India ranks 7th in terms of size among various countries in the world and a country like India with large physical boundaries, it is a tough job for the administration to maintain law and order in the country. Administration in India has been divided for example at a central level than at the state level and then at various district levels. At present, there are 28 states and 8 union territories in India. We are well aware of the fact that Article 370 of our constitution became inoperative recently by BJP led government under the supervision of Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Earlier, there used to be 28 states in India but then a new state formed by the division of Andhra Pradesh named as Telangana. Thus, making the total number of states as 29.
Then the further announcement of Article 370 being made as “inoperative” led to the division of Jammu and Kashmir state into two parts and these parts were given the designation of Union Territories namely Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Thus, at present, we have 28 states and 8 Union Territories. The difference between a state and a Union Territory is that the state has a separate government that has the power to make self-laws for the state and has its own Legislative Assembly and Chief Minister. Whereas UT’s are under the direct control of the Central Government and a Lieutenant Governor is appointed for the supervision of Union Territories by the President of India. They also don’t have any kind of representation in the Rajya Sabha except for two Union Territories that are Delhi and Puducherry. Here is the list of Union territories on India:
1) Andaman and Nicobar
Andaman and Nicobar are the islands located in the Bay of Bengal sea. Their capital is known as Port Blair. This Union Territory consists of a total of 572 islands and is approximately stretched up to 150 km. It consists of a total of 3 districts. Around 37 islands in this UT are inhabited that is they don’t have any population. This Union territory is situated between 6° and 14° North Latitude and 92° and 94° East Longitude and it is divided based on two parts based on latitude. The islands that are located north of 10° north latitude are known as Group of Andaman islands while islands located south of 10° north latitude are called Group of Nicobar islands. This Union Territory has a total area of 8,249 square km and the main languages that are spoken here are Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Hindi, Nicobarese, Bengali. People around the globe come here for celebrating holidays.
Chandigarh is one of the most beautiful and modern places to visit and is also a hub for education and enjoyment. It became a Union Territory on 1st November 1966. It is visited by people from many states like Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, and Haryana. It is one of the cleanest and pollution less smart cities in India. Rock garden and Sukhna Lake are some of the best places one can visit in his/her leisure time. It has a total area of 114 square km. It also serves a capital of states like Punjab and Haryana but it is being governed by Union Government. Hindi, Punjabi, English are some common languages spoken here.
3)Delhi (The Government of NCT of Delhi):
Delhi finds its place even in the epic book Mahabharatha and from old times, it has seen rise and fall of many dynasties from Mauryas to Mughals and it was during the Reign of British Empire the main capital for India was shifted from Bengal (now Kolkata) to Delhi as it was equally close to most of the states. It is spread over 1,483 square km and it is the capital of India. Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu & English are some prominent languages spoken here. Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Humayun’s tomb, Lotus Temple Qutab Minar, India Gate, Laxmi Narain Mandir, Jantar Mantar are some famous spots to visit. According to the 2011 census, it has a population of 1,67,53,235. It has 11 districts and it is regarded as the second-largest urban area in the world. It has a literacy rate of 86%. It also ranks among the top ten most polluted cities in the world.
4) Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu:
The former has a total area of about 491 square km with a population of about 3,42,853 according to the 2011 census. Gujarati and Hindi are the most common languages spoken here. Its capital is Silvassa. On 11th August 1961, it became a Union Territory. Diwaso and Raksha Bandhan are some festivals celebrated here. It lies between Maharashtra and Gujarat. Whereas the latter has an area of about 112 square km with its capital in Daman and a population of about 2,42,911. Gujarati, Konkan, and Hindi are the most common language spoken in Daman and Diu. It was included as an Indian part in 1961. Earlier, both were separate Union Territories but in November 2019 government decided to merge both these UTs into one.
Puducherry lies in the southern part of India and earlier it was known as Pondicherry and it has a bicameral legislature. It was a French territory till 1954. It has a total area of 483 square km. It consists of 4 districts that are located in different regions of South India and according to the 2011 census, 1,394,467 people live in these territories. Its capital is also Puducherry and being the biggest district of the four the whole Union territory is named after it. French, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam are some main languages spoken here.
Lakshadweep is located in the Arabian sea present on the west side of the Indian Peninsula. Kavaratti is the capital of Lakshadweep and according to the 2011 census, it has a population of about 64,429 and it covers approximately 32 square km. All in all, it has thirty-six islands. Jeseri, Mahal, and Malayalam are some common languages that are being used here. It was made as a Union Territory on 1st November 1956. This Union Territory shows a high literacy rate of 91.85%. It was earlier called as Laccadive, Aminidivi and Minicoy islands. Fishing is one of the most popular activities on these groups of islands.
Ladakh is one of the newly formed Union territories along with J and K. Earlier, it was a part of the Jammu and Kashmir state but as the Government made Article 370 as inoperative they decided to make it a Union Territory on 31st October 2019. It is made up of two districts namely Leh and Kargil. It is famous for the beautiful landscapes it offers to visit tourists. It has an area of approximately 59,146 square km and Tibetan, English, Urdu, and Ladakhi are some prominent languages used here. Its winter capital is Kargil whereas its summer capital is Leh.
8) Jammu and Kashmir:
Jammu and Kashmir used to be an Indian state but it has now be made as an Indian Union territory. It has a total area of 42,241 square km with a population of about 12,258,433 according to the surveys. The literacy rate is about 67.16%. Urdu, Hindi, Pahari, Kashmiri, Dari, Ladakhi are some common languages that are used here. Its winter capital is Jammu and Summer’s capital is Kashmir. It has 5 Lok Sabha seats and 4 Rajya Sabha seats. It consists of 20 districts. It was given the designation of a Union Territory on 31st October 2019.
Here one thing is to notice that according to the Indian Constitution, the administration of India’s union territory is performed by an administrator, appointed by the President of India (as the President’s representative), and not a head of any state/government. A number of other officers like lieutenant perform duties to carry administrative work.
You Might Be Interested In: Five Largest Indian States By Coastline.