Creating a New District

#GS2 Polity

News info:

  • On May 14, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh declared Malerkotla the 23rd district of the State. This led to an angry response from Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who took to Twitter to mention that the Punjab government’s decision of declaring its only Muslim-majority town a neighborhood was “a reflection of the divisive policy of the Congress”.
  • Section 5 of the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887 says the “State government may, by notification, vary the bounds and alter the numbers of tehsils, districts, and divisions into which the State is divided”.

How are new districts carved?

  • The power to make new districts or alter or abolish existing districts rests with the State governments. this will either be done through an executive order or by passing a law within the State Assembly.
  • The many States prefer the chief route by simply issuing a notification within the official gazette.

How does it help?

States argue that smaller districts cause better administration and governance. for instance, in 2016, the Assam government issued a notification to upgrade the Majuli sub-division to Majuli district for “administrative expediency”.

Are there any exceptions?

The government has been vested with unfettered powers under Section 5 of the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887 to make new districts, says K.B.S. Siddhu, former financial commissioner (revenue) of Punjab. “This power is usually held temporarily abeyant only during active census operations or during the delimitation exercise of Lok Sabha/Vidhan Sabha constituencies,“ Mr. Sidhu says.

Does the Central government have a task to play here?

  • The Centre has no role to play within the alteration of districts or creation of the latest ones. States are liberal to decide. the house Ministry comes into the image when a State wants to vary the name of a neighborhood or a railroad station. 
  • The State government’s request is shipped to other departments and agencies like the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Intelligence Bureau, Department of Posts, Geographical Survey of India Sciences, and therefore the Railway Ministry seeking clearance. 
  • A no-objection certificate could also be issued after examining their replies.

What has been the trend?

  • According to the 2011 Census, there have been 593 districts within the country. The Census results showed that between 2001-2011, as many as 46 districts were created by States. 
  • Though the 2021 Census is yet to happen, Know India, an internet site travel by the govt of India, says currently there are 718 districts within the country.
  • The surge in number is additionally thanks to the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into A.P. and Telangana in 2014. Telangana at the present has 33 districts and A.P. has 13 districts.

Source: The Hindu

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