Article 1 of Indian Constitution: Name and territory of the Union- Notes for UPSC

Original Text of Article 1 of Indian Constitution

(1) India, that is, Bharat, shall be a Union of States.

(2) The States and the territories thereof shall be as specified in the First Schedule.

(3) The territory of India shall comprise—

(a) the territories of the States;

[(b) the Union territories specified in the First Schedule; and]

(c) such other territories as may be acquired.

Article 1 of Indian Constitution Explanation :

Article 1 of Indian constitution describes India, that is, Bharat, as a Union of states.

In the absence of unanimity in the constituent assembly regarding the name of the country, it was decided to adopt both the traditional name Bharat, as well as the Modern name India.

Despite adopting a federal scheme in the constitution, the phrase ‘Union of India’ has been used instead of ‘federation of states’. Dr BR Ambedkar clarified this by giving reasons:

  1. Indian Federation is not the consequence of an agreement of states as in the case of the American Federation.
  2. The states have no right to secede from the federation. It’s a union because it is indestructible.

Classification of territories:

Article 1 classifies the territory of India into three categories:

  1. Territories of the states.
  2. Union territories.
  3. Territories that the Government of India may acquire at any time

The names of states and Union territories and their territorial extent can be in the first schedule of the constitution.

The ‘Territory of India’ and the ‘Union of States’: The ‘Territory of India’ is a wider expression than the ‘Union of India’ since the latter only includes the states, while the former includes not only the states and the Union territories but also the territories that the Government of India may acquire at any given time.

Acquisition of foreign territory: Foreign territories can be acquired through means recognised by International laws, i.e. Cessation (following treaty, purchase, gift, lease or plebiscite), Occupation (territory unoccupied by a recognised ruler, conquest or subjugation). For example, the acquisition of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Goa, Daman and Diu and Sikkim by India).

List of Amendments in Article 1 of Indian Constitution:

List of Amendments Description

7th Constitutional Amendment, 1956.

  • It includes the list of states and union territories of India, which is mentioned in the first schedule of the constitution.
  • Originally, it included fourteen states and six Union Territories of India, whereas currently, it includes twenty-eight states and eight Union Territories of India.
  • Amendment in Clause 2 of Article 1: it includes the establishment of new states, alteration in the area and boundaries of the existing states and the abolition of the 3 categories of states (Part A, Part B and Part C States) and classification of specific areas as union territories.
  •  Amendment in Clause 3 of Article 1: Article 1 has been amended, and the first schedule has been revised.

The Reorganisation Scheme under the original constitution

The reorganisation scheme, as done in 1956, also included the abolition of the three categories of states, i.e., Part A, Part B and Part C states (7th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1956), which are as follows:

  1. The major provinces of British India (Bihar, Bombay, the Central Provinces and Berar, Madras, Orissa and the United Provinces (renamed as Uttar Pradesh), Assam, East Punjab and West Bengal were grouped as Part A
  2. Major princely states that joined India formed Part B.
  3. Smaller princely states and some old chief commissioner’s provinces constituted Part C.
  4. The extremely backward Andaman and Nicobar Islands were constituted as a Part D.

The Original constitution (before 1956) had the following classification of states:

Category Description Administrator States
Part A states Former British provinces An elected governor and state legislature 9 states: Assam, Bihar, Bombay, East Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Madras, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal
Part B states Former princely states


(Former Princes)

9 states: Hyderabad, Jammu and Kashmir, Mysore, Madhya Bharat, Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU), Rajasthan, Vindhya Pradesh, Travancore-Cochin, and Saurashtra
Part C Former princely states and provinces

Chief Commissioner/


10 states: Ajmer, Coorg, Cooch-Behar, Bhopal, Bilaspur, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Kutch, Manipur, and Tripura
Part D Union Territory Chief Commissioner appointed by the President Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Reorganisation after 1956

The following is the list that mentions states and Union Territories of India as reorganised on 1st November 1956 under the State Reorganisation Act, 1956:

  States Description
1. Andhra Pradesh ·      It was formed by the merger of Andhra State with the Telugu-speaking areas of Hyderabad state.
2. Assam ·      The territories immediately before the commencement of this constitution were comprised of the province of Assam, the Khasi States, and the Assam Tribal Areas,  excluding the territories specified in the schedule to the Assam (Alteration of Boundaries) Act, 1951.
3. Bihar ·      The area of Bihar was slightly reduced by transferring minor territories to West Bengal (Purulia from Manbhum district, Islampur from Purnea district).
4. Bombay

·      The area of the state was increased by the addition of Kutch state, Saurashtra state, the Marathi-speaking district of Berar Division and Nagpur Division of central province and the Berar and Aurangabad Division of Hyderabad state.

·      The southernmost districts of the Bombay Presidency were transferred to Mysore state.

5. Jammu and Kashmir ·      There were no changes in boundaries in  1956.
6. Kerala

·      It was formed by merging Travancore-cochin state with the Malabar district and Kasaragod taluk of the south Canara district of the Madras Presidency.

·      The southern part of Travancore-Cochin, Kanyakumari district, along with Sengottai Taluk, was transferred to Madras state.

·      The Laccadive and Minicoy Islands were separated from the Malabar district to form a new Union Territory, namely the Laccadive, Amindivi, and Minicoy Islands.

7. Madhya Pradesh ·      It was formed by merging Madhya Bharat, Vindhya Pradesh and Bhopal State, and the Marathi-speaking district of Nagpur Division was transferred to Bombay State.
8. Madras

·      The Malabar District was transferred to the new state of Kerala, the south Canara district was bifurcated and transferred to Mysore state and Kerala, and a new union territory, Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands, was created.

·      The southern part of the Travancore-cochin-Kanyakumari district, along with Sengottai Taluk, was added to Madras State.

9. Mysore ·      The area of Mysore was increased by adding the Coorg state and the Kannada-speaking districts from the western Madras Presidency, southern Bombay Presidency and the western Hyderabad state.
10. Orissa ·      There were no changes in boundaries in 1956.
11. Punjab ·      The area of Punjab was increased by adding the Patiala and east Punjab states union.
12. Rajasthan ·      The area of the Rajasthan was increased by adding Ajmer state and Parts of Bombay and  Madhya  Bharat state.
13. Uttar Pradesh ·      There were no changes in boundaries in 1956.
14. West Bengal ·      The area of West Bengal was increased by the addition of Purulia district, which was earlier part of Bihar.

After the State Reorganisation Act of 1956, Part C and Part D states were combined into a single category of Union Territory and were not merged into other states. Due to various other reorganisations, only 6 Union Territories remained

  1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
  2. Delhi
  3. Manipur
  4. Tripura
  5. Himachal Pradesh
  6. Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands.

For Further Reference:

Other Related Links:

Indian Constitution: All Articles and schedules Article 2 of Indian Constitution
Article 3 of Indian Constitution Article 4 of Indian Constitution
Article 5 of indian Constitution Article 6 of Indian Constitution
Article 7 of Indian Constitution Article 8 of Indian Constitution
Article 9 of Indian Constitution Article 10 of Indian Constitution
Article 11 of Indian Constitution Citizenship

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