The constitution promulgated on January 26, 1950 made the Dominion of India (v. XIX, p. 1; App. I, p. 724; II, 11, p. 15) a federative, independent and sovereign republic; as a member of the Commonwealth, the new state recognizes in the British crown the head of the Commonwealth itself as a symbol of the free association of the members of the Community, but the Crown does not exercise any constitutional function. At the head of the state is a president elected with the proportional system by the two combined branches of the central parliament and by the legislative assemblies of the states; he remains in office for five years and is the supreme head of the armed forces. The president sanctions the laws approved by the parliament, has the right of pardon and commutation of the sentence, designates the governors of the states and can dissolve the legislative assemblies of the same in case of need. The president is flanked by a vice-president, elected by the two joint branches of parliament, who replaces him whenever necessary. Parliament consists of a People’s Chamber (Lok Sabh ā) of about five hundred members elected for five years by direct suffrage, and of the Upper House or Council of States (R ā j Sabh ā) composed of a maximum of 250 members elected with the proportional system by the legislative assemblies of the states, except twelve who are presidential nominated. The Council of States is never dissolved, but is renewed by a third every two years; its president is the vice-president of the republic by right. For India political system, please check equzhou.net.
Until 1956 the federal states were 29 in all divided into four categories: A, B, C and D. The states of category A, made up of the former provinces of British India and headed by a governor designated by the president, were: Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Bombay, Madhya Pradesh, Madras, Orissa, Panjab, Uttar Pradesh (corresponding to the United Provinces of the British administrative system); They were joined in 1953 by Andhra Pradesh formed with the Telugu-speaking areas of the state of Madras. The states of category B, made up of the former principalities or territories resulting from their merger, were: Hyderabad, Jammū and Kashmir, Madhya Bharat, Maisūr, P epsu(i.e. Patjala and East Panjab States Union) Rājasthān, Saurāṣṭra, Travancore-Cochin; each of them was assigned an ex-māhāraja with the title of r ā japramukh. The states of category C consisted of some former minor principalities and those territories that under the British administration formed the Chief Commissioner’s Provinces, namely: Ajmer, Bhopal, Bilaspur (later incorporated into Madhya Pradesh), Kurg, Delhi, Himācal Pradesh, Kacch, Manipur, Tripura, Vindhya Pradesh. Finally, category D consisted of some not better defined “territories”, in this case the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Port Blair. Category C states and category D territories were under direct central administration.
With the States Reorganization Act of 1 November 1956, the categories were reduced to two: that of states proper and that of territories administered directly by the central government. The Bombay Reorganization Bill of 1 May 1960, by dividing the state of Bombay in two (see in this App.), it raised the number of federated states from 14 to 15. They are: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Gujarat, Jammū and Kashmir, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Madras, Mahārastra, Maisūr, Orissa, Panjab, Rājasthān, Uttar Pradesh. The territories administered by the center are: Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Amindive and Laccadive Islands, Delhi, Himācal Pradesh, Manipur, Pondicherry (including all the territories formerly belonging to France) and Tripura. Membership in the Indian federation of Jammū and Kashmīr, whose territory is in dispute between India and Pakistan, is not officially sanctioned as the issue is still under the consideration of the UN (see kashmir, in this Appendix). Each of the 15 states is governed by a presidential nominated governor who holds office for five years, and by a legislative assembly (in some states the bicameral system applies) directly elected for five years. The president of the assembly, designated by the governor, also holds the post of prime minister of the state. The president of the republic has the power to dissolve the legislative assemblies of states in an emergency and to place the states themselves under his direct authority. In each state the judicial power is entrusted to a High Court whose president (Chief Justice) is designated by the president of the republic in agreement with the president of the Supreme Court of the Union and with the governor of the state; the members of the High Court, in turn,
The official name of the Union is Bh ā rat, that of the eponymous hero of the Indian epic; in classical Sanskrit literature the term Bh ā ratavar ṣ a (“rule of King Bharata”) applies to northern India. The constitution provides for the use of English as an official language until 1965; from that date English should be replaced by the Hindī language, of Indo-Aryan lineage, which of all the languages of India has the greatest number of speakers, but is widespread only in the northern provinces (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, region of Delhi, etc.). Capital of the Union is Delhi (or New Delhi, but by now the new city has merged with the old in a single urban organism).