- Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
Renaming of states
What to study?
For Prelims and Mains: Procedure to change the name of states in India.
Context: Over the years, several demands have been made, for reasons that could be either political or administrative, to change the name of West Bengal.
- A request in 2018 was rejected by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in November 2018 due to the similarity between “Bangla” and “Bangladesh”.
Rationale behind renaming:
The state government first proposed the renaming in 2016. West Bengal argues for the change saying bureaucrats and politicians from the state often complain that they are asked to speak at the end of every national-level meeting in Delhi. This was because the speakers’ lists at such meeting are prepared according to alphabetical order of the states they represent. If West Bengal gets the new name, it will leapfrog from bottom of the list to the top of the pecking order.
The renaming will help the state appear at the fourth spot after Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Assam in the alphabetic order of the states.
The procedure of renaming of the state can be initiated by either the Parliament or the State Legislator and the procedure is as follows:
- The renaming of a state requires Parliamentary approval under Article 3 and 4 of the Constitution.
- A bill for renaming a state may be introduced in the Parliament on the recommendation of the President.
- Before the introduction of the bill, the President shall send the bill to the respective state assembly for expressing their views within a stipulated time. The views of the state assembly are not binding, neither on the President nor on the Parliament.
- On the expiry of the period, the bill will be sent to the Parliament for deliberation. The bill in order to take the force of a law must be passed by a simple majority.
- The bill is sent for approval to the President. After the approval of the said bill, the bill becomes a law and the name of the state stands modified.
Initiation by a State:
If any fresh proposal comes from states to the Home Ministry, it will prepare a note for the Union Cabinet for an amendment to the Schedule 1 of the Constitution. Thereafter, a Constitution Amendment Bill will be introduced in Parliament, which has to approve it with a simple majority, before the President gives his assent to it.
Sources: the hindu.