India is a
federal union of states comprising
twenty-eight state and seven
and territories are further subdivided
into districts and so
States and territories
Parts of Jammu and Kashmir are considered disputed territory
claimed by India, Pakistan & China with each country
administering a part of the former state of Kashmir
Part of Arunachal Pradesh is claimed by China as South
The subcontinent of India has been ruled by many different ethnic
groups throughout its history, each imposing their own
administrative divisions on the region. Modern India's current
administrative divisions are fairly recent developments, which
began to develop during British colonial rule of India.
British India included almost all of
present-day India, Pakistan, and
Bangladesh, as well as the associated protectorate of Afghanistan and province, later colony, of Burma (Myanmar).
During this period, regions of India were either directly ruled by
the British or under the control of local rajas
. Independence in 1947 largely preserved these
divisions, with the provinces of Punjab and Bengal being
divided between India and Pakistan.
One of the first
challenges for the new nation was the integration of the multitude
of princely states
Following independence, however, instability soon arose in India.
Many of the provinces had been created by the British to serve
their colonial purposes and as such did not reflect either the will
of India's citizens or the ethnic divisions found throughout the
subcontinent. Ethnic tensions spurred the Indian Parliament
to reorganize the
country along ethnic and linguistic lines in 1956 by means of the
French and Portuguese colonies in India were incorporated into the
Republic as the union territories
of Pondicherry, Dadra, Nagar Haveli, Goa, Daman, and Diu in
Several new states and union territories have been created out of
existing states since 1956. Bombay State was split into the linguistic
states of Gujarat and Maharashtra on 1 May 1960 by the Bombay Reorganization Act.
Nagaland was made a state on 1 December 1963.
Punjab Reorganization Act
of 1966 divided the Punjab along linguistic and religious lines,
creating a new Hindu and Hindi-speaking state of Haryana on 1
November , transferring the northern districts of Punjab to
Pradesh, and designating Chandigarh, the shared capital of Punjab and Haryana, a union
was conferred upon Himachal Pradesh on 25 January 1971, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura on 21
January 1972. The Kingdom of Sikkim joined the
Indian Union as a state on 26 April 1975. In 1987, Arunachal
Pradesh and Mizoram became states on 20 February, followed by Goa on 30 May,
while Goa's northern exclaves of Daman and Diu became a separate union territory.
three new states were created; Chhattisgarh (November 1, 2000) was created out of eastern
Pradesh, Uttaranchal (November 9, 2000), since renamed Uttarakhand, was created out of the Hilly regions of northwest
Pradesh, and Jharkhand (15 November 2000) was created out of the southern
districts of Bihar. The Union Territories of Delhi and Pondicherry (renamed to Puducherry) have since been given the right to elect their own
legislatures and they are now counted as small states