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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

GS-II :
  • 27 November, 2019

  • Min Read

Bills in Lok Sabha to merge Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli

Syllabus subtopic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

News: Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy introduced a Bill in the Lok Sabha to merge the Union Territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Prelims and Mains focus: about the highlights of the Bill, challenges and significance, History and location of the two UTs

Key highlights:

  • The Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (Merger of Union Territories) Bill, 2019, seeks to provide “better delivery of services to the citizens of both Union Territories by improving efficiency and reducing paper work.”
  • The statement of objects and reasons says: “Having two separate constitutional and administrative entities in both Union Territories leads to lot of duplication, inefficiency and wasteful expenditure.”
  • “In view of the policy of the government to have minimum government, maximum governance, considering the small population and limited geographical area of both Union Territories, and to use the services of officers efficiently, it has been decided to merge the Union Territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu into a single Union Territory,” it said.
  • The move comes three months after the State of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. India now has nine Union Territories. With the merger of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, the number will come down to eight.
  • The Union Territories share a lot in terms of administrative set­up, history, language and culture.

About Union Territory

  • Union Territory is a small administrative unit that is ruled by the Union.
  • UTs are controlled and administered directly by the Central Government.
  • UTs have a Lieutenant Governor as an administrator, who is the representative of the President of India and appointed by the Central government.

About Dadra & Nagar Haveli

  • Capital – Silvassa
  • Population – 342,853
  • Area – 491 square kilometres

The UT is composed of two separate geographical entities:

  1. Nagar Haveli – lies between Maharashtra and Gujarat
  2. Dadra – which is surrounded by Gujarat and just 1 km to the northwest of Nagar haveli

History

  • Marathas signed a treaty with the Portuguese in 1779.
  • According to this treaty of friendship, the Maratha-Peshwa agreed that the Portuguese will be allowed to collect revenue from Dadra and Nagar Haveli which consisted of 72 villages,
  • The regions were part of Portuguese India from 1779 to 1954
  • From 1954 to 1961, Dadra and Nagar Haveli was administered by a body called the Varishta Panchayat of Free Dadra and Nagar Haveli
  • They were merged with India as a union territory in 1961.

About DAMAN & DIU

  1. Capital – Daman
  2. Population: 242,911
  3. Area – 112 km2
  4. Daman and Diu are located on the west coast of India.
  5. A Portuguese colony since the 1500s

Why merge the two UTs?

  • Both the UTs are just 35 km apart but have separate budgets and different secretariats
  • Reduce duplication of work.
  • Merger would also lead to administrative efficiency in the union territories through better and single central monitoring of various schemes and projects in the new merged union territory.
  • Expected to save costs by doing away with double administrative expenditure.
  • The new UT is likely to be called Dadra, Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu.
  • Headquarters of the combined union territory would be located in Daman.

Source: Indian Express


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