Recently, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister inaugurated 13 new districts, pointing out that the main objective was to take the administration to the people’s doorsteps.
- The total number of districts has gone up to 26; and Andhra Pradesh has 25 Lok Sabha constituencies.
GS II- Polity and Governance
Dimensions of the Article:
- What are Districts?
- Procedure for creation of new districts in India
- Why has the AP government set up new districts?
- Who will the new districts serve?
- What happened to the ‘three capitals’ plan?
What are Districts?
- India’s districts are local administrative entities left over from the British Raj, and they usually fall below the subnational states and territories in terms of local governance.
- A Deputy Commissioner/Collector is in charge of a district’s overall administration as well as the upkeep of law and order.
- The district collector could be an IAS member (Indian Administrative Service).
- Depending on the geography, districts are frequently subdivided into smaller administrative divisions known as tehsils, talukas, or mandals.
Procedure for creation of new districts in India
- State governments have the authority to create new districts, change or abolish existing districts.
- This can be accomplished through an executive order or a bill passed by the State Assembly.
- The Centre has no say in alteration of districts or creation of new ones. States are free to make their own decisions.
- When a state wants to rename a district or a railway station, it must go via the Home Ministry.
- The State government will propose a new name to a district and forward the proposal to the Home ministry. The Home Ministry will forward the proposal to other departments.
- After that, the departments such as the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Intelligence Bureau, Department of Posts, Geographical Survey of India Sciences, and the Railway Ministry, provide their clearance to the proposal of the state government.
- After examination of their replies, the state government receives a no-objection certificate. Then the name of the district stand changed.
Why has the AP government set up new districts?
- To take the administration to the grassroot level.
- To take a substantial leap in efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.
- The government had received over 17,500 representations from the people and decided on the new districts by taking their demands into account.
- Performance of collectors would be assessed on the basis of steps taken by them to achieve the goals.
- The new districts are Parvathipuram Manyam, Alluri Sitharama Raju, Anakapalli, Kakinada, Konaseema, Eluru, NTR, Palnadu, Bapatla, Nandyal, Annamayya, Tirupati and Sri Satya Sai.
Who will the new districts serve?
- As far as the new districts are concerned, the distance from the remote and border villages to the district headquarters has been reduced.
- Each of the 26 districts now has six to eight Assembly constituencies — Andhra has 175 Assembly seats.
- His assertion is that the new districts will be manageable, unlike the old ones, with an average population of 19.07 lakh each compared to the average of 38.15 lakh as per the 2011 Census.
- He drew a comparison with Telangana among other States, saying it has 33 districts for a population of nearly 3.85 crore.
- The Chief Minister said with a population of 4.90 crore as per the 2011 Census, Andhra required more districts.
What happened to the ‘three capitals’ plan?
- The Chief Minister had also proposed ‘three capitals’ as a decentralisation move a few months after his party swept to power.
- But after facing massive protests, the government scrapped the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020, and AP Capital Region Development Authority Repeal Act, 2020, for the development of three capitals — Amaravati (legislative), Visakhapatnam (executive) and Kurnool (judicial).
-Source: The Hindu