How and why are districts created or abolished in India?
Why have these districts been created?
- States keep creating new districts from time to time.
- The idea everywhere is, generally, that smaller units would make governance easier and would benefit the people by bringing the government and the administration closer to them, and making them more accessible. Sometimes, the decision to create a new district is driven by local demands.
Who decides on creating or scrapping districts, or changing their boundaries?
- This power lies with the state governments, who can pass a law in the Assembly or simply issue an order and notify it in the gazette. The Centre does not have a say in the matter.
- The central government does play a role, however, when a change of name of a district or railway station is contemplated. The request of the state government in this regard is sent to several central government departments before a no-objection certificate is issued.
Have Indian states been creating a lot of new districts?
- Yes, the number of districts around the country has been going up steadily over the years. The 2001 Census recorded 593 districts, which went up to 640 in 2011. India currently has more than 775 districts.
- Uttar Pradesh has the most districts (75) in the country, followed by Madhya Pradesh (52). Goa, by contrast, has only 2 districts. However, the number of districts in a state is not always a function of the area of the state, or of its population.
- West Bengal, for example, has 42 Lok Sabha MPs but only 30 districts even after the addition of the 7 new districts, and Andhra Pradesh, even after the recent doubling of the number of districts to 26, has only one more district than the number of Lok Sabha seats.
- Tamil Nadu, which has 39 MPs in Lok Sabha — after only Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, and West Bengal has one fewer district.
Why in News?
- The West Bengal cabinet has approved the creation of seven new districts in the state. This will take the number of districts in West Bengal to 30 from the existing 23.
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