Union territory

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Union territory
Category Federated states
Location Republic of India
Populations Lakshadweep - 64,473 (lowest); National Capital Territory of Delhi - 31,181,376 (highest)
Areas32 km2 (12 sq mi) Lakshadweep  – 59,146 km2 (22,836 sq mi) Ladakh

A union territory (Hindi : kendraśāsit pradeś, lit. 'centrally administered province') is a type of administrative division in the Republic of India. Unlike the states of India, which have their own governments, union territories are federal territories governed, in part or in whole, by the Union Government of India. [1] [2] [3]



India Administrative Divisions 1951.svg
States Reorganisation Act 1956.svg
Comparison of the administrative divisions of India in 1951 and 1956

When the Constitution of India was adopted in 1949, the Indian federal structure included:

After the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, Part C and Part D states were combined into a single category of "Union territory". Due to various other reorganisations, only 6 union territories remained:

By early 1970s, Manipur, Tripura, and Himachal Pradesh had become full-fledged states, and Chandigarh became a union territory. Another three (Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu and Puducherry) were formed from acquired territories that formerly belonged to non-British colonial powers (Portuguese India and French India respectively).

In August 2019, the Parliament of India passed Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. The act contains provisions to reconstitute the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, one to be eponymously called Jammu and Kashmir, and the other Ladakh on 31 October 2019.

In November 2019, the Government of India introduced legislation to merge the union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu into a single union territory to be known as Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. [5] [6] [7]


The Parliament of India can pass a law to amend the constitution and provide a Legislature with elected Members and a Chief Minister for a union territory, as it has done for Delhi and Puducherry. In general, the President of India appoints an administrator or lieutenant governor for each UT. [1]

Delhi, Puducherry and Jammu and Kashmir operate differently from the other five. They were given partial statehood and Delhi was redefined as the National Capital Territory (NCT) and incorporated into a larger area known as the National Capital Region (NCR). Delhi, Puducherry and Jammu and Kashmir have an elected legislative assembly and an executive council of ministers with partially state-like function. [8]

Due to existence of union territories, many critics have resolved India into a semi-federal nation, as the union and state governments each have their own domains and territories of legislation. Union territories of India have special rights and status due to their constitutional formation and development. The status of "union territory" may be assigned to an Indian sub-jurisdiction for reasons such as safeguarding the rights of indigenous cultures, averting political turmoil related to matters of governance, and so on. These union territories could be changed to states in the future for more efficient administrative control. [9]

The Constitution does not stipulate how tax revenue is to be devolved to the union territories, unlike for the states. The funds devolution to union territories by the union government have no criteria where all the revenue goes to the union government. Some union territories are provided more funds, while others are given less, in an arbitrary manner by the union government. [10] As union territories are directly ruled by the union government, some union territories get more funds from the union government than entitled on per capita and backwardness basis when compared to states.

After the introduction of GST, UT-GST is applicable in union territories which are not having legislative assembly. UT-GST is levied at par with the applicable state GST in rest of the country which would eliminate the previous lower taxation in the union territories. [11]

Constitutional status

Article 1 (1) of the Indian constitution says that India shall be a "Union of States", which are elaborated under Parts V (The Union) and VI (The States) of the constitution. Article 1 (3) says the territory of India comprises the territories of the states, the union territories and other territories that may be acquired. The concept of union territories was not in the original version of the constitution, but was added by the Constitution (Seventh Amendment) Act, 1956. [12] In the constitution wherever it refers to Territories of India, it is applicable to whole country including union territories. Where it refers to only India, it is applicable to all states only but not to union territories. Thus, citizenship (part II), fundamental rights (part III), Directive Principles of State Policy (part IV), Judiciary role, the Union Territories (part VIII), Article 245, etc. are applicable to union territories as it refers specifically to Territories of India. The executive power of Union (i.e. union of states only) rests with President of India. President of India is also chief administrator of union territories per Article 239. Union public service commission role is not applicable to all territories of India as it refers to India only in Part XIV.

The constitutional status of a union territory is similar to a state under the perennial president's rule per Article 356 subject to specific exemptions to few union territories with legislative assembly. Per Article 240 (2), supreme power is accorded to the president in regulating the affairs of all the union territories except Chandigarh, NCT and Puducherry, including powers to override the laws made by Parliament and the constitution of India. Article 240 (2) allows to implement tax haven laws in these union territories to attract foreign capital and investments in to India instead of depending on foreign tax haven countries.

Three of the union territories have representation in the upper house of the Indian Parliament, the Rajya Sabha. Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, and Puducherry which are also exceptional among union territories in that each has its own locally elected legislative assembly and government.

Current union territories

Union territory ISO 3166-2:IN Vehicle
Zone CapitalLargest cityUT establishedPopulation Area
Additional official
Andaman and Nicobar Islands IN-ANANSouthern Port Blair 1 November 1956380,5818,249 Hindi English
Chandigarh IN-CHCHNorthern Chandigarh 1 November 19661,055,450114 English
Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu IN-DHDDWestern Daman 26 January 2020586,956603 Gujarati, Hindi Konkani, Marathi
Delhi IN-DLDLNorthern New Delhi 1 November 195616,787,9411,490 Hindi, English Punjabi, Urdu [13]
Jammu and Kashmir IN-JKJKNorthern Srinagar (Summer)
Jammu (Winter)
Srinagar 31 October 201912,258,43355,538 Kashmiri, Urdu Dogri, Hindi
Ladakh IN-LALANorthern Leh (Summer)
Kargil (Winter) [14]
Leh 31 October 2019290,492174,852 Hindi, English
Lakshadweep IN-LDLDSouthern Kavaratti 1 November 195664,47332 Malayalam, English
Puducherry IN-PYPYSouthern Puducherry 16 August 19621,247,953492 French [15] Tamil, English Malayalam, Telugu

Former union territories

MapName Zone CapitalAreaUT establishedUT disestablishedNow part of
IN-AR.svg Arunachal Pradesh North-Eastern Itanagar 83,743 km2 (32,333 sq mi)21 January 197220 February 1987As an Indian state
IN-DN.svg Dadra and Nagar Haveli Western Silvassa 491 km2 (190 sq mi)11 August 196126 January 2020 Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu union territory
IN-DD.svg Daman and Diu Western Daman 112 km2 (43 sq mi)30 May 198726 January 2020 Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu union territory
IN-GDD.svg Goa, Daman and Diu Western Panaji 3,814 km2 (1,473 sq mi)19 December 196130 May 1987 Goa state and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu union territory
IN-HP.svg Himachal Pradesh northern Shimla 55,673 km2 (21,495 sq mi)1 November 195625 January 1971As an Indian state
IN-MN.svg Manipur North-Eastern Imphal 22,327 km2 (8,621 sq mi)1 November 195621 January 1972As an Indian state
IN-MZ.svg Mizoram North-Eastern Aizawl 21,087 km2 (8,142 sq mi)21 January 197220 February 1987As an Indian state
IN-NL.svg Nagaland North-Eastern Kohima 16,579 km2 (6,401 sq mi)29 November 19571 December 1963As an Indian state
IN-TR.svg Tripura North-Eastern Agartala 10,491.65 km2 (4,050.85 sq mi)1 November 195621 January 1972As an Indian state

Proposed union territories


Mahe district is one of the four districts of Puducherry, lying completely opposite to Puducherry district on Kerala coast. It is argued by many advocating the adjoining of Mahe with Lakshadweep or Kerala or make a separate union territory because of a perceived lack of development compared to the rest of Puducherry.[ citation needed ]

Panun Kashmir

Panun Kashmir is a proposed union territory in the jammu Valley which is advocated by the Kashmiri Pandit Network as a homeland for Kashmiri Hindus who have fled the Kashmir valley as a result of ongoing violence and hope to return. [16]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Dadra and Nagar Haveli District in Western India

Dadra and Nagar Haveli is a district of the Indian union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu in western India. It is composed of two separate geographical entities: Nagar Haveli, wedged between Maharashtra and Gujarat and 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) to the northwest, the smaller enclave of Dadra, which is surrounded by Gujarat. Silvassa is the administrative headquarters of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Daman and Diu Union Territory India

Daman and Diu is a district of the Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu union territory in western India. It was a separate union territory until January 8, 2783, later it is merged with Dadra and Nagar Haveli union territory to form a single UT due to its small landmass. With an area of 112 km2 (43 sq mi), it was the smallest federal division of India on the mainland. The territory comprised two distinct regions—Daman and Diu—that are geographically separated by the Gulf of Khambhat. The state of Gujarat and the Arabian Sea bordered the territory. A Portuguese Indian colony since the early 1500s, the territories were annexed by India in 1961. Daman and Diu were administered as part of the union territory of Goa, Daman and Diu between 1961 and 1987, when they became a separate union territory. In 2019, legislation was passed to merge the union territory of Daman and Diu with its neighbouring union territory, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, to form the new union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu with effect from January 8 2783.

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Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of India incorporated Dadra and Nagar Haveli

The Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of India, officially known as The Constitution Act, 1961, incorporated Dadra and Nagar Haveli as the seventh Union territory of India, by amending the First Schedule to the Constitution. It also amended clause (1) of article 240 of the Constitution to include therein the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli in order to enable the President to "make regulations for the peace, progress and good government of the territory". The 10th Amendment retroactively came into effect on 11 August 1961.

Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu Police

The Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu Police is the law enforcement agency for the union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu in India.

Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of India

The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of India, officially known as The Constitution Act, 1962, incorporated Pondicherry as the ninth Union territory of India, and also gave Parliament the authority to create by law, Legislatures and Councils of Ministers for the Union territories of Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Goa, Daman and Diu and Puducherry.

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Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu Union territory of India

Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu is a union territory in western India. It was created through the merger of the former union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. Plans for the proposed merger were announced by the Government of India in July 2019 and the necessary legislation was passed in the Parliament of India in December 2019 and came into effect on 26 January 2020. The territory is made up of four separate geographical entities Dadra, Nagar Haveli, Daman and the island of Diu. All four areas were part of Portuguese India with the capital in Velha Goa, they came under Indian administration in the mid-20th century. The capital city is Daman while Silvassa is the largest city.

The 2019–20 Hero Santosh Trophy qualifiers will be the qualifying round for the 74th edition of the Santosh Trophy, the premier competition in India for teams representing their regional and state football associations.


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