Indian States – History of Formation of States in India


Indian States are called “Union of States.” Constitution also described it same rather the “Federation of States.” Union of the states implies to Indestructible Centre and destructible states, while Federation refers to the Indestructible Centre and indestructible states. The USA has opted for the federal structure.

State Relate Articles

Article No. Subject
1 Name and territory of the Union
2 Admission or establishment of new States
2A Sikkim to be associated with the Union—(Repealed)
3 Formation of new states and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States
4 Laws made under Articles 2 and 3 to provide for the amendment of the First and the Fourth Schedules and supplemental, incidental and consequential matters
  1. Article 1 to 4 under Part – I of the Constitution deal with the Union and its territory.
  2. Article 1 – describes India. Its deals with two things
        • Name of the Country
        • Type of polity
  3. According to Article – 1 the territory of India can be classified into three categories
        • Territories of the states
        • Union Territories
        • Territories that may be acquired by the Government of India at any time.

Also Read: Constitution of India – Making, Composition and Features

Names of the States and their extent are mentioned in the first schedule of the constitution. This applies to all except Jammu & Kashmir and some special provisions (under Part XXI) applicable to Maharashtra, Gujarat, Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa override the general rules. And also Vth and VIth Schedule containing special provisions for SC and ST within the States.

Article – 2 refers to the admission or establishment of new states that are not part of Union of India. This Article provides Parliament with two most significant powers about the states

  • Authority to admit into the Union of India new states;
  • Power to establish new states

Parliament’s Power Related to the Indian States

Article 3 enables the Parliament to

  • Form a new state by separating existing or by uniting two or more States.
  • Increase the area of any state.
  • Diminish the area of any state.
  • Alter the boundaries or name of any state.

Before exercising such power Parliament need to fulfill two conditions:

  • The Bill can be introduced into the parliament only by prior permission from the President.
  • President must consult the relating state legislative.

Relevant information related to Part- I

  • Parliament is not bound to accept the state recommendations.
  • Parliament can redraw the political map of India according to its will.
  • The Constitution does not guarantee territorial integrity or continued existence of any state.
  • Article 4 says that new state formed under article – 2 should not be considered under Article 368 (Amendment of Constitution) which means the parliament can pass this through simple majority.
  • Under Article 3 Parliament can’t surrender state or any part of the state to the foreign country. This need constitutional amendment under Article 368. This was SC judgment regarding the famous Berubari Union (West Bengal) Case in 1960. (India Govt. cede Berubari to Pakistan). Which followed 9th Constitutional Amendment.
  • However in 1969 SC ruled that for boundary dispute with another country doesn’t require constitutional Amendment.

Also Read: Historical Background of India Polity

Evolution of Indian states and Union Territories:

There were 552 princely states in India out of which 549 joined, and Hyderabad, Junagarh, and J&K refused to join India. However, they merged over the time with India. In 1950 constitution classify states into four categories Part – A (9 Governor’s provinces), Part – B (9 Princely Sates), Part – C (10 Chief Commissioners Provinces states) and Part – D (Andaman & Nicobar Islands).

Committees with regards to the state formation

Dhar Commission:

Headed by SK Dhar to examine the feasibility of division of states on linguistic basis. The submitted report in December 1948 rejected the idea of division of states on linguistic basis.

JVP Committee

Recommendation of Dhar commission bring agitations in the south part of India where demand for linguistic states was more. So again in 1948 a new committee formed which jointly led by Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel, and Pattabhi Sitaramyya. It submitted its report in 1949 and rejected the idea of formation of states on language basis.

This does not result in any cool down in southern states. The agitation grew aggressively result of which first linguistic state Andhra formed after the separation from Telugu speaking area, Madras in 1953. This move intensifies the agitation and demand for sates on language basis.

Fazal Ali Commission

Appointed in 1953 for the purpose of the study of the feasibility of linguistic states. The commission submitted its report in 1955, and it accepts the idea of formation of states on language basis. Broadly its recommendations can be summed up as –

  • Preservation and strengthening of unity and security must be top most priority
  • Linguistic and cultural homogeneity
  • Financial, economic and administrative considerations.
  • Planning and promotion of the welfare of the people in each state as well as of the nation as a whole

The commission remarked that four-fold classification must be removed from the constitution. Govt. accepted most of the recommendation and ended the four-fold classification of the sates. This leads to the formation of State Reorganization Act and 7th Constitutional Amendment Act (1956), which resulted in the creation of 14 new states and three union territories.

States Created After 1956

1960 Maharashtra & Gujarat (15th State of India)

1961 Dadra and Nagar Haveli – Ruled by Portugal till 1954 and made Union Territory by 10th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1961.

1961 Goa, Daman, and Diu – Acquired by Police action from Portugal in 1961 and through 12th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1961 converted to the Union territories.

1962 Puducherry It was French establishment until 1954, and after that, it was administered as an acquired territory. Through 14th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1962 it was made a union territory.

1963 Nagaland (16th state) formed by taking Naga Hills and Tuensang area out of the state of Assam.

1966 Haryana & Chandigarh (17th state) separated from Punjab.

1966 Himachal Pradesh (18th state) on the recommendation of Shah Commission Punjab divided into three sides Hindi speaking area merged with Haryana and Hills formed new state Himachal Pradesh and Punjabi speaking in Punjab. HP got full statehood in 1971.

1972 Manipur (19th), Tripura (20th) and Meghalaya (21st)

1974 Sikkim (22nd) was ruled by the Chogyal, and till 1974 it was the protectorate of India until Sikkim wish to merge with India. This leads to 35th and 36th constitutional amendment1975. (Added new Article 371-A special provisions to Sikkim and revoked Article – 2A and 10th Schedule added by 35th constitutional amendment 1974.)

1987 Mizoram (23rd), Arunachal Pradesh (24th) and Goa (25th) Mizoram Peace Accord 1986.

2000 Chhattisgarh (26th) from Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand (27th) from Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand (28th) from Bihar.

Change of Name –

Old Name New Name
United Provinces Uttar Pradesh (1950)
Madras Tamil Nadu (1969)
Mysore Karnataka (1973)
Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands Lakshadweep (1992)
Uttaranchal Uttarakhand (2006)
Pondicherry Puducherry (2006)
Orissa Odisha (2011)

In 1992 Union Territory of Delhi changed to National Capital Region Delhi without the status of a full-fledge state by 69th Constitution Amendment Act 1991.

Also Read: Preamble of Indian Constitution