Jammu and Kashmir will be a Union Territory with an assembly while Ladakh will be a Union Territory without an assembly.
The special status given to Kashmir through the constitution of India has ended. Home Minister Amit Shah informed Parliament that Article 370 has been abolished with the President signing an order that comes into effect “at once.” Now Centre laws would apply in these two union territories. The Union government will have the Law and order powers of policing in the new UTs.
Updated List of Union Territories in India
Union territories without their own legislatures:
- Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Union territories with their own legislatures:
- National Capital Territory of Delhi
- J & K
*The country had nine Union Territories after the creation of the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. However, with the merger of Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli on 26, January 2020 , the number of UTs came down to eight.
So, there are 28 States and 8 Union Territories in India.
Union territories are federal territories governed directly by the Union government (Central government), hence the name Union Territory.
Difference between a State and Union Territory
|A state has its own elected government.||Union Territory is an administrative unit controlled and regulated by the Union Government.|
|The Constitution head of the state is the governor but the President acts as the executive head for the UT.||Chief Ministers administer the states but an Administrator, appointed by the President administers the Union Territory.|
|A state also has its own Legislative Assembly and can form its own laws.||There is a provision that allows the setting up of a Legislative Assemble in a Union Territory as is the case with Delhi, Puducherry and J&K.|
|The powers in a state are distributed between the state and the union.||In a Union Territory, all powers are vested in the hands of the Union.|
What is Article 370?
Article 370 of the Indian constitution was an article that gave special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The article was drafted in Part XXI of the Constitution: Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions. The provision was drafted in 1947 by Sheikh Abdullah, who had been appointed Prime minister of Jammu and Kashmir by Maharaja Hari Singh and Jawahar Lal Nehru. Sheikh Abdullah had argued that Article 370 should not be placed under temporary provisions of the Constitution. He wanted ‘iron clad autonomy’ for the state, which Center didn’t comply with.
This article along with Article 35(A) defined that the J&K state’s residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to resident of other Indian states. As a result of this provision, Indian citizens from other states cannot purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir.
Provisions of Article 370
- Indian Parliament needs Jammu & Kashmir government’s nod for applying laws in the state — except defence, foreign affairs, finance, and communications.
- The law of citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights of the residents of Jammu & Kashmir is different from the residents living in the rest of India.
- Under Article 370, citizens from other states cannot buy property in Jammu & Kashmir.
- Under Article 370, the Centre has no power to declare financial emergency.
Resolution to scrap Article 370
On 5th August 2019,Home Minister Amit Shah of the Narendra Modi Government moved resolution to scrap Article 370 in the Rajya Sabha, and also reorganize the state with Jammu and Kashmir serving as one of the union territory and Ladakh region separated out as a separate union territory.
As a result of the annulment of Article 370, Indians residing in other states of the country are now permitted to buy land in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Females are now able marry males outside Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and still retain the right to their property. Multinational corporations and manufacturing firms will be permitted to now conduct business in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, which is expected to boost the economy of the whole region.