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Under Article 1 of the Constitution, the territory of India comprises three categories of territories:
(a) Territories of the states
(b) Union territories
(c) Territories that may be acquired by the Government of India at any time.

  • At present, there are Eight union territories and no acquired territories. 
  • The union territories are those areas which are under the direct control and administration of the Central government. They are also known as ‘centrally administered territories. 
  • Existence of these territories constitutes are departure from federalism in India

CREATION OF UNION TERRITORIES

  • In 1956 ‘union territories’ were constituted by the 7th Constitutional Amendment Act (1956) and the States Reorganisation Act (1956). 
  • Some of these union territories have been elevated to statehood like Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa, which are states today were formerly union territories.

Union Territories are
1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
2. Chandigarh
3. Dadra and Nagar
4. Haveli and Daman and Diu
5. National Capital Territory of Delhi
6. Jammu and Kashmir
7. Lakshadweep
8. Ladakh
9. Puducherry.
Union Territories in India- 1 | Indian Polity for UPSC CSEThe union territories have been created for a variety of reasons like

  • Political and administrative consideration: Delhi and Chandigarh. 
  • Cultural distinctiveness: Puducherry, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu. 
  • Strategic importance: Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.
  • Special treatment and care of the backward and tribal people: Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh which later became states.

Administration of union territories
The Union Territories are administered by the President through an administrator appointed by him with a suitable designation. In most of the Union Territories, the administrator is designated as Lt. Governor.
The President may appoint, if he wishes, the Governor of a State as the administrator of an adjoining Union Territory and when a Governor is so appointed he will exercise his functions as administrator of a Union Territory independently of his Council of Ministers. The President may frame regulations for the peace, progress and good government of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Pondicherry when the Assembly of Pondicherry is dissolved or suspended. Andy such regulation has the same effect as a Parliamentary enactment. Parliament is empowered to constitute a High Court for any UnionTerritory or to declare any existing court there; to be a Hugh court. Until such a High Court is established, these High Courts under those jurisdiction these territories had remained, will continue to exercise such jurisdiction in relation to these territories. On this basis Chandigarh falls under the jurisdiction of High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Delhi has its own High Court of Delhi the jurisdiction of High Court of Bombay extends over Dadra and Nagar Haveli, High Court of Kerala has jurisdiction over Lakshadweep, Pondicherry falls under the jurisdiction of High Court of Madras and High Court of Calcutta exercises jurisdiction over Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
To associated popular elements with the Central Administration or Union Territories, Advisory Committees have been established.
These Committees are consulted by government in regard to:
(i) General questions of policy relating to the administration of subjects in the State List.
(ii) All legislative proposals in the State List pertaining to the territories; and
(iii) Matters relating to the annual financial statements of the territories. The Parliament is authorized to create by law democratic structures in the Union Territories. The Parliament has provided for an elected legislature for Pondicherry and Delhi.

Difference between a state and union territory
Union Territories in India- 1 | Indian Polity for UPSC CSE

Table : Articles Related to Union Territories at a Glance
Union Territories in India- 1 | Indian Polity for UPSC CSE

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FAQs on Union Territories in India- 1 - Indian Polity for UPSC CSE

1. What are the Union Territories in India?
Ans. The Union Territories in India are administrative divisions that are governed directly by the central government. Currently, there are 8 Union Territories in India, namely Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, Delhi, Puducherry, Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir.
2. What is the difference between a Union Territory and a State in India?
Ans. The main difference between a Union Territory and a State in India lies in their administrative powers and political status. While states have their own elected governments and legislative assemblies, Union Territories are directly ruled by the central government. Union Territories usually have a Lieutenant Governor or Administrator appointed by the President of India to represent the central government's authority.
3. How are Union Territories governed?
Ans. The governance of Union Territories in India varies depending on their specific status. Some Union Territories have their own elected legislative assemblies and Chief Ministers, similar to the states, while others are directly administered by an appointed Lieutenant Governor or Administrator. The central government plays a significant role in the administration and decision-making process of Union Territories.
4. Can Union Territories be granted statehood?
Ans. Yes, Union Territories can be granted statehood if there is a demand and consensus among the people and the central government. In the past, some Union Territories like Goa, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh have been granted statehood and converted into full-fledged states. The process for granting statehood involves constitutional amendments and approval from the Parliament of India.
5. What is the significance of Union Territories in India?
Ans. Union Territories play a crucial role in the governance and administration of India. They provide a platform for the central government to directly oversee the affairs of specific regions and ensure better coordination and control. Union Territories also serve as important strategic locations, such as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which have significant defense and security importance. Additionally, Union Territories often have unique cultural and geographical characteristics that contribute to the diversity of India.
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