Article 1 Of The Indian Constitution: Indian Polity Notes

article 1 of indian constitution

The Indian Constitution is a powerful document containing the governing law in India. The constitution specifies the basic political structure along with highlighting the procedures, powers, and duties concerning the governance of government institutions. It also specifies the fundamental rights, directive principles, and citizen responsibilities. It comprised 22 parts and contains 395 articles. Later, through various amendments, additional articles and parts are added. Here, we will learn about 1st Article and the purposes of article 1 of the Indian Constitution. Read on to learn more.

Article 1 Of The Indian Constitution

Article 1 of the Indian Constitution defines the nature of the Indian government as a territorial nation. This article basically specifies the name and territory of the country. The article consists of:

  1. The article states that India, named specifically as Bharat, will be made up of a Union of States
  2. The article mentions that the first schedule states details regarding the states and territories of the country
  3. The article classifies the territories of the nation as (i) the territories of states (ii) territories of union territories (iii) territories that may be acquired later

The First Schedule of the Indian Constitution includes a description of the State and Union names. In accordance with this plan, there are four broad categories of states and territories: Parts A, B, C, and D.

  • The nine provinces that were a part of British India are included in Part A.
  • Princely states made up this group in Part B.
  • Centrally governed five states make up Part C.
  • Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Part D

Elimination Of Such Schedules

  1. The line separating Part A and Part B states was eliminated in the seventh amendment to the Constitution in 1956.
  2. Eventually, states were rearranged according to their respective languages.
  3. As an outcome, several new states, including Haryana, Goa, Nagaland, Mizoram, and others, were created. 8 UTs and 28 States make up the current country.

India As A Union Of States

There are two aspects to look at in the first component of Article 1 of the Indian Constitution- the name of India and Bharat and the reference to it as a “Union of States.

According to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the Indian Federation was a “Union” because it was irreversible. That is, no State had the right to move away from the Indian Union. The nation is to exist as one complete entity, with the exception of the administrative division into states. Hence, the usage of the term “union of states”.

India Or Bharat?

Whether the Indian subcontinent is better known as India or Bharat is a debate in history. There were other options proposed for the country’s name as well. The name Bharat appears in the Vishnu Purana and other works of Indian literature. However, this name was not always used. For thousands of years, a large portion of society addressed the name Bharat. This resulted in an alternate option for the country’s name in 1950, which was India.

Before the Constitutional Assembly in 1949, the country was known as Bharat, India, and Hindustan. While a good portion of members preferred the old name (Bharat), the other portion found the new name (India) more favorable. The Constituent Assembly was consequently forced to make a decision between the two which resulted in the statement “India, that is, Bharat”.

The list of articles that are important from the UPSC Point of view is listed below. Check out the linked article from the table given below for effective preparation.

Seventh Schedule Of The Indian Constitution7th Constitutional Amendment Of India
Powers And Functions Of Lok Sabha and Rajya SabhaAdvisory Jurisdiction Of Supreme Court
Article 5 Of The Indian Constitution: Citizenship Of IndiaPreamble Of Indian Constitution

The Debate Over Name Change

  1. The Constitution uses both the titles Bharat and India. The Indian Constitution already refers to India as “Bharat.”
  2. According to the petition, the name India is of foreign descent (i.e. it is a foreign term). The name derives from the Greek term “Indica.”
  3. As the battle cry of our Freedom Struggle was “Bharat Mata ki Jai,” the name “Bharat” is directly linked to that conflict.
  4. The name change, according to chauvinists, will help people move past their colonial past and foster a sense of national pride.

2016 Petition

In 2016, the Supreme Court denied a petition to rename the country. The Chief Justice of India, T.S. Thakur, then stated orally that every Indian had the right to choose whether to call his country ‘Bharat’ or ‘India,’ and that the Supreme Court had no business dictating or deciding for a citizen what he should call his country.

2020 Petition

The Supreme Court ruled that a petition to change India’s name to ‘Bharat’ should be converted into a representation and forwarded to the Union government for a decision. “The Constitution uses both the names “Bharat” and “India.” “In the Constitution, India is already referred to as ‘Bharat,'” Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad A. Bobde stated orally during a virtual court hearing. The court ordered that the petition be converted into a representation and sent to the relevant ministries, primarily the Ministry of Home Affairs. The petition requests that Article 1 of the Constitution be amended. It wants the word “India” removed from the Article.

Was Hindustan Ever An Option?

Looking at Indian history in ancient times, the Aryans arrived in the Harappan civilization around 2000BC. When Aryan civilization people (who were originally from the dry regions) encountered the vast water source of the Indus and the surrounding river, they named it ‘Sindhu.’ The civilization that developed around the Indus River became known as the ‘Sindhu Civilization.’

Sindhis became famous throughout the world under the name ‘Sindhu,’ and the region became known as ‘Sindhustan.’ Sindhu is pronounced differently in Persian and Roman languages. Thus, Hindu and Hindustan started to be used as alternate pronunciations for Sindhu or Sindhustan. This is how the name Hindustan came into the picture. Due to India’s partition, the region known as Hindustan has become part of Pakistan. Thus no one suggested the name Hindustan. In any case, the name Hindustan appears to be associated with the Hindu. The name Hindustan implies Hindu primacy, which instills fear in the minds of the country’s minorities, harming the country’s unity.

The Territory Of The Union

Article 1 categorizes India’s territory into (i) State territories (ii) Union Territories and (iii) Territories that may be acquired by the Indian government at any time.

Here, it is critical to differentiate between the terms “Union of India” and “Indian Territory.” The Union of India includes only states that are members of the federal system and share a power distribution with the Union. The Union Territories are not part of the “Union of States”. Instead, the Union Territories along with States and other regions that the country might acquire are included in the phrase “Territory of India”.

The 1st schedule lists the names of the states and union territories. At present, there are 29 states and 7 UTs. It also mentions information about their geographical boundaries.

Significance Of Article 1

Article 1 is a basic and crucial statement of what our nation will be called, what comprises our nation, and which schedule specifically mentions the territories of our nation. Thus, this Article is pertinent to the understanding of India as a geographic, political, and administrative territory.


India is a federal country, however, the center is accorded a lot of significance. It falls under Part One of the Indian Constitution, which is the union and territories and is essentially a union of states.

Article 1 of the Indian Constitution is a foundational quotient of the Indian constitution. The basics of the Indian territory are mentioned as per the declaration under Article 1. It is one of the most important Indian articles and hence it is important to learn. It is a must known topic for UPSC Mains

Frequently On Article 1 Of Indian Constitution UPSC

What Is The Primary Focus Of Article 1?

Article 1 deals with the name and territory. Specification of name, territory, and components of India or Bharat as a Union of States are mentioned.

When Article 1 Of The Indian Constitution Was Adopted?

On September 18, 1949, Draft Article 1 was adopted. Article 1 of the constitution declares India as a Union of States.

What Is The Difference Between The Union Of India And The Territory Of India?

It’s crucial to distinguish between “Indian Territory” and “Union of India.” The Union of India is composed only of the States that are a part of the federal structure and that have a shared power structure with the Union. The term “Territory of India” encompasses both the States and the Union Territories as well as any additional territories which India may gain, whereas the Union Territories are not a part of the “Union of States.” The First Schedule of the Constitution contains a list of the States and Territories of the United States.

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