Union Territories – UPSC Prelims

Union Territories:
  • Union Territories (UT) are governed directly by the Union.
  • Part VIII of the Constitution is concerned with the administration of the Union Territories.
  • The President of India appoints an administrator or Lieutenant Governor for each UT. In practice, this means that the Union Territories follow the central government’s will.
  • The concept of Union Territories was not in the original version of the Constitution but was added by the Constitution (Seventh Amendment) Act, 1956.
  • There are differences in the governing of UTs depending upon whether they have a legislative assembly or not.
  • The smaller ones are governed directly by the center, for example, Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, and Dadar and Nagar Haveli are UTs with no elected assemblies.
  • On the other hand, Puducherry and J&K are UTs with a legislative assembly and government, along with an LG. New Delhi is altogether different and its status lies between a UT and a state.
  • According to Article 3 of the Indian Constitution, the constitutional power to create new states and union territories in India is solely reserved to the Parliament of India.
  • Parliament can do so by announcing new states/union territories, separating territory from an existing state or merging two or more states/union territories or parts of them.
Article 239 & 239AA:
  • Under Article 239 of the Constitution, every union territory is under an administrator (which would be the position of a Governor). The administrator governs on the directions of the President.
  • Delhi was a Union Territory until 1992.
  • But on 1 February 1992, Article 239 was amended.
  • Under Article 239AA, Delhi was given special provisions and was deemed a National Capital Territory. The administrator of the National Capital Territory was the Lieutenant-Governor.
  • Under Article 239AA, the National Capital Territory of Delhi has a Legislative Assembly which has the power to make powers for the territory except for three subjects included in the State list.
  • This is different from other Union Territories where the Legislative Assembly is under the Governor.
Previous Year Questions:
Q 1.) Consider the following statements: (2009)
  1. The Governor of Punjab is concurrently the Administrator of Chandigarh.
  2. The Governor of Kerala is concurrently the Administrator of Lakshadweep.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans: (a)
  • In 1966, Haryana was carved out of a larger Punjab State. Afterwards, Chandigarh was administered by a Chief Commissioner, a serving bureaucrat who reported to the Union government. The Chief Commissioner system was discontinued on June 1, 1984, on the eve of “Operation Bluestar” in the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Thus, began the practice of the Punjab Governor holding additional charge of the Chandigarh Union Territory. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • Lakshadweep has a separate administrator and its administrative headquarters is in Kavaratti. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.
  • Therefore, option (a) is the correct answer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top