Learn more about India’s 28 States and 8 Union Territories: Information provided by the Government of India – From Andhra Pradesh to West Bengal

States and Union Territories

India, a union of states, is a Sovereign, Secular, Democratic Republic with a Parliamentary system of Government. The President is the constitutional head of Executive of the Union. In the states, the Governor, as the representative of the President, is the head of Executive. The system of government in states closely resembles that of the Union. There are 28 states and 8 Union territories in the country.[*] Union Territories are administered by the President through an Administrator appointed by him/her. From the largest to the smallest, each State/UT of India has a unique demography, history and culture, dress, festivals, language etc. This section introduces you to the various States/UTs in the Country and urges you to explore their magnificent uniqueness…

[*] From 29 states and 7 Union since the publication of “The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019” by the Ministry of Law and Justice, New Delhi, on 9th August 2019. Major changes concern the status of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, henceforth listed among the 8 separate “Union territories” (formerly 7); and as a result of this change, the omission of Jammu and Kashmir (along with Ladakh) from the earlier list of 29 “States”. “Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu” are now grouped together as one, rather than two separate “Union territories”. | More information about possible changes as regards tribal communities are found here >>

Source: KnowIndia – States and Union Territories
URL: https://knowindia.gov.in/states-uts/
Date Visited: 16 April 2020

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

Find a Tribal Research Institute (TRI) in India >>
(up-to-date list on the TRI Portal of the  Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India)

Alphabetical list of States and their Capitals

  1. Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad)
    Related posts on www.indiantribalheritage.org >>
  2. Arunachal Pradesh (Itanagar)
    Related posts on www.indiantribalheritage.org >>
  3. Assam (Dispur)
    Related posts on www.indiantribalheritage.org >>
  4. Bihar (Patna)
    Related posts on www.indiantribalheritage.org >>
  5. Chhattisgarh (Raipur)
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  6. Goa (Panaji)
    Related posts on www.indiantribalheritage.org >>
  7. Gujarat (Gandhinagar)
    Related posts on www.indiantribalheritage.org >>
  8. Haryana (Chandigarh)
    Related posts on www.indiantribalheritage.org >>
  9. Himachal Pradesh (Shimla)
    Related posts on www.indiantribalheritage.org >>
  10. Jharkhand (Ranchi)
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  11. Karnataka (Bangalore)
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  12. Kerala (Thiruvananthapuram)
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  13. Madhya Pradesh (Bhopal)
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  14. Maharashtra (Mumbai)
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  15. Manipur (Imphal)
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  16. Meghalaya (Shillong)
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  17. Mizoram (Aizawl)
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  18. Nagaland (Kohima)
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  19. Odisha (Bhubaneshwar)
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  20. Punjab (Chandigarh)
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  21. Rajasthan (Jaipur)
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  22. Sikkim (Gangtok)
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  23. Tamil Nadu (Chennai)
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  24. Telangana (Hyderabad)
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  25. Tripura (Agartala)
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  26. Uttarakhand (Dehradun)
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  27. Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow)
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  28. West Bengal (Kolkata)
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Union Territories and their Capitals

  1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Port Blair)
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  2. Chandigarh (Chandigarh)
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  3. Dadra and Nagar Haveli (Silvassa)
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    Daman and Diu (Daman)
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  4. The Government of NCT of Delhi (Delhi)
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  5. Jammu & Kashmir (Srinagar{S*}, Jammu{W*})
    Note: Union Territory since 31 October 2019
    Related posts on www.indiantribalheritage.org >>
  6. Ladakh (Leh)
    Note: Union Territory since 31 October 2019
    Related posts on www.indiantribalheritage.org >>
  7. Lakshadweep (Kavaratti)
    Related posts on www.indiantribalheritage.org >>
  8. Puducherry (Puducherry)
    Related posts on www.indiantribalheritage.org >>

What has changed since the enactment of “The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019”?

The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019
New Delhi, the 9th August, 2019

e) “existing State of Jammu and Kashmir” means the State of Jammu and Kashmir as existing immediately before the appointed day, comprising the territory which immediately before the commencement of the Constitution of India in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir; […]

(l) “Scheduled Tribes” in relation to the Union territory means such tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under article 342 to be Scheduled Tribes in relation to that Union territory; […]

Formation of Union territory of Ladakh without Legislature.

3. On and from the appointed day, there shall be formed a new Union territory to be known as the Union territory of Ladakh comprising the following territories of the existing State of Jammu and Kashmir, namely:—
“Kargil and Leh districts”,
and thereupon the said territories shall cease to form part of the existing State of Jammu and Kashmir.

4. On and from the appointed day, there shall be formed a new Union territory to be known as the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir comprising the territories of the existing State of Jammu and Kashmir other than those specified in section 3.

5. On and from the appointed day, the Governor of the existing State of Jammu and Kashmir shall be the Lieutenant Governor for the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, and Union territory of Ladakh for such period as may be determined by the President. […]

(6) Seats shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assembly of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
(7) The number of seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assembly of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir under sub-section (6) shall bear, as nearly as may be, the same proportion to the total number of seats in the Assembly as the population of the Scheduled Castes in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir or of the Scheduled Tribes in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, in respect of which seats are so reserved, bears to the total population of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Explanation: In this sub-section, the expression “population” means the population as ascertained at the last preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published:
Provided that the reference in this Explanation to the last preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published shall, until the relevant figures for the first census taken after the year 2026 have been published, be construed as a reference to the 2011 census.
(8) Notwithstanding anything in sub-section (6), the reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assembly of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir shall cease to have effect on the same date on which the reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes in the House of the People shall cease to have effect under article 334 of the Constitution of India: […]

Source: The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.
URL: http://cms.neva.gov.in/FileStructure_JK/Notices/f07b7861-d31d-46cc-af61-4f88faa749c2.pdf
Date visited: 16 April 2020


Some States and Union Territories do not acknowledge the presence of any community recognized as Scheduled Tribe (ST): according to the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, “Scheduled Tribes have been specified in relation to all the States and Union Territories except Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Delhi, and Pondicherry” (FAQ, visited 7 July 2019). Yet countless men and women from tribal communities do migrate to metropolitan areas (esp. Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai) in search of employment; for instance in the construction industry and domestic helpers; or (as in the case of educated Adivasis), as students, researchers and professionals. All of them are bound to be aware of their “tribal roots” even as they have become part of government or private institutions (e.g. banks, media organizations and other companies). The pressure to “assimilate” and thereby become “invisible” has increased even among those who have opted to stay in their ancestral lands, as portrayed in Kocharethi, Kerala’s first novel by a tribal author:

Kocharethi the Arya Woman
by Narayan >>

The slow erosion of cultural identity, the absence of agency for some sections of society, the increasing erasure of various communities from the supposed democratic space of citizenship, the questionable route ‘modernity’ and ‘development’ take, and the effects they have on men and, differently, on women are all woven into Narayan’s novel. Kocharethi calls upon us to ethically engage with it, to question our complicity in the systemic conditions that produce these lives, to reflect on our own reactions to the tale, to our expectations of the form and genre and to unlearn our frames of understanding. | Learn more >>

Adivasi and “tribal” are not interchangeable as explained by Dr. Ivy Hansdak:

Tribal” is a very broad term in the English language, as we all know, and includes all the different indigenous groups of India.
Adivasi” – which is derived from Sanskrit – is applied to the dark-skinned or Austro-Asiatic indigenous groups of India (usually those from Eastern India). It is a commonly-used term in Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha. It is also used by the local Mongoloid tribes of North Eastern India for the migrant workers who were brought in as indentured labourers to work in tea plantations during the colonial period. 

Source: personal message (email dated 27 March 2020)

See also

Research the above issues with the help of Shodhganga: A reservoir of theses from universities all over India, made available under Open Access >>

How many Scheduled Tribes have been identified so far?

There are over 700 tribes (with overlapping communities in more than one State) which have been notified under Article 342 of the Constitution of India, spread over different States and Union Territories of the country. The largest number of main tribal communities (62) has been specified in relation to the State of Orissa.  The Scheduled Tribes have been specified in relation to all the States and Union Territories except Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Delhi, and Pondicherry. […]  

What are the Rights of Scheduled Tribes?

The Constitution of India seeks to secure for all its citizens, among other things, social and economic justice, equality of status and opportunity and assures the dignity of the individual.  All Rights available to the Citizens of India, enshrined in the Constitution or any law of the land or any order of the Government are equally available to the Scheduled Tribes also.

Are there any privileges or special rights for Scheduled Tribes?

Scheduled Tribes being backward and isolated from the rest of the population are not able to exercise their rights. In order to empower them to be able to exercise their rights special provisions have been made in the Constitution. Framers of the Constitution took note of this fact and incorporated enabling provisions in the Constitution in the form of reservation and measures to be taken to empower them to be able to avail the opportunities. Some people call these provisions as privileges for the Scheduled Tribes but these are only the enabling provisions so that Scheduled Tribes can avail the opportunities and exercise their rights and safeguards.

Source: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS | National Commission for Scheduled Tribes
Address: https://www.ncst.gov.in/content/frequently-asked-questions
Date Visited: 7 July 2019

Tip | Health and the nutritional value of indigenous grains, seeds and millets: “The tribal food basket has always been ­diverse and nutritious” >>

Search select websites: Govt. of India, NGOs, Indian universities and international organisations – Custom search engine

For a list of websites included in a single search, see below. To search Indian periodicals, magazines, web portals and other sources safely, click here. To find publishing details for Shodhganga’s PhD search results, click here >>

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List of websites covered by the present Custom search engine

  1. ACCORD (Action for Community Organisation, Rehabilitation and Development) – www.adivasi.net
  2. Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) – www.atree.org
  3. Freedom United – www.freedomunited.org
  4. Government of India (all websites ending on “.gov.in”)
  5. Shodhganga (a reservoir of Indian theses) – https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in
  6. Survival International – www.survivalinternational.org
  7. Unesco – https://en.unesco.org
  8. Unicef – www.unicef.org
  9. United Nations – www.un.org/en
  10. Video Volunteers – www.videovolunteers.org


  • Refine your search for specific information on any region, State or Union territory in the above search window by combining its name with a particular community or subject/issue of special interest (e.g. “eco tourism tribe”, “Indian tribal language”, “tribal community children”, “tribal education”, “Adivasi wildlife conservation”, “tribal custom northeast India”, “Bastar crafts”, “tribal cultural heritage”, “women’s health”, “nutrition indigenous knowledge”, “West Ghats ethnobotany”, “biodiversity village”, “sacred grove”, “northwestern region tribe”)
  • Switch to “Image” view for some search results of special interest (e.g. music, dance)
  • Find publishing details for Shodhganga search results >>

Related posts

Publications on the above issues may be found here (title descriptions and libraries):

Search for an item in libraries near you:
WorldCat.org >>