A union territory is a type of administrative division in the Republic of India. Unlike states, which have their own elected governments, union territories are ruled directly by the Union Government (Central Government), hence the name "union territory". Union territories in India qualify as federal territories, by definition.
The Parliament of India can pass a law to amend the Constitution and provide a Legislature with elected Members and a Chief Minister for a Union Territory, as it has done for Delhi and Puducherry. In general, The President of India appoints an administrator or lieutenant-governor for each UT. There are seven union territories, including Delhi, the capital of India, and Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana.
Delhi and Puducherry (Pondicherry) operate somewhat differently from the other five. Delhi and Puducherry were given partial statehood and Delhi was redefined as the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT). Delhi and Puducherry have their own elected legislative assemblies and the executive councils of ministers with partially state-like function.
Union territories of India have special rights and status due to their constitutional formation and development. The status of "Union Territory" may be assigned to an Indian sub-jurisdiction for reasons such as safeguarding the rights of indigenous cultures, averting political turmoil related to matters of governance, and so on. These union territories could be changed to states in the future for more efficient administrative control.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Union territories of India.|
- Union Territories. Know India: National Portal of India Archived 26 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- "States and Union Territories". KnowIndia.gov.in. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- "Union Territories of India".