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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC

Reorganisation of States in India

Syllabus- Indian Polity [GS Paper-2]

Context:

Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated into two states 10 years ago which resulted in formation of a new state of Telangana.

About

  • Pre-Independence Era: Before India won independence from British rule in 1947, the territory of the Indian subcontinent was divided into numerous princely states, provinces, and regions under direct British control. 
  • The boundaries have been drawn based on administrative convenience in preference to linguistic, cultural, or ethnic concerns.
  • Creation of States: The demand for linguistic states gained momentum post-independence. One of the earliest and most enormous moves was the demand for Andhra Pradesh, based totally on the Telugu-speaking population. 
    • The States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) was set up in 1953 to strengthen the demand for linguistic states. 
    • Based on its guidelines, the Indian states were reorganized along linguistic lines in 1956. 
    • This led to the formation of states along with Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Punjab.
  • Further Reorganizations: Creation of new states like Haryana and Himachal Pradesh in 1966, the formation of Uttarakhand (formerly part of Uttar Pradesh) and Jharkhand (previously a part of Bihar) in 2000, and the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to create Telangana in 2014.

Process to form/rename a state in India

  • Article 3 authorizes the Parliament to:
    • Form a new state by separation of territory from any state or by uniting two or more states or components of states or through uniting any territory to a part of any state;  
    • Increase the area of any state; 
    • Lessen the area of any state; 
    • Alter the boundaries of any state; and 
    • Change the name of any state. 
  • However, Article three lays down two conditions in this regard: a bill contemplating the above changes may be delivered within the Parliament only with the previous advice of the President; and before recommending the bill, the President has to refer the same to the state legislature involved for expressing its perspectives within a distinctive period. 
    • The President (or Parliament) is not bound by the perspectives of the nation legislature and can both be given or reject them.
  • Moreover, the Indian Constitution (Article 4) itself pronounces that legal guidelines made for alteration of names of current states (under Articles 3) are not to be considered as amendments of the Constitution under Article 368. Such legal guidelines may be passed by a simple majority and by the ordinary legislative process.

Factors Responsible for Demands for a Separate State

  • Linguistic and Cultural Identity: Communities regularly experience that their wonderful language, tradition, and background aren’t thoroughly represented or included within larger states.
  • Regional Disparities: Economic and developmental disparities between exclusive areas within a state frequently fuel needs for bifurcation. 
  • Political Representation: Some areas sense that they’re not effectively represented in state governments or at the national level due to their minority popularity inside larger states.
    • The creation of separate states can offer higher political illustration and empower nearby leaders to cope with the particular needs and concerns of their communities.
  • Resource Allocation: Disputes over the distribution of sources, consisting of water, land, and revenue, also force demands for bifurcation.
  • Historical Grievances: Historical injustices, perceived discrimination, and unresolved grievances from the past fuel demands for state bifurcation. 

Challenges

  • Political Opposition: One of the foremost challenges is political opposition from various stakeholders, consisting of political events, leaders, and interest groups, who may also have vested interests in retaining the reputation quo or have issues about the effect of bifurcation on their political effect.
  • Administrative Reorganization: It requires the introduction of recent administrative devices, redistribution of sources, and delineation of boundaries, which cause administrative inefficiencies and confusion.
  • Resource Allocation: Dividing a state often raises problems related to the allocation of assets inclusive of water, land, and financial assets.
    • Disputes over the distribution of assets can arise between the newly formed states, leading to extended negotiations and conflicts.
  • Social Integration: Bifurcation affects social concord and integration, in particular in regions with diverse ethnic, linguistic, and cultural identities. 
    • There are regularly emotional attachments to present state boundaries, that may make any proposed adjustments contentious.

Way Ahead

  • The demand for new states or the reorganization of current ones keeps persisting in India, pushed by factors including regional identification, economic disparities, and governance issues. 
  • Any future reorganizations will probably involve careful deliberation and negotiation to stabilize competing hobbies and preserve the cohesion and integrity of the state.

Source: The Hindu

UPSC Mains Practice Question 

Q. The linguistic reorganization of states resulted in rationalizing the political map of India without seriously weakening its unity. Examine. (250 words)

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