The political structure given in the Constitution is a federal Union. The name of the Union is India and the members of this Union are 28 states namely,
- Andhra Pradesh
- Arunachal Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu
- Uttar Pradesh
- West Bengal
- Himachal Pradesh
Territories of India
There are 2 classes of territories, which are included in the ‘Territory of India’:
- Union Territories
- Such other territories as may be acquired by India.
The Union Territories of India are –
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu
- National Capital Territory of Delhi
- Jammu and Kashmir
The important provisions of the article 1 are:
- India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.
- The States and its Territories shall be as specified in the 1st schedule.
- The territory of India shall comprise as –
a) The Territories of the states
b) The Union of Territories as mention in the first schedule.
c) Such other territories as may be acquired.
- Admission or establishment of new states. Parliament may by law admit into the union or establish new states on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.
- Sikkim to be associated with the Union. (Added by 35th Amendment Act,1974 – Associated State) and (Deleted by 36th Amendment Act, 1975) and made it a permanent state (Integral Part of India).
Under a traditional federal system, the Central government cannot alter the boundaries or area of any state without the consent of the respective state.
For example, American federation is defined as an indestructible Union of indestructible States. This means that the Congress cannot change the position of any state without the consent of that state. Because, American federation is result of the agreements between the states to come together and form the Unites States of America.
However, in India, there is no such agreement between the states. And during British rule the provinces were grouped together to serve the historical and political purpose of the British empire.
Thus, the makers of our Constitution empowered Parliament to reorganize the States by a simple procedure, the essence of which is that the affected State or States may express their views but cannot resist the will of Parliament.
The essential points of the Article 3 are:
- Formation of new states and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of the existing states.
- Parliament may by law –
- Form a new state by separation of territory from any state or by uniting 2 states or by parts of 2 states or by uniting any territory to a part of any state.
- Increase the area of any state.
- Diminish the area of the state.
- Alter the area of any state.
- Alter the name of any state.
- The term state also includes Union Territory.
- This also gives the provisions related to creation of new states or change in the name, boundary and area of any existing state, for this fall.
The important points related to Article 4 are:
- The bill itself contains provisions for amendment of 1st and 4th schedule, (to incorporate the name of the state and no. of seats in Rajya Sabha) and no separate constitutional amendment is required for this purpose under Article 368.
- The bill for amendment of the 1st and 4th schedule is introduced only on the recommendation of the President.
These articles put light on the feature of the Constitution of India that it is flexible.
Procedure for reorganisation of the States
- President’s prior recommendation is necessary for introducing a bill in either house of the parliament for this purpose.
- Before giving recommendation, President shall refer the matter to the concerned state legislature for its opinion.
- The state legislature is required to give its opinion, within the prescribed time limit (14 days).
- If state legislature doesn’t give its opinion within the time limit or gives contrary opinion, the bill can be introduced in either house of the parliament after expiry of time limit.
- Parliament is not bound to act in accordance with the opinion of concerned state legislature.
- To get the bill pass in a parliament only simple majority is required.
- After the bill is passed by the parliament and presented to President, President is bound to give his assent to the bill, after which it becomes law.