Difference Between State and the Territory of the Union with Proper Definition and Brief Explanation

The state can be understood as the constituent division, which has a separate government. Conversely, Union Territory is a small administrative unit, which is governed by the Union. India, a country located in South Asia, is one of the largest countries in the world. It is a federal country, that is, here power is distributed among the central and various units. When it comes to administrative divisions of the country, after the inclusion of Telangana there are total 29 states and 7 union territories .

In India, all the states and the two union territories, namely Puducherry and Delhi, have elected legislatures and governments. The rest of the Union’s territories are controlled and administered directly by the central government. These union states and territories are further classified into districts, which are subdivided into tehsils. Most people do not understand the difference between the state and the territory of the Union.

Contents: State Vs Union Territory

  1. Comparative graph
  2. About
  3. Key differences
  4. conclusion

Comparative graph

Basis for comparison State Union Territory
Sense State is defined as administrative units with their own elected government. Union Territory implies constituent units, which are controlled and administered by the Central Government.
Relationship with the center Federal Unitary
Chief executive Governor President
Managed by Chief Minister, elected by the people. Administrator, appointed by the President.
Zone Great Small
Autonomy Yes No

About states

The states are explained as the administrative unit, which has its elected government, which has the right to frame its laws. It has its own Legislative Assembly and the Chief Minister, for the administration. The Governor acts as the representative of the President, in the states. There is a distribution of sovereign legislative and executive powers between the Center and the state, with respect to the territory of that state.

Different states vary in size, demographics, history, style of dress, culture, language, tradition, etc. Before independence, there were two types of states in India, that is, provinces and princely states, where the provinces are under the control of the British government, while the princely states are governed by hereditary rulers. However, there is no such classification in the states today.

About union territories

In India, the Union Territories are the constitutive division that enjoys much less power but has special rights and status. These are governed directly by the Central Government. The Administrator or Lieutenant Governor is appointed as representative by the President of India.

There are a total of seven union territories in India, of which 2, namely Delhi and Puducherry, have their elected members and Chief Minister, as these are granted with a partial status, by amendment to the Constitution. These two have their own legislative assembly and executive council and operate as states. The remaining union territories are controlled and regulated by the country’s Union, which is why they are called Union territory.

Key differences between the State and the territory of the Union

The differences between the state and the territory of the union are explained in the points detailed below:

  1. State refers to the administrative division, which has its own elected government. Rather, the Union Territory is an administrative unit that is controlled and regulated by the Union Government.
  2. The states have a federal relationship with the central government, where the sovereign legislative and executive powers are distributed between the state and the union, in relation to the state, while the territory of the Union has a unitary relationship with the central government, that is, all powers are in the hands of the Union.
  3. The constitutional head of the state is the governor of the state. Faced with this, the president is the chief executive of the union territory.
  4. The states are administered by the chief minister, elected by the people. On the other hand, the Union Territories are administered by the Administrator, who is appointed by the President.
  5. The area of ​​the state is comparatively larger than the territory of the union.
  6. The states have autonomy, while the territory of the union does not.


In order to preserve cultural heritage and better manage affairs, India is divided into several States and Union territories. All the states and union territories in India follow different cultures, traditions, customs, history, and language. The size of the union territory is very small compared to a state.

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