State highways49.304
3District and other roads
274.628
4Rural roads
248.434
Total length636.816

Education

Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research JIPMER admin block.jpg
Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research

According to the 2011 census, Puducherry had a literacy rate of 86.55. [36] Pondicherry University is a university centrally located in Puducherry. [37] Other educational institutions include Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute (Govt. of Puducherry), Mahathma Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Dental Science (Govt. of Puducherry), Tagore Arts and Science College, Indira Gandhi College of Arts and Science (Govt. of Puducherry), Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, National Institute of Technology, Puducherry, Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Institute of Engineering and Technology, [38] Pondicherry Engineering College, Mother Theresa Post Graduate and Research Institute of Health Sciences, Achariya College of Engineering Technology (ACET), Rajiv Gandhi College of Engineering and Technology, Rajiv Gandhi College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College & Research Institute, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College Hospital, Sri Ganesh College of Engineering and Technology, and Sri Venkateshwaraa Medical College Hospital and Research Centre.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Karaikal</span> Town in Puducherry, India

Karaikal is a town of the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry. Karaikal was sold to the French by the Rajah of Thanjavur and became a French Colony in 1739. The French held control, with occasional interruptions from the British, until 1954, when it was de facto incorporated into the Republic of India, along with Mahé, Yanaon, and Pondichéry.

Mahé, also known as Mayyazhi, is a small town in the Mahé district of the Puducherry Union Territory. It is situated at the mouth of the Mahé River and is surrounded by the State of Kerala. The Kannur District surrounds Mahé on three sides and Kozhikode District from one side.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yanam</span> Town in Puducherry, India

Yanam is a town located in the Yanam district in Puducherry. It has a population of 35,000, most of whom speak Telugu. It was formerly a French colony for nearly 200 years, and, though united with India in 1954, is still sometimes known as "French Yanam". It possesses a blend of French culture and the Telugu culture prevailing in Andhra Pradesh, nicknamed Frelugu. During French rule, the Tuesday market at Yanam was popular among the Telugu people in the Madras Presidency, who visited Yanam to buy foreign and smuggled goods during Yanam People's Festival held in January. After implementation of the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929 in British India, Telugu people often traveled to Yanam to conduct child marriages, which remained legal under the French administration.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pondicherry</span> City in Puducherry, India

Pondicherry, now known as Puducherry, is the capital and the most populous city of the Union Territory of Puducherry in India. The city is in the Puducherry district on the southeast coast of India and is surrounded by Bay of Bengal to the east and the state of Tamil Nadu, with which it shares most of its culture, heritage, and language.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Puducherry Legislative Assembly</span> Unicameral legislature of the Indian union territory of Puducherry

The Puducherry Legislative Assembly is the unicameral legislature of the Indian union territory (UT) of Puducherry, which comprises four districts: Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahé and Yanam. Out of eight union territories of India, only three have legislatures and they are Delhi, Puducherry and Jammu and Kashmir. After delimitation shortly after its formation, the Puducherry legislative assembly has 33 seats, of which 5 are reserved for candidates from scheduled castes and 3 members are nominated by the Government of India. 30 out of 33 Members are elected directly by the people on the basis of universal adult franchise and the remaining three are nominated by the central government. These nominated members enjoy same powers as elected members of the assembly.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pondicherry Municipal Council</span>

The Pondicherry Municipal Council, is the municipal corporation of Pondicherry, India. Pondicherry has had a French system of municipal administration since 1880 and till the last poll held in 1968. Recently, in 2006 again municipal elections were held.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Karaikal district</span> District of Puducherry in India

Karaikal district is one of the four districts of the Union Territory of Puducherry in India.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yanam district</span> District of Puducherry in India

Yanam district is one of the four districts of the Union Territory of Puducherry in India.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pondicherry University</span>

Pondicherry University, also known as PU, is a collegiate public central university located in Kalapet, Pondicherry in Union Territory of Puducherry, India. It was established by an Act of Parliament in 1985 by the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Government of India. The Vice President of India is the Chancellor along with the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry acting as the Chief Rector and the President of India is the Visitor of the university. The university is a collegiate university with its jurisdiction spread over the Union Territory of Puducherry located in Tamil Nadu, Kerala (Mahé) and Andhra Pradesh (Yanam), and Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The vast jurisdiction over three Union Territories namely gives the university a national character. The residents speak diverse languages such as English, Tamil, French, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, Bengali, Oriya and Kannada.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Puducherry</span> Aspect of history

The City of Puducherry on the southeast coast of India does not have a recorded history from antiquity. Puducherry has history recorded only after the advent of the colonial powers such as the Dutch, Portuguese, English and the French. Nearby places such as Arikanmedu, Kakayanthoppe, Villianur, and Bahur, which were annexed by the French East India Company over a period of time and became the Union Territory of Puducherry after Independence, have written histories that predate the colonial era.

The official standing of languages in Puducherry is governed by the 1963 assembly resolution to continue French as official language and the subsequent Pondicherry Official Language Act, 1965 which states under the heading "Official language of the Union territory" that Tamil is the language to be used for all or any official purposes in the Union Territory, while Malayalam and Telugu may be used in Mahé and Yanam respectively. The Act also stipulates that English may be used for any of the official purposes of the Union territory.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yanaon</span>

Yanaon or Yanam was one of the five principal settlements of French India between 1731 and 1954.

The municipalities of Puducherry include five administrative municipalities in the Union Territory of Puducherry, India. The territory had French system of municipal administration from 1880 through 1968, when it was reformed.

The Puducherry Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) is the government transport corporation in the union territory of Puducherry that provides services in all the four regions of Puducherry, namely Pondicherry, Karaikal, Mahé and Yanam.

The French community in India consists mainly of Indian citizens of French ancestry who are descended from former French settlers and colonists who settled in India since the 17th century, as well as recent expatriates from France.

Christianity in Puducherry originated with the Capuchins from Madras who began their missionary activity here. By 1689, the Jesuits began their activity. In 1773, the Paris Foreign Missions Society took up the mission. At that time there were 30,000 Catholics in Pondicherry. However lack of missionaries and opposition from Padroado mutated the mission.

The Treaty establishing De Jure Cession of French Establishments in India was a treaty signed between France and India in 1956 that ceded French territories in India to the Republic of India.

Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Karaikal or locally known as JNV Varichikudy is a boarding, co-educational school in Karaikal district of Puducherry U.T. in India. Navodaya Vidyalayas are funded by the Indian Ministry of Human Resources Development and administered by Navodaya Vidyalaya Smiti, an autonomous body under the ministry. Navodaya Vidyalayas offer free education to talented children from Class VI to XII. Karaikal district is a coastal enclave within Tamil Nadu state, located about 132 km from union territory headquarter Pondicherry.

Union territory of Puducherry has five official names, expressing its linguistic diversity, past-French heritage and legacy of British India. French, Tamil, English, Telugu and Malayalam are five official languages of Puducherry. The later two are official only in Yanam and Mahe respectively.

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