Union Territories of India

India, a union of states, is a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic with a Parliamentary system of Government. A union territory is a type of administrative division in India which is ruled directly by the Union government (Central Government). Hence, it is called the "union territory". The President is the constitutional head of Executive of the Union. Union Territories are administered by the President through an Administrator appointed by him/her. Union territories of India have special rights and status due to their process of formation and development. The status of "Union Territory" is assign to an Indian sub division to safeguard the rights of indigenous cultures, averting political turmoil related to matters of governance, newly inducted into India from a foreign colony and so on.

What is Union Territories of India?

Union Territories are ruled directly by the Central Government has a Lieutenant Governor as an administrator, who is the representative of the President of India and appointed by the President on the recommendation of Prime Minister. Union Territories have no representation in the Rajya Sabha except Delhi and Puducherry. The Administrator of each Union territory has a functional responsibility independent of his peer Administrators in other Union territories. The Union territories are further sub-divided into smaller administrative blocks for effective governance. Villages form the smallest area of administration. Each village has a representative administrative Gram Panchayat. A Gram Panchayat may have administrative control of a number of villages.

How Many Union Territories in India?

India, a union of states, is a Sovereign, Secular, Democratic Republic with a Parliamentary system of Government. The President is the constitutional head of Executive of the Union. The Union territories are notionally administered by the representative of the Indian President. There are 8 Union territories in India.. From the largest to the smallest, each UT of India has a unique demography, history and culture, dress, festivals, language etc. This section introduces you to the various UTs in the Country and urges you to explore their uniqueness:

Union Territories of India

There are 8 Union territories in India. The list for the same is given below:

1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Particulars Description
Area 8,249 sq. km
Population 4 lakh (approx)
Capital Port Blair
Languages Hindi, Nicobarese, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu

The Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, is situated between 6° and 14° North Latitude and 92° and 94° East Longitude. The islands located north of 10° north latitude are known as Andaman Group of islands while islands located south of 10° north latitude are called Nicobar Group of islands. The climate of the islands can be defined as humid, tropical coastal climate. The islands receive rainfall from both the south west and north east monsoons and maximum precipitation is between May & December.

The original inhabitants of the islands lived in the forests on hunting and fishing. There are four Negrito tribes, viz., the Great Andamanese, Onge, Jarawa and Sentinalese in the Andaman group of islands and two Mongoloid tribes, viz., Nicobarese and Shompens in the Nicobar group of islands.

2. Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu

Particulars Description
Area 491 sq km
Population 4 Lakhs (Approx)
Capital Silvassa
Languages Gujarati, Hindi

Recently the Daman and Diu is merged into Dadar and Nagar Haweli to form a single Union Territory i.e., Dadar and Nagar Haweli. From 1954 till 1961, the territory functioned almost independently by what was known as " Free Dadra and Nagar Haveli Administration ". However, the territory was merged with the Indian Union on 11 August, 1961, and since then, is being administered by the Government of India as a Union Territory.

3. Lakshadweep

Particulars Description
Area 32 sq. km
Population 64,429 ( Approx )
Capital Kavaratti
Principal Languages Malayalam, Jeseri (Dweep Bhasha) and Mahal

Not much is known about the early history of these islands. It is the smallest Union Territory of India. The islands that were supposed to have been inhabited first are Amini, Andrott, Kavaratti, and Agatti. It was earlier believed that the islanders were originally Hindus, and later converted to Islam under the influence of Arab traders, sometime in the 14th century. In 1956, the islands were constituted into a single territory, and since then, have been directly administered by the Union Government through an Administrator. The Laccadives, Minicoy and Amindivi group of islands were renamed as Lakshadweep in 1973. Lakshadweep, a group of coral islands consist of 12 atolls, three reefs and submerged sand banks. Of the 27 islands, only 11 are inhabited. These lie scattered in the Arabian Sea about 280 km to 480 km off Kerala coast.

4. Puducherry

Particulars Description
Area 479 sq km
Population 12,44,464 (Approx)
Capital Puducherry
Principal Languages Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, English and French

The territory of (Puducherry) comprises the former French establishment Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam, which lie scattered in South India. Puducherry, the capital of the territory was once the original headquarters of the French in India. It was under the French rule for 138 years and merged with the Indian Union on 1st November 1954. It is bounded on the east by the Bay of Bengal and on the three sides by Tamil Nadu. About 150 kms south of Puducherry on the East Coast lies Karaikal. Mahe is situated on the Malabar coast on the Western Ghats surrounded by Kerala. It can be reached from Calicut Airport, which is 70 kms from Mahe. Yanam is situated adjoining the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh and is about 200 kms from Visakhapatnam airport.

5. NCT of Delhi

Particulars Description
Area 1,483 sq. km
Population 1,67,53,235 (Approx)
Capital Delhi
Principal Languages Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu & English

Delhi finds prominent reference right from the times of the epic Mahabharata. Its control passed from one ruler/dynasty to another, beginning with the Mauryas, Pallavas, Guptas of Central India, and then to the Turks and Afghan during the 13th to 15th centuries, and finally to the Mughals in the 16th century. In the latter half of the 18th century and early 19th century, the British rule was established in Delhi. In 1911, Delhi became the center of all activities after the capital was shifted from Kolkata. It was made a Union Territory in 1956. Lying in the northern part of the country, Delhi is surrounded by Haryana on all sides except the east, where it borders with Uttar Pradesh. The 69th Constitutional amendment is a milestone in Delhi's history, as it got a Legislative Assembly with the enactment of the National Capital Territory Act, 1991.

6. Chandigarh

Particulars Description
Area 114 sq km
Population 10,54,686 (Approx)
Capital Chandigarh
Principal Languages Hindi, Punjabi, English

Chandigarh is a fully grown town of most modern architectural splendour. The city nestles in a picturesque setting in the foothills of Shivalik hills and enjoys the popular epithet the "City Beautiful". Representative of modern architecture and town planning, the city is a creation of the French Architect, Le Corbusier. Chandigarh and the area surrounding it were constituted as a Union Territory on 1 November 1966. It serves as the joint capital of both Punjab and Haryana States. It is bound on North and West by Punjab and on the East and South by Haryana.

7. Ladakh

Ladakh became a Union Territory on 31st October 2019. The Union Territory of Ladakh comprises two districts namely Leh and Kargil. It is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and distinct culture. The UT of Ladakh shall comprises of two districts namely Leh and Kargil.

Leh District:

Kargil District:

8. Jammu and Kashmir

Union Territories India
Capital Jammu ( winter ), Srinagar ( summer )
Area 222,236 sq.km
Languages Urdu, Dogri, Kashmiri, Pahari, Ladakhi, Balti, Gojri and Dari

How Delhi, Puducherry, J and K have other system the other Union Territories?

  1. In India, all the states and three union territories, i.e. Puducherry, Delhi, and Jammu and Kashmir possess elected legislature.

  2. Out of total eight union territories in India, three U.T. i.e., Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, and Puducherry, have their elected assembly, as these are granted with partial statehood, by an amendment to the Constitution.

  3. Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, and Puducherry have their own legislative assembly and executive council and operate like states. They have few subject of State list with them and a few lies with the centre.

Union Territories of India: History

During the discussion on re-organisation of states in 1956, the States Re-organisation Commission recommended creation of a different category for these territories since they neither fit the model of a state nor do they follow a uniform pattern when it comes to governance. It was observed that these economically unbalanced, financially weak, and administratively and politically unstable territories can’t survive as separate administrative units without depending heavily on the Union government. Considering all the reasons union territory was formed. Andaman and Nicobar island was the first union territory of India, Chandigarh is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana state of India. Recently the Jammu and Kashmir state is bifurcated into Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh Union Territories while the Dadar and Nagar Haweli is merged with Daman and Diu.

Check: Largest and Smallest State & UT of India

Check: Capitals of all Indian States / UTs

Union Territories of India: FAQs

Q 1. How many Union Territories are there in India 2020?

Ans. As of 2020 there are 8 Union Territories and 28 states in India.

Q 2. Which are new Union Territories included in India?

Ans. Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are new Union Territories of India.

Q 3. How many Union Territories of India have Legislative Assembly?

Ans. There are three Union Territories who have Legislative Assembly.

Q 4. Which Union Territories have legislative assembly?

Ans. The Puducherry, Jammu and Kashmir and NCT Delhi have legislative assembly.

Q 5. Which two Union Territories are merged recently?

Ans. Daman and Diu is merged into Dadar and Nagar Haveli.