Important Notes on Evolution of States and Union Territories in India

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

India got Independence from the British on 15 August 1947. At that time India comprised two categories of political units: 

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  1. The British provinces (under the direct rule of the British government) and
  2. The princely states (under the rule of native princes but subject to the paramountcy of the British Crown). 

The Indian Independence Act (1947) created two independent and separate dominions of India and Pakistan. It also gave options to Princely states – Join India or Pakistan or Stay independent. There were approximately 552 princely states at that time within India’s boundaries from this 549 joined India and remaining three refused to join India.

States earlier refused to join India, Integrate with India.

  1. Hyderabad– By means of Police Action
  2. Junagarh– By means of a Referendum
  3. Kashmir– By Instrument of Accession

The constitution contained a four-fold classification of states and territories of Indian Union- Part A, Part B, Part C states and Part D territories. In, all they numbered 29.

  1. Part A– Comprise 9 erstwhile governor’s provinces of British India.
  2. Part B– states consisted of nine erstwhile princely states with legislatures.
  3. Part C– states consisted of erstwhile chief commissioner’s provinces of British India and some of the erstwhile princely states.
  4. Part D– States (in all 10 in number) were centrally administered. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands were kept as the solitary Part D territories.

Dhar Commission

  • Princely states were integrated with India in an ad-hoc manner.
  • Different regions, including south India, was demanding to reorganize states on linguistic basis.
  • S.K Dhar Commission was appointed in 1948 to see the feasibility of this demand
  • The commission submitted its report in December 1948 and suggested to reorganize states on the basis of administrative convenience rather than linguistic bases.

JVP Committee

  • Another Committee was also constituted, consisting of J.L Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and Pattabhi Sitaramayya (JVP Committee). It also rejected language as a criterion for the reorganization of states.
  • In October 1953, Government of India created the first linguistic state Andhra Pradesh, by separating Telugu Speaking areas from Madras state.

Fazl Ali Commission

  • The demand to create states on the basis of language intensified after the creation of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Government of India created a three-member states reorganization commission under the chairmanship of Fazl Ali to re-examine the entire question.
    • Fazl Ali
    • K.M. Panikkar
    • H.N. Kunzru  
  • Submitted the report in 1955, accepted language as the basis of reorganizing the states. But at the same time rejected the theory of ‘one language-one state’.
  • Four Major factors must be taken into consideration while before going to create any state on the basis of language.
    1. Preservation and strengthening of the unity and security of India. 
    2. Linguistic and cultural homogeneity. 
    3. Financial, economic and administrative considerations. 
    4. Planning and promotion of the welfare of the citizens in each state as well as of the country as a whole. 
  • It also suggested the abolition of the four-fold classification of states and territories.
  • By the States Reorganisation Act (1956) and the 7th Constitutional Amendment Act (1956), the distinction between Part A and Part B states was made away with and Part C states were abolished. Some of them were merged with adjacent states, and some other were designated as Union territories (UTs). As a result, 14 states and 6 union territories were created on November 1, 1956.

Also, Read 

Part I of the Constitution: Union & its Territory

States and Union Territories of India in 2020

 Currently, there are a total of 28 states and 8 Union territories in India. In the following table, we will about their statehood date and capital. Also, we will know about the states and Union Territories came into existence in recent years.

S.No Statehood State  Capital
1 26 Jan. 1950 Assam Dispur
2 26 Jan. 1950 Bihar Patna
3 26 Jan. 1950 Odisha Bhubaneswar
4 26 Jan. 1950 Tamil Nadu Chennai
5 26 Jan. 1950 Uttar Pradesh Lucknow
6 1 Nov. 1956 West Bengal Kolkata
7 1 Nov. 1956 Punjab Chandigarh
8 1 Nov. 1956 Rajasthan Jaipur
9 1 Nov. 1956 Madhya Pradesh Bhopal
10 1 Nov. 1956 Kerala Thiruvananthapuram
11 1 Nov. 1956 Karnataka Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore)
12 1 Nov. 1956 Andhra Pradesh Hyderabad (Proposed Capital Amaravati)
13 1 May. 1960 Gujarat Gandhinagar
14 1 May. 1960 Maharashtra Mumbai
15 1 Dec. 1963 Nagaland Kohima
16 1 Nov. 1966 Haryana Chandigarh
17 25 Jan. 1971 Himachal Pradesh Shimla
18 21 Jan. 1972 Manipur Imphal
19 21 Jan. 1972 Meghalaya Shillong
20 21 Jan. 1972 Tripura Agartala
21 16 May. 1975 Sikkim Gangtok
22 30 May. 1987 Goa Panaji
23 20 Feb. 1987 Arunachal Pradesh Itanagar
24 20 Feb. 1987 Mizoram Aizawl
25 15 Nov. 2000 Jharkhand Ranchi
26 1 Nov. 2000 Chhattisgarh Raipur
27 9 Nov. 2000 Uttarakhand Dehradun (Winter)
Gairsain (Summer)
28 2 Jun. 2014 Telangana Hyderabad
Union Territories
1 1 Nov. 1954 Pondicherry Puducherry
2 1 Nov. 1956 Lakshadweep Kavaratti
3 1 Nov. 1956 Andaman and Nicobar Islands Port Blair
4 1 Nov. 1966 Chandigarh Chandigarh
5 9 May. 1905 Delhi New Delhi
6 31 Oct 2019 Jammu and Kashmir Srinagar (Summer)
Jammu (Winter)
7 31 Oct 2019 Ladakh Leh
8 26 Jan. 2020 Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu Daman


1. What was the India Independence Act?

  • The Indian Independence Act was passed in 1947. The Act created two new independent dominions; India and Pakistan.
  • The Act repealed the use of ‘Emperor of India’ as a title for the British Crown and ended all existing treaties with the princely states.

2. Which of the princely states refused to join India?

Ans. Hyderabad, Junagarh and Kashmir refused to join India.

3. What was the recommendation of S.K Dhar Commission?

Ans. The Commission suggested reorganizing, states on the basis of administrative convenience rather than linguistic bases.

4. Who were the members of Fazl Ali Commission?

Ans. The commission consists of Fazl Ali (chairman), K.M. Panikkar and H.N. Kunzru.

5. How many States and Union Territories are there in India?

Ans. Currently, there are a total of 28 states and 8 Union territories in India.

6. Names of the Union Territories merged in January 2020?

Ans. Daman and Diu are merged with Dadar and Nagar Haveli in 2020.

7. Who is the head in Union territories?

Ans. The union territory is administrated by Lieutenant Governor.

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