Union And Its Territories – Indian Polity Notes

Union And Its Territories – Indian Polity Notes: Articles 1 to 4 under Part-I of the Constitution deal with the Union and its territory. Article 1 describes India, that is, Bharat as a ‘Union of States’ rather than a ‘Federation of States’. The country is an integral whole and is divided into different states only for the convenience of the administration.

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Complete Notes on Union And Its Territories

In this post, we will cover the all-important points of Indian Polity notes on Union And Its Territories with important questions and FAQs. We are also providing students with a mindmap of the Union And Its Territories.

a mindmap of the Union And Its Territories
a mindmap of the Union And Its Territories

India – Union of States

  • Article 1 of the Constitution says, “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States”.
  • No state has the right to get separated from the Union.
  • The State of Jammu and Kashmir has been given special status under article 370. The separate Constitution of the State was drafted by the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir and became effective on Jan. 26, 1957.

Re-organization of States

  • After independence, the demand for the reorganization of the States on the linguistic basis was raised from different regions. The Constituent Assembly appointed the S.K. Dhar Commission in 1947 to study the issue.
  • The Dhar Commission recommended linguistic basis but it was rejected by Congress.
  • But Congress had to concede to the demand after the violence started in the Telegu-speaking areas. After the death of Poti Shrimalu, after a 56-day-long hunger strike, the government was forced to reconsider the issue.
  • The State Re-organization Commission was set up under Fazal Ali to make the exhaustive study. The other members of the Commission were Hridaynath Kunzru and K.M. Panikkar.
  • On the Commission’s recommendations, the States were started to be reorganized on linguistic basis. Andhra Pradesh was the first State to be reorganized on such basis.

Formation of New States and Alteration of areas, boundaries or names of Existing States

  • Under Article 3, the Constitution empowers the Parliament to 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.
  • The Constitution further states that Parliament has the power to increase or diminish the area of any State or to alter the boundaries or names of any State.

The procedure followed is –

  • A Bill giving effect to any or all the changes stated above can be introduced in either house of the Parliament, only on the recommendation of the President.
  • If such a Bill affects the boundary or name of the State, then the President, before introducing it in the Parliament, shall refer the Bill to the State Legislature concerned for its opinion, Parliament is not bound to accept or act upon the views of the State Legislature
  • The Bill is passed with simple majority.
Statesits formation
Andhra PradeshCreated by the State of Andhra Pradesh Act, 1953 by carving out some areas from the State of Madras.
Gujarat and MaharashtraThe State of Bombay was divided into two States, i.e., Maharashtra and Gujarat by, 1960.
KeralaCreated by the State Reorganisation Act, 1 956.
KarnatakaCreated from the Princely State of Mysore by the State Reorganisation Act, 1956.
NagalandIt was carved out from the State of Assam 1962.
HaryanaIt was carved out from the State of Punjab 1966.
Himachal PradeshThe Union Territory of Himachal Pradesh was elevated to the status of State by Pradesh 1970.
MeghalayaFirst carved out as a sub-State within the State of Assam 1969. Later, in 1971, it received the status of a full-fledged State 1971.
Manipur and TripuraBoth these States were elevated from the status of Union Territories 1971.
SikkimSikkim was first given the Status of Associate State by the 35th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1974. It got the status of a full State in 1975 by the 36th Amendment Act, 1975.
MizoramIt was elevated to the status of a full State 1986,
Arunachal PradeshIt received the status of a full State 1986.
ChhattisgarhBy dividing Madhya Pradesh on November 1, 2000.
UttarakhandBy dividing Uttar Pradesh on November 9, 2000.
JharkhandBy dividing Bihar on November 15, 2000.


A citizen of a State is a person who enjoys full civil and political rights. Citizens are different form aliens who do not enjoy all these rights.

  • Single Citizenship: No State Citizenship.

Citizenship At The Commencement Of The Constitution

  1. Every person who has domicile in the territory of India and:
    a. Who was born in the territory of India; or
    b. Either of whose parents was born in the territory of India; or
    c. Who has been ordinarily residing in the territory of India for not less than five years immediately preceding such commencement; shall be a citizen of India.
  2. Any person who or either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents was born in India.

However, no person will be deemed to be a citizen, if he voluntarily acquires the citizenship of a foreign State.

Citizenship Act, 1935 As Amended By Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 1986

  • The Act provides for the acquisition of Indian Citizenship after the commencement of the Constitution in five ways, i.e., Birth, Descent, Registration, Naturalization and Incorporation of territory.
  1. Citizenship by Registration: Any person who is not a citizen and belongs to any of the following categories, can apply for registration as a citizen. However, he must have resided in India for atleast five years immediately before making an application for registration as a citizen. These are:
    a. Persons of Indian origin who are ordinarily resident in India for five years immediately before making an application for registration;
    b. Persons of Indian origin who are ordinarily resident in any country, or place outside India;
    c. Women who are married to citizens of India;
    d. Minor children of persons who are citizens of India; and
    e. Persons of full age and capacity who are citizens of a country mentioned in the first schedule of the Act.
  2. Citizenship by Naturalization: A foreigner, on application for naturalization to a competent authority appointed by the State, can acquire Indian citizenship provided he satisfies certain conditions like having normally resided for at least ten years in India immediately before making an application.
  3. Citizenship by Incorporation of Territory: If any new territory becomes a part of India, the Government of India shall notify the persons of that territory to be citizens of India.

Loss of Indian Citizenship Under The Act

  • The Citizenship Act, 1955 also lays down the three modes by which an Indian citizen, may lose his citizenship. These are renunciation, termination and deprivation.
  1. Renunciation is a voluntary act by which a person after acquiring the citizenship of another country gives up his Indian citizenship.
  2. Termination takes place by operation of law. When the Indian citizen voluntarily acquires the citizenship of another country, he automatically ceases to be an Indian citizen.
  3. Deprivation is a compulsory termination of the citizenship of India obtained by registration or naturalization. The citizenship is deprived on the basis of an order of the Government of India, in cases involving acquisition of Indian citizenship by fraud, false representation, and concealment of material fact or being disloyal to the Constitution.

Citizenship Amendment Act, 1992

  • According to this Amendment Bill, the child who is born outside India and if his mother belongs to India, can have the Indian citizenship.
  • Before this Act, any child born outside India could acquire citizenship only if his father was a citizen of India.

Overseas Citizen of India Status

  • Parliament has passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which says that all the people of Indian origin in various countries, except in Pakistan and Bangladesh, whose parents/grandparents migrated from India after 26 Jan, 1950 or were eligible to become Indian citizens on 26 Jan, 1950 or belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15 Aug, 1947, will become eligible to be registered as the Overseas Citizens of India (OCI). All legal steps in this direction have been completed.


  • OCIs are entitled to multiple-entry, multi-purpose, life-long visas with no requirement of registration with police.
  • They can live and work in India or in the country of their naturalization.
  • They are eligible to work in the private sector.
  • OCIs enjoy parity with NRIs in respect of economic, financial and educational fields except in relation to acquisition of agricultural or plantation property.

Not Entitled

  • They are not entitled to hold constitutional posts and employment with the government.
  • They cannot vote.

Fundamental Rights

Need for Fundamental Rights – Fundamental Rights were deemed essential to protect the rights and liberties of the people against the encroachment of the power delegated by them to their Government. They are limitations upon all the powers of the Government, legislative as well as executive and they are essential for the preservation of public and private rights.

Classification of Fundamental Right

  • The fundamental rights as incorporated in the Indian Constitution can be classified under the following six groups:-
    (a) Right to equality (Articles 14-18).
    (b) Right to freedom (Articles 19-22).
    (c) Right against exploitation (Articles 23-24).
    (d) Right to freedom of religion (Articles 25-28).
    (e) Cultural and educational rights (Articles 29-30).
    (f) Right to constitutional remedies (Articles 32-35).

The 44th Amendment has abolished the right to property as a fundamental right as guaranteed by Article 19(1)(f) and Article 31 of the Constitution, and hence Article 19(1)(f) and Article 31 has been omitted.

Right to Equality

  • Article 14. Equality before law — The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. Equality before the law implies that no one is above the law of the land.
    However, the Constitution allows the following exceptions to the rule of equality before the law:
    The President or the Governor of a State is not answerable to any Court for the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of office; These apart, other exceptions, such as in favour of foreign rulers and ambassadors, also exist in accordance with international standards.
  • Article 15: Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth — Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children and also for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
  • Article 16: Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment — There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State.
    • It does not prevent the State from prescribing the necessary qualifications and selective tests for recruitment for Government services.
    • It also empowers the State to make special provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which in the opinion of State are not adequately represented in the services under the State.
    • It also provides for the reservation of seats in promotion for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
  • Article 17: Abolition of untouchability — Untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden and shall be punishable according to the law.
  • Parliament has passed an act “Untouchability (Offences) Act, 1955” which was amended and renamed in 1976 as “Protection of Civil Right Act, 1955”.
  • Article 18: Abolition of titles — No title, not being a military or academic distinction, shall be conferred by the State.
    • Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri and other State awards are not regarded as titles in terms of Article 18(1) of the Constitution.
    • Clause (2) prohibits a citizen of India from accepting any title from a foreign State.

Right to Freedom

  • Article 19: Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech etc — It guarantees the citizens of India the following six fundamental freedoms:
    a. Freedom of Speech and Expression
    b. Freedom of Assembly.
    c. Freedom to form Associations.
    d. Freedom of Movement.
    e. Freedom of Residence and Settlement.
    f. Freedom of Profession, Occupation, Trade or Business.

Freedom of Press: The Indian Constitution does not provide for the freedom of press separately. It is implicit in Article 19.

Right to Information Act
• Right to Information is a corollary of the Fundamental Right of Freedom of Speech and Expression, Art 19(a).
• On Oct 12, 2005 Right to Information was made a constitutional Act with the hope of an era of better, more transparent, accountable and responsive governance.
• A strong and independent information Commission has been Set up at the Centre on the pattern of Central Vigilance Commission.
• The Central Information Commission shall consist of one Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and not more than ten Central Information Commissioners. The CIC and other Information Commissioners shall hold office for a term of 5 years or till they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. They shall not be eligible for reappointment.
• The Central Information Commission can fine official Rs, 250 per day, with a maximum of Rs. 25,000, if information is delayed beyond stipulated 30 days.
  • Article 20: Protection in respect of conviction for offences — No person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of the law in force at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence, nor be subjected to a penalty greater than that which might have been inflicted under the law in force at the time of the commission of the offence. Thus the legislature is prohibited to make criminal laws having retrospective effects.
    No person shall be prosecuted and punished for the same offence more than once (double jeopardy).
    No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.
  • Article 21: Protection of life and personal liberty — No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. Personal freedom is secured by the Constitution by the judicial writ of Habeas Corpus (Article 32 and 226).
  • Article 21A: Right to Education — The 86th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2002, has inserted in the Constitution a new article 21-A. It states that the State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine.
  • Article 22: Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases — It states that: (a) no person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed of the grounds for such arrest nor shall he be denied the right to consult, and to be defended by, a legal practitioner of his choice; (b) every person who is arrested and detained shall be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of twenty-four hours of such arrest excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the court of the magistrate and no such person shall be detained in custody beyond the said period without the authority of a magistrate.
  • The above safeguards are not, however, available to an enemy alien and a person arrested or detained under a law providing for Preventive Detention.
  • The government is entitled to detain an individual under Preventive Detention only for two months. If it seeks to detain the arrested person for more than two months, it must obtain a report from an Advisory Board.
  • Parliament is empowered to prescribe, by law, the maximum period for which a person may be detained under a law of Preventive Detention.

Right Against Exploitation

  • Article 23: Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour — Traffic in human beings and ‘begar’ (involuntary work without payment) and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence and punishable in accordance with law.
  • Article 24: Prohibition of employment of children in factories etc — No child below the age of 14 can be employed in any factory or mine or any other hazardous employment.

Right to Freedom of Religion

  • Article 25: Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion — This right is, however, subject to public order, morality and health
  • Article 26: Freedom to manage religious affairs.
  • Article 27: Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion
  • Article 28: Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational institutions.
  • Article 29: Protection of interests of minorities —
    (1) Any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or in any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same.
    (2) No citizen shall be denied admission into any educational institution maintained by the State o receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them.
  • Article 30: Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions —
    (1) All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
    (2) The State shall not, in granting aid to educational institutions, discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language.
  • Article 31: Omitted by the 44th Amendment Act, 1978.

Right to Constitutional Remedies

  • Article 32: The right to move the Supreme Court in case of the violation of Fundamental Rights (called Soul and heart of the Constitution by Dr. BR Ambedkar).

To enforce the Fundamental Rights, the Supreme Court and High Court is empowered, under Article 32 and 226 respectively, to issue writs of various forms.

Forms of Writs

Habeas Corps

  • Literally means ‘to have the body. It implies that a person imprisoned or detained by the law can enquire under what authority he has been imprisoned or detained. The Court issues the writ against the authority concerned if the executive arrests someone without the authority of law or in contravention of procedure established by law.


  • Literally means a ‘command’ issued by the court commanding a person or a public authority to do, or forbear to do something in the nature of public duty. The writ of mandamus can be issued by the Court to enforce Fundamental Rights; whenever a public officer or a Government has committed an act violating a person’s Fundamental Rights, the Court can restrain that authority from enforcing such orders or committing such an act.
  • The writ is issued against a private individual or organization unless the State is in collusion with such a party in contravening a Constitutional provision or a statute.

Quo Warranto

  • An order issued by the court to prevent a person from holding office to which he is not entitled and to oust him from that office.
  • For the writ of quo warrant to be issued, the office must be public, created by statute or by the Constitution, the office must be a substantive one, and there should have been a contravention of the Constitution or a statute in appointing the person to that office.


  • The writ of prohibition is issued by the Supreme Court or a High Court to an inferior Court forbidding the latter to continue proceedings in a case in excess of its jurisdiction or to usurp a jurisdiction with which it is not legally vested.
  • The writ is not available against a public officer not vested with judicial or quasi-judicial functions. The Supreme Court can issue the writ only where a Fundamental Right is affected.


  • The writ of certiorari is issued to a lower Court after a case has been decided by it, quashing the decision or order. The objective to secure that the jurisdiction of an inferior Court or tribunals is properly exercised and that it does not usurp the jurisdiction which it does not possess.
  • In short, while prohibition is available during the pendency of the proceedings and before the order is made, certiorari can be issued only after the order has been made, under similar circumstances.

Suspendability of Fundamental Rights

  • When the President proclaims a National Emergency under Article 352, on grounds of war or external aggression (but not armed rebellion), the rights guaranteed by Article 19 are automatically suspended.
  • As regards with the suspension of any or all the other Fundamental Rights, the Constitution further empowers the President to issue a separate proclamation under Article 359.
  • By the 44th Amendment Act, 1978, the suspension of Articles 20 and 21 has been prohibited under any circumstances.

Fundamental Duties

Added by 42nd amendment in 1976 on the basis of Sardar Swarn Singh Committee report.

  • There are eleven Fundamental Duties which are contained in Article 51A.
  • It shall be the duty of every citizen of India:
  1. To abide to the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;
  2. To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;
  3. To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;
  4. To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do to;
  5. To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
  6. To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;
  7. To protect and improve the national environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures;
  8. To develop scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;
  9. To safeguard public property and to abjure violence;
  10. To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to the higher levels of endeavor and achievement.
  11. It shall be duty of every citizen of India who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or as the case may be, ward between the age of 6 and 14 years. (Added by 86th Amendment, 2002).
  • The addition of Fundamental Duties along with the exceptions to the Fundamental Rights limits the operation and the free enjoyment of Fundamental Rights.

Difference Between Fundamental Rights and DPSP

  • Fundamental rights constitute limitations upon State action, the Directive Principles are instruments of instruction to the Government.
  • The directives require to be implemented by legislation while fundamental rights are already provided in the Constitution.
  • The Directives are not enforceable in the Courts and do not create any Justiciable rights in favour of the individuals, while the fundamental rights are enforceable by the Courts [Ref.: Arts. 32, 37, 226(1)]
  • In case of any conflict between fundamental rights are directive principles the former should prevail in the Courts.
  • 42nd Amendment Act ensured that though the directives themselves are not directly enforceable it would be totally immune from unconstitutionality on the ground of contravention of the fundamental rights conferred by Arts. 14 and 19.

Directive Principles of State Policy

Introduction – The Directive Principles of State Policy contained in Part IV of the Constitution set out the aims and objectives to be taken up by the States in the governance of the country. This novel feature of the Constitution is borrowed from the Constitution on Ireland which had copied it from the Spanish Constitution.

  • Mentioned under Part IV of the Constitution covering Articles 36 to 51.
  • They tell about the aims that the state should strive to achieve.
  • They are a unique blend of socialistic, liberal, democratic and Gandhian Principles.
  • Mere instructions, not enforceable by law, for the day-to-day administration of the country.

Classification And Enumeration of Directive Principles

  • Can be classified under four principal groups. The first group deals with general principles of social policy. The second with the principles of administrative policy. The third deals with socio-economic rights. The fourth and last group contains a statement ‘of the International Policy of the Indian Republic.
  • They are as follows:
  1. Article 38: To secure and protect a social order which stands for the welfare of the people.
    • Article 38 (1): The State shall, in particular, strive to minimise the inequalities in income and endeavor to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations.
  2. Article 39: The State will, in particular, direct its policy towards securing:
    a. Adequate means of livelihood to all citizens
    b. A proper distribution of the material resources of the community for the common good.
    c. Prevention of concentration of wealth to common detriment.
    d. Equal pay for equal work for both men and women.
    e. The protection of the strength and health of the workers and avoiding circumstances that force citizens to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength.
    f. Article 39(f): That children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.
    g. Article 39(A): The legal system promotes justice on the basis of equal opportunity and will, in particular, free legal aid by suitable legislation.
  3. Article 40: To organize village panchayats as units of self-government.
  4. Article 41: To secure the right to work, education and public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness, etc.
  5. Article 42: To secure just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief.
  6. Article 43: To secure work, a living wage, a decent standard of life, leisure and social and cultural opportunities for people, and in particular to promote cottage industries.
    • Article 43(A): To secure the participation of workers in the management of undertakings engaged in any industry.
  7. Article 44: To secure a uniform civil code applicable to the entire country.
  8. Article 45: To provide, within 10 years from the commencement of the Constitution, free and compulsory education to all children upto the age of 14.
  9. Article 46: To promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, especially the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
  10. Article 47: To secure the improvement of public health and the prohibition of intoxicating drinks and drugs.
  11. Article 48: To organize cultural and animal husbandry on scientific lines and preserve and improve the breeds and prohibit the slaughter of cows, calves and other milch and draught cattle.
    • Article 48(A): To protect the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country
  12. Article 49: To protect all monuments of historic interest and national importance.
  13. Article 50: To bring about the separation of the judiciary from the executive.
  14. Article 51: To endeavor to secure
    a. The promotion of international peace and security.
    b. The maintenance of just and honorable relations between nations.
    c. The settlement of international disputes by arbitration.

Directive Principles Mentioned in Other Parts

  • Article 350(a): It is the duty of the officers of concerned states to provide primary education in mother tongue to the people of minorities particularly to the children of minorities’ class.
  • Article 351: It will be the duty of the Union to spread Hindi language amongst the people of India which will develop our cultural and social element.
  • Article 355: It will be under consideration to appoint the people of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in and as Union or State services.

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Important Questions on Union Territories

Questions 1
Who among the following has the executive power to admit a State in the Union or establish new States? [UPRO/ARO (Mains) 2014]
(A) Parliament
(B) Lok Sabha
(C) Political Parties
(D) Central Government

Questions 2
According to Article 1 of Indian Constitution, India is [UPPCS (Pre) 2008]
(A) Group of States
(B) Federation of States
(C) Confederation of States
(D) The Union of States

Questions 3
Indian Parliament has the power to create a new State under which of the following Constitutional provisions? [Goa PSC (Pre) 2018]
(A) Article 1
(B) Article 2
(C) Article 3
(D) Article 4

Questions 4
Which one of the following is empowered to alter the boundaries of States under the Constitution of India? [UPPCS (Mains) 2015]
(A) Parliament
(B) Lok Sabha
(C) President
(D) Supreme Court

Questions 5
Which one of the following is not correct in the matter of formation of new States? [UPPCS (Mains) 2011]
(A) Parliament may by law form a new State
(B) Such law shall contain provisions for the amendment of the First Schedule and the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution
(C) Such law shall be deemed to be an amendment of the Constitution for the purpose of Article 368
(D) No Bill for enacting such law shall be introduced in the Parliament unless it has been referred to the Legislature of the States, whose areas, boundaries or name is affected

FAQs on Union Territories

A Bill for the purpose of creating a new State in India must be passed by?

A Bill for the purpose of creating a new State in India must be passed by A simple majority in Parliament.

Creation of a new state requires a ___ majority for Constitutional Amendment.

The creation of a new state requires a simple majority for Constitutional Amendment.

Union Territories in India are administered by?

Union Territories in India are administered by The President.

Who has been given the power to include or admit any state into the Union of India?

The power to include or admit any State into the Union of India is given to Parliament.

If a new state is to be formed, which schedule of the constitution will need to be amended?

If a new state is to be formed, the first schedule of the constitution will need to be amended.

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Last updated: August 17, 2023 Updated on 9:12 AM