Constitution of India: Article 1 - Name and territory of the Union

Article 1: Name and territory of the Union

.India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States. The States and the territories thereof shall be as specified in the First Schedule. The territory of India shall comprise — the territories of the States; the Union territories specified in the First Schedule; and such other territories as may be acquired.

Background .

Article 1, Draft Constitution, 1948

(1) India shall be a Union of States.

(2) The States shall mean the States for the time being specified in Parts I, II, and III of the First Schedule.

(3) The territory of India shall comprise-

  • (a) The territories of the States;
  • (b) The territories for the time being specified in Part IV of the First Schedule; and
  • (c) Such other territories as may be acquired.

Draft Article 1 (Article 1) was debated on 15th and 17th November 1948, and 17th and 18th September 1949. It defines the name and territory of India.

A member of the Drafting Committee clarified the object of using the term ‘Union of States’: it was to make it explicit that India was a federation of states. The federation was an indestructible unit and not a result of an agreement between states. Another member proposed to add ‘Secular, Federal, Socialist’ to ‘Union of States’. He argued that, as the Preamble of the Constitution was not yet adopted, Draft Article 1 should embody ‘aspirations’ that the Constitution seeks to achieve.  The Chairman of the Drafting Committee opposed this amendment. He noted that the social and economic policy decisions were to be taken by elected parliamentarians. To encode the form of society would destroy ‘democracy altogether’.

He further pointed out several Directive Principles of the State Policy including the right to livelihood, redistribution of material resources, and equal pay for equal work was socialistic. There was no need to include ‘socialist’ in Draft Article 1.  Some members suggested alternative names to India. One wanted ‘Bharat’ or ‘Hind’ to gain more prominence and to be placed before ‘India’. Another suggested ‘Union of Indian Socialistic republics U. I. S. R.’ on the lines of the U. S. S. R. When all the proposals were put to vote, they were negatived. The Assembly adopted Draft Article 1 on 18th September 1949.