What is the difference between State and Union Territory in India?

The Government in the Parliament proposed to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir as a Union Territory (UT) with a Legislature and Ladakh as a different UT but without Legislature on 5 August, 2019. Do you know the difference between State and Union Territory? What is UT with Legislature? Let us Find our!    
Aug 7, 2019 16:03 IST
State and Union Territory

When the Bill will get the assent of the President,  in India number of states will be reduced to 28 from 29 and Union Territories (UT) will become 9 instead of 7. After the inclusion of Telangana there are 29 states and 7 Union Territories.

India is a federal country which is located in the South Asia and is also among the largest country in the world. Powers in India are distributed among the central and various units. 

Let us tell you that all the states and two union territories in India that is Puducherry and Delhi possess elected legislature and government. Rest of the Union Territories are administered and controlled directly by the Central Government. Also, States are further divided into districts, tehsils.

What is a State?

State is an independent unit which consists of its own Legislative Assembly with elected representatives. Or we can say that a state is a defined territory which has its own Chief Minister. The state has its own separate government. The basic functions of the state are handled by the State Government like security, healthcare, governance, revenue generation etc.

List of Indian States and Union Territories: Facts at a Glance

What is a Union Territory?

A Union Territory is that type of an administrative division which is controlled by the Central Government. According to the Indian Constitution Articles 1 to 4 under Part-1 of the Constitution deals with the Union and its Territory.

Article 1 described India, that is Bharat as a "Union of States" rather than a "Federation of States". This type of provisions deals with two things: one, name of the country and another type of polity.

We can say that Union Territories are ruled directly by the Central Government having a Lieutenant Governor as administrator, who is the representative of the President of India and appointed by the Central government. Let us tell you that Union Territories have no Representation in the Rajya Sabha except Delhi and Puducherry.

Union Territory with Legislative Assembly

According to the Indian Constitution, the Union Territories can have a Legislative Assembly with elected members like in Delhi and in Puducherry. Article 240 (2) of the Indian Constitution confers the supreme power to the President of India in regulating the affairs of all union territories. Jammu and Kashmir would fall under the category of Delhi and Puducherry. Under this special provision, the powers are distributed between the Governor and the Chief Minister who is a elected member. Whereas the education and Municipal operations fall under the Legislative Assembly and the governance of Security and other functions are managed by the Centre under the advice of the Lt. Governor.

Article 240 – Power of President to make regulations for certain Union Territories. Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Delhi.

Note: As discussed above Delhi and Puducherry Union Territories does not operate in the same manner like other five Union Territories of India because Delhi and Puducherry, both has partial statehood status and have their own elected legislative assemblies.

Difference between State and Union Territories


Union Territories

Meaning: State has its own administrative units with their own elected government.

Union Territories are constituent units which are controlled and administered by the Central Government.

Executive Head: Governor


Relationship with the Centre is Federal.

Unitary with the Centre. i.e. all the powers rests in the hands of Union.

Administered by the Chief Minister and elected by the people.

Administered by the Administrator which is appointed by the President.

Large in Area

Small in area as compare to States.

States possess autonomy

UT does not possess autonomy.

So, now you may have come to know the difference between the State and Union Territories. No doubt to manage the affairs, cultural heritage, India is divided into various States and Union Territories.

Distribution of Lok Sabha Seats in Indian states

What is Uniform Civil Code?