(IGP) GS Paper 1 – Indian Polity & Governance – “Union & Its Territory “

Integrated Guidance Programme of General Studies for IAS

Subject – Indian Polity & Governance
Chapter – Union & Its Territory

The Term ‘Union of States’ implies that India is a unitary system of
government and it is federal only in a secondary sense.

Dr. Ambedkar use the expression “UNION” instead of the
expression “Federation” because of two reasons :

  • Though the country and the people may be divided into
    different States for convenience of administration, the country is one
    integral whole, its people are single people living under a single imperium
    derived from a single source.

  • The expression- India is a Union of States was chosen as
    India was already a Union at the time of the Constituent Assembly debates.Secularism means separation of religion from politics.
    Religion is private while politics is public.

Parliament may by law can:

  • Form a new State by separation of territory from any
    State or by uniting two or more States or parts of States or by uniting any
    territory to a Part of any State;

  • Increase the area of any State;

  • Diminish the area of any State;

  • Alter the boundaries of any State;

  • Alter the name of any State;

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What is Federation ?

A federation is one consisting of ‘an indestructible Union of
indestructible States’ as in the USA.

Creating New States

  • Even before Independence, Government was exploring the
    appropriate basis for states reorganization.

  • Dhar Commission was set up by the President of the Indian
    Constituent Assembly in 1948 to consider the question of reorganization of
    states in India.

  • The Commission favoured reorganization on the basis of
    administrative efficacy and not language.

  • The Indian National Congress at its Jaipur Session (1948)
    set up a high level committee called Linguistic Provinces Committee –
    consisting of Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and Pattabhi Sitararniah
    to consider the Dhar Commission’s recommendations. In its report (J.V.P.
    Report) the committee counseled utmost caution in proceeding with the
    proposal for the linguistic reorganization of states.

Jawahar Lal Nehru subsequently appointed the States Reorganisation Commission
(1953) that included Fazl Ali, KM Panikkar and HN Kunzru.

The four criteria laid down by the States Reorganization Commission (SRC) for
accepting the demand by a region for the formation of a State are:

  • Creation of new States should strengthen and preserve national unity.
  • States are to be formed on the basis of linguistic and cultural unity.
  • Financial, administrative and economic viability should govern the
    formation of new states.
  • It should aid the process of implementation of five years plans.
  • This was the beginning of states reorganization in India on a linguistic

Three new states were created in 2000 not on the basis of language but
primarily for good governance.

What is Regionalism ?

Regionalism refers to a group of people in a region or a state coming
together to demand and agitate for more powers of autonomy or a separate state..

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