State Reorganisation Commission: Members, Reorganisation of States | State Reorganisation Act 1956

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The State Reorganisation Commission was formed in 1953 to define the boundaries of Indian states and Union territories on the basis of language. There were four distinct state kinds at the time of the ratification of the Constitution: Parts A, B, C, and D. The remaining elements are managed by centrally chosen Chief Commissioners and Lieutenant Governors because they lack locally elected assemblies. By August 15, 1947, the majority of the princely kingdoms had joined the Union of India in the domains of defence, diplomacy, and communication, except Kashmir, Junagarh, and Hyderabad. These princely republics were politically incorporated into the Indian Union by 1950. Additionally, these states were totally subordinated to the national centre according to democracy.

The 1956 States Reorganisation Act reorganised Indian state and territory borders based on linguistic bases. India’s newly designed Constitution, which became effective on January 26, 1950, divided states into four major categories. The State Reorganisation Commission UPSC notes will aid the preparation of the Indian Polity section. Questions on the reorganisation of states can be raised in the Prelims and Mains Exam. The several state classifications found in the Indian Constitution are briefly discussed in this article.

History of State Reorganisation Commission

As per the State reorganisation commission, the Indian States were created by considering regional languages and monetary, industrial, and governmental administration. The historical events and conditions gave rise to the Indian states. More reasonable governmental change has been increasingly necessary since independence.

State Reorganisation Commission PDF

  • India had 27 states in 1951, divided into Parts A, B, C, and D.
    • Part A: The nine states in Part A included Assam, Bihar, Orissa, Madras, West Bengal, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh (formerly Central Provinces and Berar), Bombay, and Uttar Pradesh (previously United Provinces).
    • Part B: The nine states that made up Part B were Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Bharat, Hyderabad, Mysore, Saurashtra, Vindhya Pradesh, Travancore-Cochin, Patiala, Rajasthan, and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU).
    • Part C: The ten Part C states included Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Kutch, Ajmer, Bilaspur, Coorg, Manipur, Cooch-Behar, Bhopal, and Tripura. Part C states included both the provinces of former Senior Commissioners as well as other centrally controlled regions, with the exception of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
    • Part D: The Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Part D) were a region that had a Governor that the Indian President had chosen to lead it.
  • The State reorganisation commission advocated merging the formerly Part B state of Hyderabad with Andhra and dividing the four types of states into two main categories: States and Union territories.
  • State Reorganisation Act: In accordance with Article 4 of the Indian Constitution, the Parliament passed the State Reorganisation Act 1956 to give power to the modernization program.
  • 7th Constitutional Amendment: On October 19, 1956, the Indian President assented to the 7th Constitutional Amendment, which was added to the Constitution to execute the States Reorganisation Act.
  • Part A, Part B, and Part D states were abolished as a result of this modification, which also led to the designation of some territories as Union Territories and the creation of new states by changing the areas and borders of the states that were already in existence.
  • There were 14 states instead of 27, thanks to the States Reorganisation Act 1956.
  • Bombay, Andhra Pradesh As a consequence of state restructuring in 1956, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Madras, Mysore, Punjab, and Rajasthan were created as new states.

Need for Reorganisation of States

In accordance with Article 3 of the Indian Constitution, Parliament passed the States Reorganisation Act 1956 to put into practice the reorganisation plan that resulted from an analysis of the Report’s concepts.

  • Creation of Linguistic Regions: The demand for state rearrangement and the formation of linguistic regions are commonly equated.
  • Regional Language Development: This is because the push for the redistribution of British Indian provinces came about as a direct consequence of the remarkable growth of local languages in the 19th century.
  • Emotional Integration of Different Language Groups: As a result, various language groups became emotionally integrated and began to recognise one another as unique cultural entities.
  • Linguistically identical Units: The objective was envisaged and sought in terms of linguistically homogeneous units when progressive public sentiment in India crystallised in support of organizational unit rationalisation.
  • State Level Elevation: By rearranging state boundaries by the state reorganisation commission, an area tries to raise itself to the status of a state so that it can benefit from the resources and privileges that it feels are withheld from it.
  • Rising Awareness Amongst Ethnic Minorities: There is a growing awareness among ethnic minorities and a perception that they have shared traits that set them apart from the state’s majority group.
  • Demand Consolidation is Simpler: Minorities are constrained to a particular geographic area, making demand consolidation simpler.
  • National minority communities that are upset acquire a perception of prejudice that is pervasive.
  • Financial Backwardness: People in tense regions feel overlooked by the state administration because of the region’s overall economic underdevelopment.
  • Limited Opportunities Available: According to the sub-regional communities who are up in arms, they have fewer opportunities available to them than the majority of the state’s citizens.
  • When such movements are led by an accomplished and strong figure, they gather momentum.

What is State Reorganisation Act 1956?

The Federal Government of India established the States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) in August 1953 to make recommendations about the reorganisation of state borders. After two years of research, the Commission, which was made up of Justice Fazal Ali, K. M. Panikkar, and H. N. Kunzru, published its findings in October 1955. With significant adjustments, the commission’s recommendations were adopted and included in the States Reorganisation Act, which was passed in November 1956. The act called for the reorganisation of state borders to create 14 states and 6 centrally governed regions.

Reason for Formation of State Reorganisation Commission

More than 500 disparate princely states made up India when it gained its independence in 1947. The states were split into Parts A, B, C, and D states. Hence, the Indian government formed the State Reorganization Commission on 29th December 1953 to figure out the design and structure of the state boundaries. State reorganization on the basis of language was highly in demand. This was done to simplify administration and to replace contentious caste- and religion-based narratives with less contentious linguistic identities. The members of the State reorganisation commission were Fazal Ali, K M Panikkar, and H N Kunzru.

Reorganisation of States after Independence

571 princely states were reorganised and combined to become 27 states shortly after gaining independence. Historical and political factors were taken into account when this restructuring was carried out.

  • This interim restructuring of the states was carried out. In order to reorganise states into 16 states and 3 union territories, the State Reorganisation Commission, established in 1953, produced a report in 1955. The State Reorganisation Act, passed by Congress in November 1956, divided the nation into 14 states and 6 union territories.
  • The State Reorganisation Commission advised that, for the sake of maintaining our nation’s unity, it is neither conceivable nor acceptable to reorganise States on the premise of the specific experiment of either culture or language.
  • Later, when the states were reformed, linguistic, ethnic, or bureaucratic goals may have served as the motivation.
  • Rearranging states according to language would facilitate administration and promote the growth of native tongues, which the British overlooked.
  • Even cultural affinities were taken into consideration; for instance, the creation of Nagaland took into account tribal affinities. Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand were recently established in order to improve economic growth in their respective regions.

Fazl Commission on Reorganisation of States

A separate state was compellingly created in 1953, primarily for Andhra Pradesh residents who spoke Telugu. Potti Sriramulu also passed away as a result of this occurrence. As a result, there was pressure on the government to create Andhra Pradesh, the country’s first linguistic state.

  • This incident led to a nationwide demand for the establishment of linguistically-based states. On December 22, 1953, Jawaharlal Nehru chose Fazl Al as a dedicated leader to meet this need. K M Panikkar and HN Kunzru were also essential members of the commission in addition to Fazl Al In. The report was compiled and submitted after studying the desires of the people in various places.
  • The State reorganisation commission study stated that the entire nation needed to be reorganised into 3 main administration zones and 16 states. However, the government did not heed these suggestions.
  • 6 Union territories and 14 states made up the country according to the States Reorganisation Act of 1956.
  • These states included West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bombay, Kerala, Mysore, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, and the reorganised Jammu and Kashmir. The six union territories were Delhi, Manipur, Minicoy, Himachal Pradesh, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Laccadive, the Amindivi Islands, and Tripura.

Shah Commission on Reorganisation of States

The Shah Commission on the state reorganisation act was an investigation panel established by the Indian government in 1977 to look into all the abuses during the Indian Emergency (1975 – 77). Justice J.C. Shah, a former Chief Justice of India, presided over it.

  • The Punjab Reorganisation Act was passed in 1966 following numerous uprisings to establish Punjabi Suba. This action was recommended by the 1966-appointed Shah Commission.
  • The majority of the Punjabi-speaking population recently moved to Haryana. In addition to being the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh operated as a Union Territory.
  • Universities, a high population density, and key elements of the electrical system are only a few of the similarities between these two states. Punjab then gained the status of a distinct state.

Further Reorganisation of States

Assam was split into two states in 1969, one of which became known as Meghalaya. The state was first included in Assam, but over time it was elevated to become a full-fledged state.

  • Manipur and Tripura were made into states, bringing the total number of Indian states to 21.
  • Sikkim was first created as a state inside the Indian Union. Even though it was referred to as an association state, it eventually became a full-fledged state.
  • Mizoram was given the status of a full-fledged state in 1986, at which point it was formally enshrined as the 23rd state of India.
  • Arunachal Pradesh, another Indian Union Territory, was referred to as the 24th state of the Indian Union in 1987.
  • After being separated from Daman and Diu, the Union territory of Goa, the state of Goa was awarded the status of a distinct entity. In November 2000, the states of Jharkhand, Uttaranchal, and Chhattisgarh were created.

Learn more about the state formation in India here.

State Reorganisation Commission UPSC

The State reorganisation Commission UPSC topic is studied in the Indian Polity Syllabus of the IAS exam. Questions on the reorganisation of Indian states are often asked in the Prelims and Mains exams. To understand the history and geography of Indian States, candidates must prepare these notes well.

State Reorganisation Act UPSC Questions

Two sample questions are provided below to have a rough vision of the type of questions being asked about the State reorganisation commission in the UPSC exam.

Q1. Which among the following Constitutional Amendments did the Parliament pass in order to put the States Reorganisation Act into effect?

  1. First Constitutional Amendment
  2. Seventh Amendment to the Constitution
  3. 42nd Amendment to the Constitution
  4. 44th Amendment to the Constitution

Answer – Option B

Q2. Which Article of the Indian Constitution was used by the Parliament to pass the State Reorganisation Act 1956?

  1. Article 4
  2. Article 19
  3. Article 21
  4. Article 352

Answer: Option A

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