• Articles 1 to 4 under Part I of the Constitution describe the Union and its Territory.
  • Article 1 (1) states that India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.
  • Article 1 (2) states that the States and the territories thereof shall be as specified in the First Schedule.
  • Article 1 (3) states that the territory of India shall comprise −
    • The territories of the States;
    • The Union territories specified in the First Schedule; and
    • Such other territories as may be acquired.
  • There are a total of 29 States, 6 Union Territories, and 1 National Capital Territory (as shown in the map given above).
  • Article 2 states that the Parliament may by law admit into the Union, or establish new States on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.
  • Article 3 states that the Parliament may by law form a new State by separation of a territory from any State or by uniting two or more States or parts of States or by uniting any territory to a part of any State.
  • Article 4 states that any law referred to in Article 2 or Article 3 shall contain such provisions for the amendment of the First Schedule and the Fourth Schedule as may be necessary to give effect to the provisions of the law and may also contain such supplemental, incidental, and consequential provisions (including provisions as to representation in Parliament and in the Legislature or Legislatures of the State or States affected by such law) as the Parliament may deem necessary.

Definition of State:

Article 12 defines the state in the following manner

  • In this part, unless the context otherwise requires, “the State” includes the Government and Parliament of India and the Government and the Legislature of each of the States and all local or other authorities within the territory of India or under the control of the Government of India.
  • Definition of state is inclusive and may include other bodies than executive, legislature of union and states which have been enumerated explicitly in the article 12.
  • Any such authority which has power to make any law, pass any order, make an regulation, bye-laws etc. come under definition of state. Thus Panchayats, municipalities, district boards and other statutory, constitutional bodies come within the definition of state.
  • Statutory and non-statutory bodies that get financial resources from government , have deep pervasive control of government and with functional characters as such as ICAR, CSIR, ONGC, IDBI, Electricity Boards, NAFED, Delhi Transport corporation etc. come under the definition of state.
  • Statutory and Non-statutory bodies which are not substantially generally financed by the government don’t come under definition of state. Examples are autonomous bodies, Cooperatives, NCERT etc.
  • Judiciary is NOT state. Many opine that the judiciary should be included in the definition of the state.
  • Dispute and discussion: around phrase of Article 12 i.e “other authorities”, which has evolved over time:
    • Earlier, a restrictive interpretation was given to this term, i.e, the authorities exercising governmental or sovereign function would only be covered under other authorities.
    • The liberal interpretation says that it is not necessary for an authority to be engaged in sovereign or governmental function to come under the definition of the state. The bodies like State Electricity Board, LIC, ONGC and IFC also come under “other authorities”.