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Explained: What is a Union Territory

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New Delhi, Aug 05: The Centre has decided to make Jammu and Kashmir a Union Territory with legislature. It has also been decided that Ladakh would be a Union Territory without legislature.

Explained: What is a Union Territory

What is a Union Territory:

A Union Territory or UT is a type of administrative division. Unlike the states, which have their own governments, a UT is governed directly by the Union Government. However in the case of the national Capital Territory of Delhi and Puducherry, the operation is somewhat different. Both have separately elected governments. It would be similar in the case of Jammu and Kashmir as well as the Centre said that it would be a UT with legislature.

Article 1(1) of the Constitution says that Indian shall be a Union of States. Article 1 (3) says the territory of India comprises the territories of the states, the union territories and other territories that may be acquired. The concept of union territories was not in the original version of the constitution, but was added by the Constitution (Seventh Amendment) Act, 1956 says Wikipedia.

In the constitution wherever it refers to Territories of India, it is applicable to whole country including union territories. Where it refers to only India, it is applicable to all states only but not to union territories. Thus, citizenship (part II), fundamental rights (part III), Directive Principles of State Policy (part IV), Judiciary role, the Union Territories (part VIII), Article 245, etc. are applicable to union territories as it refers specifically to Territories of India.

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The executive power of Union (i.e. union of states only) rests with President of India. President of India is also chief administrator of union territories per Article 239. Union public service commission role is not applicable to all territories of India as it refers to India only in Part XIV, Wikipedia further notes.

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