Union and Its Territory(Article 1 – 4) in Constitution of India- UPSC Notes

Union and Its Territory

The Indian constitution serves as the highest legal authority in India. It’s like a rulebook that outlines who holds authority in the country, what they can and cannot do. It also lays out the rights and responsibilities of citizens. Interestingly, it’s the world’s largest constitution, initially starting with 395 articles in 22 sections and 8 schedules, but now expanded to 448 articles across 25 sections and 12 schedules. We’ll delve into the first part of the constitution, titled “The Union and its Territory,” which spans from articles 1 to 4. Let’s explore this aspect in more detail.

Union and Its Territory UPSC

The first part of the Indian Constitution, encompassing Articles 1 to 4, addresses the concept of the “Union” and its territorial boundaries. It’s interesting to note that India is often referred to as the “Union of States,” even though the Indian Constitution has a federal structure. This distinction was explained by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, who preferred the term “Union of States” over “Federation of States” for two important reasons:

Unlike the American Federation, where states came together through an agreement, the Indian Federation was not formed through such a compact.

In the Indian context, states do not have the right to secede or break away from the union, further differentiating it from a typical federation.

This unique aspect of the Indian Constitution sets it apart from other federal systems and is an important historical and constitutional distinction.

Union and Its Territory Articles

Part 1 of the Constitution of India, from Article 1 to Article 4 expressly deals with the Indian Union and its Territories which is given below in the table. The concept of “Union and its Territory” is a fundamental aspect of the Indian Constitution, as it defines the geographical boundaries and political structure of the Indian Republic. Let’s delve into the key points related to the Union and its Territory in the context of the Indian Constitution:

Union and Its Territory Articles
Article 1 Name and territory of the Union.
Article 2 Admission or establishment of new States.
Article 2A Sikkim to be associated with Union (Repealed)
Article 3 Formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States.
Article 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.

Article 1

Article 1 of Indian Constitution defines two important aspects: the country’s name and its political structure. It states that India, also known as Bharat, is a union of states. This means that India is made up of different states and territories that work together as one entity.

In more detail, Article 1(2) specifies that all the states and territories must be listed in the First Schedule of the constitution. Article 1(3) explains what the territory of India includes: the territories of the States, the Union territories listed in the First Schedule, and any territories that the Indian government might acquire in the future.

Even though India’s constitution is federal in structure, it is referred to as a ‘Union’ because no state within it has the right to separate from the Indian union. This division of India into states and union territories was done to ensure effective governance and to accommodate our diverse population. It’s important to note that the term ‘territory of India’ is broader than ‘Union of India.’

Union of India: This includes all the states in India, which collectively form the Union of India.
Territory of India: This encompasses not only the states but also the union territories and any territories that the Government of India may acquire in the future.

The details of how these units are governed will be discussed in later chapters. It’s worth noting that the acquisition of foreign territory is not covered by Article 1; instead, it is governed by international laws.

Article 2

Article 2 of the Indian Constitution gives the Parliament the authority to include new states in India or create entirely new states within the country. The specific terms and conditions for doing so are determined by the Parliament. This article grants two important powers to the Parliament:

The power to accept new states into the existing Indian Union. This means allowing states that are already part of India to join.

The power to establish entirely new states that didn’t exist before.

An example of how Article 2 was used is in the case of Sikkim. Before 1975, Sikkim was an independent monarchy. However, through a plebiscite, the people of Sikkim voted to become a part of India.

Article 2A

Article 2A was introduced into the Constitution by the Thirty-Fifth Amendment Act of 1974 to facilitate this change. It’s important to note that Article 2A has since been repealed by the Thirty-Sixth Amendment Act of 1975.

Article 3

Article 3 of the Indian Constitution grants significant powers to Parliament. Here’s a breakdown of these powers:

Creating New States: Parliament can form new states from existing ones. For instance, Telangana was created from Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand from Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab by merging Patiala and East Punjab States Union (Pepsu).

Changing State Areas: Parliament can increase or decrease the land area of any state.

Altering State Boundaries: It has the authority to change the borders of states.

Changing State Names: Parliament can also rename states.

Uniting Parts of States or Union Territories: The power to create a new state or union territory includes merging a part of one state or union territory with another for this purpose.

However, there are two crucial conditions before Parliament can proceed:

President’s Recommendation: The President must recommend this action before Parliament can consider it.

State Legislature Input: Before recommending the bill, the President must consult the concerned state’s legislature to gather its views. It’s important to note that these views are non-binding, meaning Parliament can choose to disregard them. Furthermore, if changes are made to the bill, it doesn’t need to be sent back to the state for reevaluation.

Fundamental Difference Between the Provisions of Article 2 and Article 3

There’s an essential distinction between Article 2 and Article 3 in the Indian Constitution, even though both involve the creation of states:

  • Article 2 deals with the formation of new states from land that was completely or partially outside the boundaries of any existing state.
  • Article 3, on the other hand, focuses on establishing a new state from territory that wasn’t initially recognized as a state. This could mean either:

Gaining control of entirely new territory for India.

Elevating a region that was previously designated as a Union Territory to the status of a full-fledged state.

In simple terms, Article 2 is about making states from unclaimed land, while Article 3 covers the process of turning territories, whether newly acquired or once Union Territories, into full-fledged states within India.

For Union Territories with a legislature, like Delhi and Pondicherry, there’s no need to consult their legislature when making such changes. It underscores that while states can change, the unity and integrity of India remain paramount. For example, the formation of Ladakh as a Union Territory from Jammu and Kashmir aimed to improve governance and cater to the needs of Ladakh’s people, highlighting the importance of India’s unity and integrity over state boundaries.

Union and Its Territory Acts and Provision
State/Act Acts and Provisions
Assam Assam (Alteration of Boundaries) Act, 195, Parliament enacted this act for ceding a strip of territory to Bhutan by altering some part of the boundary Assam.
Andhra Andhra State Act, 1953, this act made by the parliament Andhra was Formed and became India’s first linguistic state.

Andhra Pradesh and Madras (Alteration of Boundaries) Act, 1959, the act altered the boundaries of the state of Andhra Pradesh and Madras.

Andhra Pradesh and Mysore (Transfer of Territory) Act, 1968, provided the transferred territory from Mysore to the State of Andhra Pradesh.

Himachal Pradesh Himachal Pradesh and Bilaspur (New State) Act, 1954, formed a new state of Himachal Pradesh by merging the state of Himachal Pradesh and an area named Bilaspur.
West Bengal Chandernagore a former French territory was merged into West Bengal by the enactment of the Chandernagore (Merger) Act, 1954.

Bihar and West Bengal (Transfer of Territories) Act, 1956, it transferred some territory of Bihar to west Bengal.

States Reorganisation Act, 1956 In 1956 after the recommendation of the Fazal Ali commission Parliament enacted this act which made extensive changes in the boundaries of various states for the purpose of meeting the linguistic, geographical, regional and local demands. It created 14 states and 6 union territories. 
Gujarat Bombay Reorganisation Act, 1960, Parliament created the 15th state by carving out Gujarati speaking population from Bombay and named it Gujarat by this act and changed the name of Bombay to Maharashtra.
Nagaland State of Nagaland Act, 1962, Parliament through this act created the 16th State of India i.e., Nagaland by carving out the Naga Hills (especially Tuensang Region) of Assam. The Naga Hills (Tuensang Region) is a tribal area of Assam specified in the 6th Schedule of our Constitution.
Haryana Punjab Reorganisation Act, of 1966, created a new state of Haryana the 17th state by carving out the Hindi-speaking region of Punjab and Chandigarh was made the Union Territory and capital of both states.
Himachal Pradesh State of Himachal Pradesh Act, 1970, the act made Himachal Pradesh its 18th state which was a union territory initially.
Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, of 1971, created the 19th, 20th and 21st states of India which was Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya. It also created two union territories of Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.
Mizoram  State of Mizoram Act, 1986, the union territory of Mizoram was given the status of 23rd state of India.
Arunachal Pradesh State of Arunachal Pradesh Act, 1986, the union territory of Arunachal Pradesh was given the status of 24th state of India.
Goa Goa, Daman and Diu Reorganisation Act, 1987, formed a new state of Goa the 25th state of India by separating the territory of Goa from the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu. 
Chhattisgarh Madhya Pradesh Reorganisation Act, of 2000, it created the state of Chhattisgarh (26th state) out of the territories of the State of Madhya Pradesh. 
Uttaranchal Uttar Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2000, State of Uttaranchal (27th state) by carving out its territory from that of the territories of the state of Uttar Pradesh. 

Uttaranchal (Alteration of Name) Act, 2006, altered the name of the State of Uttaranchal to that of the State of Uttarakhand. 

Jharkhand Bihar Reorganisation Act, 2000, State of Jharkhand (28th state) by separating its territory from the territories of the State of Bihar. 
Telangana Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, state of Telangana (29th state) by carving out its territory from the territories of the state of Andhra Pradesh. 

Article 4

Article 2 and Article 3 of the law allow changes to be made to the 1st and 4th Schedules, along with related matters. There are two key points to remember:

Any law involving Article 2 or Article 3 must include provisions to modify the 1st and 4th Schedules as needed.

Such a law, created under these articles, won’t be seen as an amendment under Article 368.
This version is written in plain English and should be easier to understand while still conveying the same information.

UPSC Notes Related Links
Indian Polity Notes Preamble of Indian Constitution
Fundamental Rights Fundamental Duties

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