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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.
Alternatively Union territories also have the option of having a Legislature with elected Members and a Chief Minister, as in the case of New Delhi and Puducherry. 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 capital of both 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.
The seven current union territories are:
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- Dadra and Nagar Haveli
- Daman and Diu
- Delhi (National Capital Territory of Delhi)
- Puducherry (Pondicherry)
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.
- Union Territories. Know India: National Portal of India
- "States and Union Territories". KnowIndia.gov.in. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
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