8. Union and its Territory

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Article 1

1)India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.

•Thus, although, India will have dual polity but India is not a federation like USA where states have formed federation by agreement.

•It also means that states have no right to secede from the union.

2)The states and the territories thereof shall be as specified in the First Schedule.

3) The territory of India shall comprise –

a)The territories of the States;

b)The Union Territories specified in the 1st Schedule; and c)Such other territories as may be acquired.

•Thus, “Territory of India” is wider than “Union of States” because ‘Union of States’ includes only states whereas ‘Territory of India’ also includes Union Territories and Acquired territories.

•Only State governments are given autonomy under federal system whereas union territories and acquired territories are directly administered by government.

Article 2

‘Admission’ or ‘establishment of new States’:Parliament may by law admit into the Union, or establish, new states on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.”

Article 2 deals with states that are not part of Indian Union, whereas Article 3 deals with existing state of ‘Union of India’.

Under this Article, India, being a sovereign state, has power to admit new states into India or form them as new independent states.

This power is given only to Parliament and not to any other body.

Under this Article, India acquired Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Goa, Daman and Diu, Puducherry and Sikkim.

Article 3

• •Parliament may by law

form a new State by separation of territory from any state or by uniting 2 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.

•However, such bill can be introduced in parliament only after fulfilment of following 2 conditions (apply only in case of state and not Union Territory): i.President’s prior recommendation; and

ii.President (before his recommendation) has referred the same to state legislature concerned for expressing its views within specified period. (only reference is required, permission of state is not required.)

•This power is also given only to Parliament.

•Thus, Union can destroy the states whereas state governments cannot destroy Union. Thus, India is ‘an indestructible union of destructible states’.

•Supreme Court held that the power of Parliament to diminish the area of a state u/a 3 does not cover giving of Indian Territory to a foreign country.

•Hence, Indian territory can be ceded to a foreign state only by amending the Constitution u/a 368.

•Thus, the 100th CAA was required to exchange enclaves with Bangladesh. •However, SC also ruled that settlement of a boundary dispute between India and another country does not require a Constitutional amendment. It can be done by executive action as it does not include cession of Indian territory.

Article 4

  “No law under Article 2 and 3 shall be deemed to be an amendment of this Constitution for the purpose of Article 368.”

•It means that laws passed by Parliament under Article 2 and 3 do not require special majority and consent of half of the states as required for an amendment u/a 368.

•Such laws can be passed by a simple majority and by the ordinary legislative process.

•This makes the process u/a 2 and 3 very simple.

State Reorganisation in India

•After integration of princely states, the biggest issue was reorganisation of states in India.

This issue required following considerations: •Administrative convenience;

•Reorganisation on the basis of language;

•Cultural affinity of people;

•Ensuring unity and integrity of India; etc

•Thus, various Commission were constituted to give recommendation on this issue.

S K Dhar Commission: It preferred administrative convenience over linguistic reorganisation of states.

JVP Committee (JLN, Sarder Patel and Pattabhai Sitaramayya): It also rejected language as criteria.

Fazl Ali Commission (or State Reorganisation Commission): It broadly accepted linguistic reorganisation of states. But, it rejected the theory of ‘one language one state’.It also recommended for abolition of existing 4 fold classification (A,B,C and D) and creation of 16 states and 3 UTs.

Shah Commission (1966): It led to formation of Punjab and Haryana states; and Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh Union Territories, from the state of Punjab.

Formation of States

In 1956:

14 States: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Bombay, J&K, Kerala, MP, Madras, Mysore, Orissa, Punjab, RJ, UP and WB.

6 Union Territories: Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Laccadive – Minicoy and Amindivi Islands, Manipur and Tripura. •1960: Bombay was divided into Maharashtra and Gujarat.

•1961: Dadra and Nagar Haveli was made an Union Territory.

•1962: Goa; Daman and Diu; and Puducherry were made Union Territory. •1963: Nagaland state was carved out of Assam.

•1966: Punjab was bifurcated in Punjab and Haryana and UT of Chandigarh. •1969: Madras was named as Tamil Nadu.

•1971: Himachal Pradesh was made a State from Union Territory.

•1972: Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya got statehood. Mizoram and Arunachal were made UTs.

•1973: Mysore was renamed as Karnataka.

•Sikkim: In 1974, it was made ‘associate state’ of India. In 1975, it was made as separate state.

•1987: Goa, Mizoram and Arunachal were conferred statehood.

•2000: Chhattisgarh (from MP), Uttarakhand (from UP) and Jharkhand (from Bihar).

•2014: Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh.

•2019: Jammu and Kashmir is divided into Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.

Part I of Indian Constitution is titled The Union and its Territory. It includes articles from 1- 4. Part I is a compilation of laws pertaining to the constitution of India as a country and the union of states that it is made of. This part of the constitution contains the law in the establishment, renaming, merging or altering the borders of the states. Articles under Part I were invoked when West Bengal was renamed, and for formation of relatively new states such as Jharkhand,Chattisgarh or Telengana.


(1) India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.
(2) The States and the territories thereof shall be as specified in the First Schedule.
(3) The territory of India shall comprise –
(a) the territories of the States;
(b) the Union territories specified in the First Schedule; and
(c) such other territories as may be acquired.


Parliament may by law admit into the Union, or establish, new States on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.



Parliament may by law

(a) 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;

(b) increase the area of any State;

(c) diminish the area of any State;

(d) alter the boundaries of any State;

(e) alter the name of any State:

Provided that no Bill for the purpose shall be introduced in either House of Parliament except on the recommendation of the President and unless, where the proposal contained in the Bill affects the area, boundaries or name of any of the States, the Bill has been referred by the President to the Legislature of that State for expressing its views thereon within such period as may be specified in the reference or within such further period as the President may allow and the period so specified or allowed has expired.

Explanation I: In this article, in clauses (a) to (e), “State” includes a Union territory, but in the proviso, “State” does not include a Union territory.
Explanation II: The power conferred on Parliament by clause (a) includes the power to form a new State or Union territory by uniting a part of any other State or Union territory to any other State of Union territory.


(1) Any law referred to in article 2 or article 3 shall contain such provisions for the amendment of the First Schedule and the Fourth Schedule as may be necessary to give effect to the provisions of the law and may also contain such supplemental, incidental and consequential provisions (including provisions as to representation in Parliament and in the Legislature or Legislatures of the State or States affected by such law) as Parliament may deem necessary.
(2) No such law as aforesaid shall be deemed to be in amendment of this Constitution for the purposes of article 368.

  1. Article under which Sikkim was made part of Indian Union : Article 2a.
  2. Article under which Telangana was made part of Indian Union : Article 3.
  3. Article 3 original provision was amended by Constitution (fifth amendment) Act, 1955 on 24 December 1955.
  4. No where under Part I, it is mentioned that India is a federal state. It rather uses the phrase “Union of States”.
  5. Terrotorial Waters vs International WatersThe territorial waters and the exclusive economic zones shall also become part of the states or union territories in the absence of any listing of them separately in Schedule 1 and 4 of the constitution.
  6. An economic zone (EEZ) is a seazone prescribed by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea over which a state has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources, including energy production from water and wind. It stretches from the baseline out to 200 nautical miles (370 km) from its coast.
  7. The difference between the territorial sea and the exclusive economic zone is that the first confers full sovereignty over the waters, whereas the second is merely a “sovereign right” which refers to the coastal state’s rights below the surface of the sea. The surface waters, as can be seen in the map, are international waters.
  8. The constitution (40th amendment) act, 1976, substituted a new Article 297 so as to vest in Union of India all lands, minerals, and other things of value underlying the ocean within the territorial waters or continental shelf or exclusive economic zone of India.
  9. The territorial waters, continental shelf, exclusive economic zone and other maritime zones act, 1976 was enacted by the Indian government to notify the sovereign rights on these areas for dealings with other countries.
  10. However, it is not clear whether states are debarred from imposing taxes or royalty on the minerals extracted from the territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone (which are still under states jurisdiction) as per serial no. 50 of state list in seventh schedule of the constitution.
  11. For creation or destruction of a state the permission from the concerned state is not mandatory under Indian Constitution. But the bill has to referred to the concerned state legislature for expressing its views.
  12. Prior recommendation of the President of India is necessary for the state creation/renaming bill. (Article 3). No such provision is mandatory under Article 2 (new states).

Mains Questions

Upload your answers here:

Question – India is an indestructible union of destructible states. Explain.

Question – Powers given to Parliament under Article 2 and 3 are grave injustice to authority of States. Do you agree?

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