India comprises of 28 States and 8 Union Territories.
The Indian states are: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
On the other hand, the Union Territories are Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, National Capital Territory of Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Ladakh, and Puducherry.
So, what actually is the difference between a State and Union Territory?
The main difference is that a State is governed by a separate Government and it has its own Legislative Assembly and the Chief Minister for its administration.
On the other hand, a Union Territory is ruled directly by the Central Government and has a Lieutenant Governor as an administrator, who is the representative of the President of India.
Is Arunachal Pradesh a Union Territory?
Arunachal Pradesh is not a Union Territory. It is a state of India. Arunachal Pradesh became a full-fledged State on 20 February 1987.
It was till 1972 when Arunachal Pradesh was known as the North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA). It gained the Union Territory status on 20 January 1972.
On 20 February 1987, it became a state. This means that Arunachal Pradesh was a Union Territory till 1987 but, at present, it is a state.
This state had remained as a Union Territory for almost about 15 years 1 month only, from 20 January 1972 to 20 February 1987. Later, it became a full-fledged state.
Formerly known as the North East Frontier Agency (from the British colonial era), the Arunachal area was earlier the part of Assam.
This state was initially a Union Territory that was carved out of Assam. It was run by the Central Government during those times.
Later on, it got its Statehood and had received its own Chief Minister and Legislative Assembly and all other rights.
Do you need permission to enter Arunachal Pradesh?
Yes, you will need permissions to enter Arunachal Pradesh. It is one of the only three states- Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Mizoram where you will still need permission to enter.
Why Arunachal Pradesh is one of the 3 Indian states where one needs permission to enter?
It’s because Arunachal Pradesh is very close to the international borders of the north-eastern range. Therefore, for the purpose of the utmost safeguard and security of the land, the Government of India has made it mandatory to have special permission to enter the state.
Any person who is not a resident of the state of Arunachal Pradesh is required to have a permit to visit Arunachal Pradesh.
Indian citizens need an Inner Line Permit (ILP) and foreign nationals need a Protected Areas Permit (PAP) for the same.
In order to enter the state, Indian tourists need an Inner Line Permit (ILP). This is available by applying online at this website or from any Government of Arunachal Pradesh office in Delhi, Kolkata, Tezpur, Guwahati, Shillong, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur, and Jorhat.
Whereas, Foreigners require a Protected Area Permit (PAP). PAP cannot be applied online. You must contact a registered tour operator for PAP. Visa/Passport is also mandatory.
How Arunachal Pradesh became a Union Territory?
There is no clear cut evidence in the book of history about the aged old presence of Arunachal Pradesh.
But it is known that earlier this state was a part of Assam. The modern history of Arunachal Pradesh begins with the inception of British rule in Assam after the treaty of Yandaboo, concluded on 24 February 1826.
This state was initially called North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) as during the British colonial era.
After India’s Independence, Arunachal Pradesh was re-established as a separate region as the North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) in 1954.
This state also came to known as the Republic of India after India’s Independence. It remained under Assam’s jurisdiction till the year 1972.
China regarded the McMahon boundary Line (between China and India) invalid and in the late 1950s, after India got its independence, the McMahon Line became a source of tension between China and India.
Later China and India fought the Indo-China War in 1962 regarding the boundaries.
The Indian Army safeguarded the Tawang district mainly and the state of Arunachal Pradesh from going into the hands of the Chinese Government.
And, later in order to secure the land and also to safeguard the rights of indigenous cultures, averting political turmoil related to matters of governance, and so on, the Indian Government took the decision to make Arunachal Pradesh a Union Territory.
It was thus, the North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) was renamed as Arunachal Pradesh by Sri Bibhabasu Das Shastri, the Director of Research and K.A.A. Raja, the Chief Commissioner of Arunachal Pradesh on 20 January 1972, and it became a Union Territory of India.
How Arunachal Pradesh became a full-fledged State?
Arunachal Pradesh was established as a state in India on February 20, 1987. Arunachal Pradesh was initially a Union Territory which was carved out of Assam in 1972.
Arunachal Pradesh was known as the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) during British India and the Republic of India until 1972.
In 1972, after the NEFA became a Union Territory. And, then after 3 years, in 1975, it acquired a separate legislature.
Finally, on 20th February 1987, Arunachal Pradesh became an independent state of India when Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister and it became the 25th State of India.
Earlier in 1987, the state was divided into 17 districts but, in the year 2013, 4 new districts were established taking the total to 21.
And then in the year 2018, another one was established. Thus at present, there is a total of 22 districts in Arunachal Pradesh.
Arunachal Pradesh is the largest state in the Northeast, among the seven sisters states.
The state shares a total of 1630 km of international boundary with neighboring countries; 1030 km with China, 160 km with Bhutan, and 440 km with Myanmar.