Union Territories of India: 28 States and 8 Union Territories of India List

By Balaji

Updated on: March 24th, 2023

Union Territories of India are directly governed by the central government, with the Vice Governor representing the President of India as the executive and appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. India has 8 Union Territories. The status of UT of India is offered to an Indian sub-division to protect the rights of indigenous civilizations, prevent political confusion related to issues of governance, the establishment of new settlements from a foreign colony into India and so on.

Except for Delhi and Pondicherry, union territories have no representatives in the Rajya Sabha. The Union Territories of India’s administration is independent of the other areas’ administration, and Union Territories are subdivided into smaller administrative divisions to ensure effective governance.

Table of content

  • 1. What are Union Territories of India? (more)
  • 2. History of Union Territory of India (more)
  • 3. All Union Territories of India – Requirements (more)
  • 4. List of 8 Union Territories of India (more)
  • 5. Largest Union Territories of India (more)
  • 6. Union Territories of India and Their Capitals 2023 (more)
  • 7. Difference between Union Territory and State (more)
  • 8. Union Territories of India – Structural Fragility (more)

What are Union Territories of India?

Union territories or UTs in India are national territories allocated by the Union Government of India, and UT of India is also referred to as centrally administered territories. Union territories have unique rights and positions considering their procedure of formation and evolution.

Union Territories of India PDF

The President of India designates the Lieutenant Governors (LGs) of UT, and these governors serve as the administrators of Indian Union Territories. The UTs were presented in the States Reorganisation Act, of 1956. The vision of the UT was added by the Constitution (Seventh Amendment) Act, 1956.

History of Union Territory of India

During the meeting on the re-organisation of states in 1956, the commission suggested the formation of a distinct category for UT of India as they were not properly regarded as a State and even did not have a uniform pattern of Governance.

  • It was noticed that these were inconsistent territories that were economically weak and politically and administratively unstable.
  • It was also observed that they could not prevail as independent administrative units and were dependent very much on the Union Government.
  • Assuming all the reasoning, a list of union territories of India was assembled.
  • The first union territory was Andaman and Nicobar islands.
  • The mutual capital of the state of Haryana and Punjab was Chandigarh.
  • The state of Jammu and Kashmir has recently split into Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh Union Territories.
  • While, Daman and Diu got united with Dadar and Nagar Haweli.

All Union Territories of India – Requirements

There were 14 states and six union territories in India in 1956. A few states have been increased to 28, and UTs have become 8 over the years.

Some UTs that evolved as entire states since the 1960s are Sikkim, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, and Mizoram.

  • Chandigarh is the organizational capital of both Punjab and Haryana, while Delhi is the organizational capital of India.
  • Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands are situated far from the continent of India and occupy strategic places.
  • Union government control of them may be regarded as necessary from a federal security point of view.
  • The UTs of Puducherry were under French management, while Daman and Diu were under Portuguese.
  • They have a more diverse culture than their surrounding States, and special provisions may be needed to maintain this identity and provide satisfactory governance.

List of 8 Union Territories of India

Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh were officially established as union territories in 2019. This list provides all the details about the 8 union territories, including their capital, population, and area.

Name of Union Territory of India Year of Foundation Capital city Population according to the 2011 census number Area (km2)
Andaman and Nicobar Islands November 1956 Port Blair 3,80,581 8,249
Chandigarh 1 November 1966 Chandigarh 10,55,450 114
Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu 26 January 2020 Daman 3,43,709 603 (with DandD)
Delhi 1956 New Delhi 1,67,87,941 1,483
Lakshadweep 1 November 1956 Kavaratti 64,473 32
Puducherry 1 November 1954 Pondicherry 12,47,953 479
Jammu and Kashmir 31 October 2019 Srinagar in Summer and Jammu in Winter 1,22,67,013 42,241
Ladakh 31 October 2019 Leh 2,74,289 59,146

Largest Union Territories of India

Concerning area, Ladakh is the largest union territory, with 59,146 km2 of land area. Population-wise, the largest union territory in Delhi. According to the 2011 Census, the total population of Delhi is 16,787,941.

Union Territory of India Capital
Jammu and Kashmir Srinagar (Summer), Jammu (Winter)
Lakshadweep Kavaratti
Chandigarh Chandigarh
Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu Daman
Puducherry Puducherry
Andaman and Nicobar Islands Port Blair
Delhi New Delhi
Ladakh Leh (summer), Kargil (winter)

Union Territories of India and Their Capitals 2023

There are 8 union territories in India: Ladakh, Chandigarh, Delhi, Dadra, and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Jammu and Kashmir, Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry.

  • The Indian government enacted the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, of 2019.
  • It reconstituted Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories – the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh.
  • Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu integrated into one Union Territory in 2020, referred to as Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

1st UT of India: Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The first union territory of India is Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is located between 6° -14° North Latitude and 92°- 94° East Longitude. The occupants of the islands resided in the woods and were dependent on fishing and hunting activities. This UT in India generally experiences a moist and tropical seaside climate.

Particulars Description
Area 8,249 sq. km
Population 4 lakh (approx)
Capital Port Blair
Languages Hindi, Bengali, , Malayalam, Nicobarese, Tamil, Telugu

2nd UT of India: Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu

The Dadar and Nagar Haweli territory functioned independently and was called a free Dadra and Nagar Haveli Administration from 1954 till 1961. The union territory was integrated on 11 August 1961 with the Indian Union.

Particulars Description
Area 603 sq km
Population 4 Lakhs (Approx)
Capital Daman
Languages Gujarati, Hindi

3rd UT of India: Lakshadweep

Lakshadweep is the smallest Union Territory in India. It was originally occupied by Hindus and subsequently transformed into Islam during the 14th century due to the impact of Arab traders. It is a group of coral islands including immersed sand banks, 12 atolls, and three reefs.

Particulars Description
Area 32 sq. km
Population 64,429 ( Approx )
Capital Kavaratti
Languages Jeseri (Dweep Bhasha), Malayalam, and Mahal

4th UT of India: Puducherry (Pondicherry)

Puducherry, the capital of the territory was earlier the original center of the French in India. It was under the control of French rule for 138 years and joined the Indian Union on 1st November 1954.

It is enclosed by the Bay of Bengal on the east and by Tamil Nadu on the three sides. Karaikal lies approximately 150 km south of Puducherry on the East Coast.

Particulars Description
Area 479 sq km
Population 12,44,464 (Approx)
Capital Puducherry
Languages Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, English, and French

5th UT of India: NCT of Delhi

Delhi finds well-known considerations from the years of the epic Mahabharata. Its authority shifted from one monarch or dynasty to another, commencing with the Mauryas and finally to the Mughals in the 16th century. NCT of Delhi became a Union Territory of India in 1956.

Particulars Description
Area 1,483 sq. km
Population 1,67,53,235 (Approx)
Capital Delhi
Languages Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, and English

6th UT of India: Chandigarh

Chandigarh is a completely developed town of the most contemporary architectural magnificence. The state and the area encircling it were deemed as a UT of India on 1 November 1966. It acts as the joint capital of both Punjab and Haryana States.

Particulars Description
Area 114 sq km
Population 10,54,686 (Approx)
Capital Chandigarh
Languages Punjabi, Hindi, and English

7th UT of India: Ladakh

The Union Territory of Ladakh constitutes two districts namely Leh and Kargil. Ladakh evolved as a Union Territory of India on 31st October 2019. It is prevalent for its isolated mountain attractiveness and distinctive culture.

Particulars Description
Area 59,146 sq km
Population 2.74 lakhs (Approx)
Capital Leh
Languages Ladakhi, Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman

8th UT of India: Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir are named after the two regions it encloses – the Jammu region and the Kashmir Valley. Provisions for the making of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir were included in the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.

The act re-constituted the former state of Jammu and Kashmir into 2 union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, beginning on 31 October 2019.

Union Territories India
Capital Jammu (winter), Srinagar (summer)
Area 42,241 sq. km
Languages Urdu, Balti, Kashmiri, Gojri, Dogri, Ladakhi, Pahari, and Dari

Difference between Union Territory and State

Residents living in the union territories cannot hold the people governing them answerable, which damages the democratic rights of these individuals who are otherwise available to those in the states.

  • There are 3.68 crore Indian citizens living in eight Union Territories of India.
  • They are not permitted the democratic freedom of having their Assemblies with full control as enjoyed by those living in the 28 states.
  • Even in the case of UTs with a selected government, they have minimal powers compared to the states.
  • The Union Territory of India is often at the understanding of the appointees of the central government.

The table lists the basic differences between state and union territories of India.

State UT in India
They experience a nationwide connection with the Union Government by dividing executive and legislative powers. UT is more of a unitary association with the Union Government as all the executive and legislative powers reside with the Indian Government.
States enjoy autonomous controls. Union Territories do not have independent powers.
People elect the chief Minister who assists the state. Ut of India is assisted by a Lieutenant Governor selected by the Indian President.
The constitutional state head is the Governor. The Indian President is the administrative leader of the Union Territory.
A State is a constituent branch, and its own elected government has powers to prepare laws Union Territory is a small executive unit. The Government of the Union rules it except for Puducherry, Jammu, Kashmir, and Delhi.

Union Territories of India – Structural Fragility

The structural delicacy of the UT in India makes it easier for the central government to interfere in the functioning of the union territory of India and destabilize them.

Arrangement of the legislature:

  • A simple modification in the Government of Union Territories Act, of 1963, can make a Parliament with more than 50% nominated associates.
  • As per the constitutional provisions about the legislature’s composition in union territories of India, it is a body that is elected or partly appointed.
  • A partly selected and partially assigned legislature cannot support democratic aspirations.
  • A predominantly assigned House cannot encourage representative democracy.

Issue of nomination:

  • The nomination process is prone to politicization, as marked in the case of Puducherry.
  • The Union government had designated Assembly members without conferring with the government, questioned in the court.
  • No such qualification is laid down In the nomination to the Puducherry Assembly, either in the Government of Union Territories of India Act or Article 239A, unlike under Article 80.

Administrator’s control:

  • Union Territories of India have not been granted crucial independence, thus restraining them from a fully democratic set-up.
  • Tremendous powers have been bestowed on the Administrator/Lieutenant Governor in the UTs.
  • The President chooses on the suggestion of the Union government. The Union government finally solved the debated issue.
  • Under Article 239 AA(4) of the Constitution and Government of Union Territories Act (Section 44), the leader has the freedom to oppose the judgments of the Council and then mention them to the President for a definitive conclusion.
UPSC Notes
Ports in India Rivers of India
National Emblem of India Missiles of India
Dams in India Viceroy of India
Natural Vegetation of India Constitution of India
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