The STATES REORGANISATION ACT, 1956 was a major reform of the
India 's states and territories , organising them along
Although additional changes to India's state boundaries have been
made since 1956, the States Reorganisation Act of 1956 remains the
single most extensive change in state boundaries since the
India in 1947.
The Act came into effect at the same time as the CONSTITUTION
(SEVENTH AMENDMENT) ACT, 1956, which (among other things)
restructured the constitutional framework for India's existing states
and the requirements to pass the
States Reorganisation Act, 1956 under
the provisions of Part I of the Constitution of
India , Articles 3 ">
Administrative divisions of
India in 1951
The British Indian Empire , which included present-day India,
Bangladesh , was divided into two types of territories:
the Provinces of British
India , which were governed directly by
British officials responsible to the Governor-General of
India ; and
princely states , under the rule of local hereditary rulers who
recognised British suzerainty in return for local autonomy, in most
cases as established by treaty. As a result of the reforms of the
early 20th century, most of the British provinces had directly elected
legislatures as well as governors, although some of the smaller
provinces were governed by a chief commissioner appointed by the
Governor-General. Major reforms put forward by the British in the
1930s also recognised the principle of federalism , which was carried
forward into the governance of independent India.
On 15 August 1947, British
India was granted independence as the
separate dominions of
Pakistan . The British dissolved their
treaty relations with more than five hundred princely states, who were
encouraged to accede to either
India or Pakistan, while under no
compulsion to do so. Most of the states acceded to India, and a few to
Bhutan , Hyderabad and Kashmir opted for independence,
although the armed intervention of
India conquered Hyderabad and
brought it into the Indian Union. South Indian states prior to
the States Reorganisation Act
Between 1947 and about 1950, the territories of the princely states
were politically integrated into the Indian Union. Most were merged
into existing provinces; others were organised into new provinces,
Himachal Pradesh ,
Madhya Bharat , and Vindhya
Pradesh , made up of multiple princely states; a few, including Mysore
, Hyderabad , Bhopal , and Bilaspur , became separate provinces. The
India Act 1935 remained the constitutional law of India
pending adoption of a new Constitution.
The new Constitution of
India , which came into force on 26 January
India a sovereign democratic republic. The new republic was
also declared to be a "Union of States". The constitution of 1950
distinguished between three main types of states and a class of
* Part A states, which were the former governors' provinces of
British India, were ruled by an elected governor and state
legislature. The nine Part A states were
Bihar , Bombay ,
Madhya Pradesh (formerly Central Provinces and Berar), Madras , Orissa
, Punjab (formerly East Punjab),
Uttar Pradesh (formerly the United
West Bengal .
* Part B states, which were former princely states or groups of
princely states, governed by a rajpramukh , who was usually the ruler
of a constituent state, and an elected legislature. The rajpramukh was
appointed by the President of
India . The eight Part B states were
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir ,
Madhya Bharat , Mysore , Patiala and
East Punjab States Union (PEPSU),
Rajasthan , Saurashtra , and
* Part C states included both the former chief commissioners'
provinces and some princely states, and each was governed by a chief
commissioner appointed by the President of India. The ten Part C
states were Ajmer , Bhopal , Bilaspur , Coorg ,
Delhi , Himachal
Pradesh , Cutch ,
Tripura , and
Vindhya Pradesh .
* The sole Part D territory was the
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Andaman and Nicobar Islands ,
which were administered by a lieutenant governor appointed by the
THE MOVEMENT FOR LINGUISTIC STATES
The demand for states on linguistic basis was developed even before
India achieved independence from British rule. In 1895, a
first-of-its-kind linguistic movement started in what is now
The movement got intensified in later years with the demand for a
Orissa Province to be formed by bifurcating the existing
Orissa Province . Due to the efforts of
Madhusudan Das ,
the Father of Oriya nationalism, the movement eventually bore fruit in
Orissa Province became the first Indian state
(pre-independence) organized on a linguistic basis.
The post-independence period saw the ascent of political movements
for the creation of new states developed on linguistic lines. The
movement to create a Telugu -speaking state out of the northern
Madras State gathered strength in the years after
independence, and in 1953, the 16 northern, Telugu-speaking districts
Madras State became the new State of Andhra .It was after the
hunger strike of
Potti Sriramalu .
Other small changes were made to state boundaries during the
1950-1956 period. The small state of Bilaspur was merged with Himachal
Pradesh on 1 July 1954, and
Chandernagore , a former enclave of French
India , was incorporated into
West Bengal in 1955. But post
independence, the first state created on a linguistic basis was Andhra
in 1953, created out of the Telugu -speaking northern parts of Madras
THE STATES REORGANISATION COMMISSION
States Reorganisation Commission
The States Reorganization Commission was preceded by the Linguistic
Provinces Commission (aka Dhar Commission) in 1948, and then the "JVP
Committee". In December 1953, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru
States Reorganisation Commission to reorganise the
Indian states. It was headed by the retired Chief Justice of the
Supreme Court ,
Fazal Ali . The other two members of the commission
H. N. Kunzru and
K. M. Panikkar . The efforts of this commission
were overseen by
Govind Ballabh Pant
Govind Ballabh Pant , who served as the Home Minister
from December 1954. The commission submitted a report on September 30,
1955, recommending the reorganisation of India's states. The
Parliament debated the Commission report. Subsequently, bills making
changes to the constitution and reorganising the states were passed.
RELATED CHANGES BY OTHER LEGISLATION
The States Reorganisation Act was enacted on 31 August 1956. Before
it came into effect on 1 November, an important amendment was made to
the Constitution of India. Under the Seventh Amendment, the existing
distinction among Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D states was
abolished. The distinction between Part A and Part B states was
removed, becoming known simply as "states". A new type of entity, the
Union Territory, replaced the classification as a Part C or Part D
A further Act also came into effect on 1 November, transferring
certain territories from
West Bengal .
EFFECT OF THE CHANGES
The following list sets out the states and union territories of India
as reorganised on 1 November 1956:
Andhra Pradesh : formed by the merger of
Andhra State (1953-56)
with the Telugu-speaking areas of
Hyderabad State (1948–56).
Assam : No change of boundary in 1956.
Bihar : reduced slightly by the transfer of minor territories to
Bombay State : the state was enlarged by the addition of
Saurashtra State and
Kutch State , the Marathi-speaking districts of
Nagpur Division of
Madhya Pradesh and
Marathwada region of Hyderabad
State . The southernmost districts of the
Bombay Presidency were
Mysore State .
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir : No change of boundary in 1956.
Kerala : formed by the merger of
Travancore-Cochin state with the
Malabar district and
Kasaragod taluk of
South Canara district of the
Madras Presidency . The southern part of
Kanyakumari district was transferred to Madras State.
Madhya Pradesh :
Madhya Bharat ,
Vindhya Pradesh , and Bhopal
State were merged into Madhya Pradesh; the Marathi-speaking districts
Nagpur Division were transferred to Bombay State.
Madras State :
Malabar District was transferred to the new state
Kerala , and a new union territory, Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi
Islands , was created. The southern part of
Kanyakumari district was added to the state.
Mysore State : enlarged by the addition of
Coorg State and the
Kannada speaking districts from western
Madras Presidency , southern
Bombay Presidency and western
Hyderabad State .
* Orissa : No change of boundary in 1956.
* Punjab : enlarged by addition of the Patiala and East Punjab
States Union .
Rajasthan : enlarged by the addition of Ajmer state and parts of
Madhya Bharat states.
Uttar Pradesh : No change of boundary in 1956.
West Bengal : enlarged by addition of minor territory previously
forming part of Bihar.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
* Laccadive, Minicoy -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em;
* ^ "Seventh Amendment". Indiacode.nic.in. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
* ^ "Article 1". Constitution of India.
* ^ http://indiacode.nic.in/coiweb/amend/amend7.htm
* ^ "Demand of separate province for Oriya". The Telegraph.
* ^ States Politics in India.
* ^ "Reorganisation of states" (PDF). Economic Weekly.
West Bengal (Transfer of Territories) Act,