Why were Union Territories formed?
When the president will give assent to the proposal of revoking Article 370, number of States in India will be reduced to 28 from 29 and Union Territories will be increases to 9 from 7.
Presently, India has 7 Union Territories namely Delhi, Puducherry, Chandigarh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu.
Let us see history behind the formation of Union Territories.
There is a difference between States and Union Territories. As per the Constitution provisions, during independence, the union territories were either not a part of India or they were too small to be made into a state. Further, the States Reorganisation Commission in 1956 recommended generating a different category for these territories named Union Territory.
At that time it was observed that these territories were economically unbalanced, financially weak, administratively and politically unstable. So, they can't survive as separate administrative units. It is necessary for them to be depending on the Union government. And in this way Union Territories were formed.
Therefore, the Government of India and Union territories became a part of the skeletal structure of the Republic of India. Let us tell you that the administrative rule of the Union Territories were direct under the central government with national capital city of Delhi as its center.
Speculatively, the Indian President administered the Government of India and Union Territories. The Indian President delegates the administrative responsibilities to the Administrator of the Union Territories (Lieutenant Governor) who is specifically appointed for a particular Union Territory. All the administrators of Union Territories have an independent responsibility and are not responsible for other territories.
For effective governance, the Union Territories are subdivided into smaller administrative blocks and villages are the smallest area of administration. Villages have a representative administrative Gram Panchayat. The administrative control of a number of villages is under the hands of Gram Panchayat.
Union Territory with Legislative Assembly
According to the Indian Constitution, the Union Territories can have a Legislative Assembly with elected members like in Delhi and in Puducherry. Article 240 (2) of the Indian Constitution confers the supreme power to the President of India in regulating the affairs of all union territories. Jammu and Kashmir would fall under the category of Delhi and Puducherry. Under this special provision, the powers are distributed between the Governor and the Chief Minister who is an elected member. Whereas the education and Municipal operations fall under the Legislative Assembly and the governance of Security and other functions are managed by the Centre under the advice of the Lt. Governor.
Facts about Union Territories
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Delhi and Puducherry administrators are designated as Lieutenant Governors.
- The Governor of Punjab is concurrently the Administrator of Chandigarh.
- The Administrator of Dadra and Nagar Haveli is concurrently the Administrator of Daman and Diu.
- Lakshadweep has a separate Administrator.
- Also, Delhi and Puducherry each has a legislative assembly and council of ministers.
- With respect to the matters enumerated in the List II and List III in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, legislative assembly of Union Territory of Puducherry may make laws because these matters are applicable in relation to the Union Territory.
- The legislative assembly of National Capital Territory of Delhi has also these powers with the exceptions that Entries 1, 2 and 18 of the List II are not within the legislative competence of the legislative assembly.
- The Chief Minister is appointed by the representative who the people voted for and the Lieutenant Governor is appointed by the President on advice from the central government.
- Sometimes, certain bills related to Delhi and Puducherry are required to be reserved for consideration and for the assent of the President.
- The Home Ministry of the Union Government governed Union Territories, which takes care of everything from funds allocation to the police in these places.
Therefore, we can say that Union Territories of India are those regions which are directly governed by the Union government. Some of them like Delhi and Puducherry have legislatures while others not.