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Union of 100 states: Why India must have many small states. It will make for a better economy and better politics

GS Paper 1

Syllabus: Post Independence: State reorganization


Source: TOI

 Context: Demand by various groups and organizations for newer states has always been in the news. Recently, TIPRA Motha Party demanded a separate state of Greater Tipraland.


Required ·         Improves economic efficiency: Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand performed better than MP and Bihar in the 10th Five-Year Plan.

·         There are too many big states – by area, Rajasthan, UP, MP, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Odisha, and even Bengal are all too big to be administered with efficiency

·         There is enough evidence to suggest that smaller states mostly tend to do better. E.g: If UP were a separate country, it would be the fourth largest by population. But its per capita GDP is closer to Kenya’s.

·         Local needs and demands are taken into account

·         Linguistic and cultural homogeneity makes governance easier.

·         Facilitates decentralization and decision-making are devolved into smaller regions.

·         Good governance requires lesser government and quicker government, which is possible in smaller states.

Not required ·         The creation of more states equates to more inter-state disputes and increases complexities. For example, Telangana asked for a re-assessment of the award of the Krishna Tribunal.

·         Smaller states do not necessarily mean better governance. For instance, larger states like Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have progressed better economically than smaller states.

·         The creation of smaller states does not per se result in democratic decentralization. Rather, it can cause a concentration of power in the hands of a few.

·         It requires huge funds as seen in the establishment of Amravati as the capital of Andhra Pradesh.

·         Smaller states respond better and faster is a myth. For instance, the Uttarakhand floods showed the inadequacy of a small state in responding.

·         It can result in the hegemony of dominant castes or religions.


Various committee recommendations:

  • Dhar Commission
  • JVP Committee
  • State Reorganization Commission (Fazal Ali Commission)
  • States Reorganization Act 1956


Mains Link: UPSC 2018

Q. Discuss whether the formation of new states in recent times is beneficial or not for the economy of India?