How are Districts created?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Creation of new districts

Mains level: Distrinct administration

The West Bengal cabinet has approved the creation of seven new districts in the state.

What are Districts?

  • India’s districts are local administrative units inherited from the British Raj.
  • They generally form the tier of local government immediately below that of India’s subnational states and territories.
  • A district is headed by a Deputy Commissioner/ Collector, who is responsible for the overall administration and the maintenance of law and order.
  • The district collector may belong to IAS (Indian Administrative Service).
  • Districts are most frequently further sub-divided into smaller administrative units, called either tehsils or talukas or mandals, depending on the region.

How are new districts carved?

  • The power to create new districts or alter or abolish existing districts rests with the State governments.
  • This can either be done through an executive order or by passing a law in the State Assembly.
  • Many States prefer the executive route by simply issuing a notification in the official gazette.

How does it help?

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

Does the Central government have a role to play here?

  • The Centre has no role to play in the alteration of districts or creation of new ones. States are free to decide.
  • The Home Ministry comes into the picture when a State wants to change the name of a district or a railway station.
  • The State government’s request is sent to other departments and agencies such as the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Intelligence Bureau, Department of Posts, Geographical Survey of India Sciences and the Railway Ministry seeking clearance.
  • A no-objection certificate may be issued after examining their replies.


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