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States and territories of India

From Academic Kids

India is subdivided into 28 states, 6 union territories and a National Capital Territory.

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Evolution of India's states

The British India, which consisted of modern-day India, as well as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan, was made up of two types of states. Provinces were ruled directly by British officials, either a governor or a chief commissioner, who were appointed by the Viceroy. Princely states were ruled by local, hereditary rulers, who acknowledged British sovereignty in return for local autonomy. British India had fifteen provinces: Ajmer-Merwara, Assam, Baluchistan, Bengal, Bihar, Bombay, Central Provinces and Berar, Coorg, Delhi, Madras, Northwest Frontier, Orissa, Punjab, Sind, and United Provinces. British India had hundreds of princely states, which varied greatly in size, from Hyderabad, with a population of over ten million, to tiny states. Most of the princely states were under the authority of a British political agent responsible to the governor of a province, but the four largest princely states, Hyderabad, Baroda, Mysore, and Jammu and Kashmir, were directly under the authority of the Governor-General of India. Two other European countries had possessions in India; Portuguese India included the coastal enclaves of Goa, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and French India included five enclaves, Chandernagore, Yanaon, Pondichery, Karikal, and Mahe.

With the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, provinces and princely states were assigned to one country or the other, with two provinces, Punjab and Bengal, partitioned between India and Pakistan along religious lines. Hyderabad's Muslim ruler attempted to remain independent, but the Indian army intervened and Hyderabad was incorporated into India. India and Pakistan contested for control of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir; the state had a Muslim majority, but its Hindu ruler acceded to India.

The period from independence in 1947 to the beginning of the Indian republic in 1950 saw the consolidation of the former princely states into new provinces, usually governed by a rajpramukh, (governor) appointed by the Governor-General of India. In 1950, the Indian constitution took effect, the office of the Governor-General was abolished, and India created several different categories of states.

Part A states, which were the former provinces, were ruled by an elected governor and state legislature. The nine Part A states were Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Bombay, Madhya Pradesh (formerly Central Provinces and Berar), Madras, Orissa, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh (formerly United Provinces).

The eight Part B states were former princely states or groups of princely states, governed by a rajpramukh. They were Hyderabad, Saurashtra, Mysore, Travancore-Cochin, Madhya Bharat, Vindhya Pradesh, Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU), and Rajasthan.

The ten Part C states included both former princely states and provinces. They were governed by a chief commissioner. The Part C states included Delhi, Kutch, Himachal Pradesh, Bilaspur, Coorg, Bhopal, Manipur, Ajmer, and Tripura.

Jammu and Kashmir had special status until 1957. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands was a territory, ruled by a governor appointed by the Indian president.

The French enclave of Chandernagore voted to join India in 1949, and officially became part of India in 1952, becoming part of the state of West Bengal in 1954. The remainder of French India, Pondichery, Yanaon, Karikal, and Mahe, were administered by India after 1954, formally becoming a union territory in 1962. Dadra and Nagar Haveli was occupied by India 1954, and Goa, Daman, and Diu in 1961, and they subsequently became union territories.

In 1953, the Telugu-speaking northern portion of Madras state voted to become the new state of Andhra Pradesh, the first of India's linguistic states.

In 1956, the States Reorganization Act took effect, which erased the distinction between parts A, B, and C states, and reorganized state boundaries along linguistic lines. The new states, mostly the former Part A states, were Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra,Gujarat,Kerala,Madhya Pradesh,Madras,Mysore,Orissa,Punjab, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Pondichery, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and the Laccadive, Mincoy, and Amandivi Islands became union territories. The remainder of the states were merged into the new states or union territories.

Several new states and union territories have been created out of existing states since 1956. Haryana was created in 1966 out of Punjab. The union territories of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland were created out of Assam. In 2000 three new states were created; Jharkhand was created out of the southern districts of Bihar, Chhattisgarh was created out of eastern Madhya Pradesh, and Uttaranchal was created out of northwestern Uttar Pradesh. The Kingdom of Sikkim was annexed to India as a state in 1975.

In addition, several union territories have become states, namely Goa, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland.

See also: List of states of India by population, List of states of India by area List of capitals of subnational entities, States of India by size of economy

External links

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