Mains Practice Question


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Discuss how the concept of Indian Union Territories was developed and implemented.
A Simple Introduction about  Union Territories

Union Territories (UTs) in India are administrative divisions that are directly governed by the Central Government of India. Unlike states, which have their own elected governments and legislatures, UTs are administered by an administrator appointed by the President of India. The concept of Indian Union Territories (UTs) emerged as a solution to address the linguistic diversity and regional aspirations within the newly independent nation. The development and implementation of this concept unfolded through various stages, driven by factors such as linguistic movements and administrative considerations.


It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content.
  • In the late 1940s and early 1950s, linguistic tensions began to escalate across India, fueled by demands for separate administrative units based on language. Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, and Gujarati speakers, among others, advocated for the formation of states corresponding to their linguistic identities. The creation of Andhra Pradesh in 1953 further intensified these movements, prompting the government to appoint the States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) to address the linguistic issue.
  • Comprising Justice Fazil Ali, KM Panikkar, and HN Kunzru, the SRC recommended the reorganisation of India's administrative units along linguistic lines. In its report submitted in 1955, the SRC proposed the formation of 14 states and six centrally administered territories, introducing the concept of Union Territories.
  • The original six Union Territories included Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep (formerly Laccadive, Minicoy, and Amindivi Islands), Delhi, Manipur, Tripura, and Himachal Pradesh. These territories were characterized by their direct administration by the central government.
  • Over the years, the evolution of Union Territories reflected the diverse geographical, cultural, and administrative landscape of India. The addition of new territories, such as Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh in 2019, further expanded the UT category, reflecting changing geopolitical dynamics.
  • India's states were initially classified into Parts A, B, C, and D based on their administrative structures. Part A states had governors, Part B states had elected legislatures, Part C states were administered by Chief Commissioners, and Part D included territories directly administered by the central government.
  • With the enactment of the Constitution (Seventh Amendment) Act in 1956, the territories were officially designated as Union Territories. Subsequent legislative measures, such as the Goa, Daman, and Diu Reorganisation Act of 1987, led to further modifications in the UT landscape, including the grant of statehood to certain territories.


The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.
The concept of Indian Union Territories emerged as a pragmatic solution to accommodate linguistic diversity and regional aspirations within the framework of the Indian Union. The evolution of UTs reflects the ongoing process of administrative restructuring and territorial governance in response to changing socio-political dynamics.
Other Points to Consider 

Indian states during the British Rule

7th amendment of Constitution of India



Previous Year Questions

1. The political and administrative reorganization of states and territories has heen a continuous ongoing process since the mid-nineteenth century. Discuss with examples. (2022)

2. Has the formation of linguistic states strengthened the cause of Indian unity? (2016)


05-Apr 2024