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A union territory is a type of administrative division in the Republic of India. Unlike the states of India, which have their own governments, union territories are federal territories governed directly by the union government (central government), hence the name Union Territory.

When the Indian Constitution was adopted in 1949, there was only one union territory: Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The National Capital Territory of Delhi, Chandigarh and Lakshadweep were formed by separating each territory from pre-existing states. Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Puducherry were formed from acquired territories that formerly belonged to Portuguese India or French India.

The Parliament of India can pass a law to amend the Constitution and provide a Legislature with elected Members and a Chief Minister for a union territory, as it has done for Delhi and Puducherry. In general, the President of India appoints an administrator or lieutenant-governor for each UT. There are seven union territories, including Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana.

Delhi and Puducherry 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) and incorporated into a larger area known as the National Capital Region (India) (NCR). Delhi and Puducherry have an elected legislative assembly and an executive council of ministers with partially state-like function.

Union territories without their own legislatures:

Union territories with their own legislatures:


State Capital Largest City Area
(km2)
Official Language
Andaman and Nicobar Islands Port Blair 160,205 English, Hindi
Chandigarh Chandigarh __ 114 English
Dadra and Nagar Haveli Silvassa 491 Gujarati, Hindi
Daman and Diu Daman 112 English,Gujarati, Hindi, Konkani
Delhi New Delhi __ 1,490 Hindi
Lakshadweep Kavaratti 32 English
Puducherry Pondicherry 492 English, Tamil
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