Important Notes on Evolution of States and Union Territories in India

By Dhruv Kumar|Updated : July 9th, 2020

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.NoStatehoodState Capital
126 Jan. 1950AssamDispur
226 Jan. 1950BiharPatna
326 Jan. 1950OdishaBhubaneswar
426 Jan. 1950Tamil NaduChennai
526 Jan. 1950Uttar PradeshLucknow
61 Nov. 1956West BengalKolkata
71 Nov. 1956PunjabChandigarh
81 Nov. 1956RajasthanJaipur
91 Nov. 1956Madhya PradeshBhopal
101 Nov. 1956KeralaThiruvananthapuram
111 Nov. 1956KarnatakaBengaluru (formerly Bangalore)
121 Nov. 1956Andhra PradeshHyderabad (Proposed Capital Amaravati)
131 May. 1960GujaratGandhinagar
141 May. 1960MaharashtraMumbai
151 Dec. 1963NagalandKohima
161 Nov. 1966HaryanaChandigarh
1725 Jan. 1971Himachal PradeshShimla
1821 Jan. 1972ManipurImphal
1921 Jan. 1972MeghalayaShillong
2021 Jan. 1972TripuraAgartala
2116 May. 1975SikkimGangtok
2230 May. 1987GoaPanaji
2320 Feb. 1987Arunachal PradeshItanagar
2420 Feb. 1987MizoramAizawl
2515 Nov. 2000JharkhandRanchi
261 Nov. 2000ChhattisgarhRaipur
279 Nov. 2000UttarakhandDehradun (Winter)
Gairsain (Summer)
282 Jun. 2014TelanganaHyderabad
Union Territories
11 Nov. 1954PondicherryPuducherry
21 Nov. 1956LakshadweepKavaratti
31 Nov. 1956Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPort Blair
41 Nov. 1966ChandigarhChandigarh
59 May. 1905DelhiNew Delhi
631 Oct 2019Jammu and KashmirSrinagar (Summer)
Jammu (Winter)
731 Oct 2019LadakhLeh
826 Jan. 2020Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & DiuDaman


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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