Union Of 100 States – Why India must have many small states. It will make for better economy and better politics

Source: The post is based on the article “Union Of 100 States – Why India must have many small states. It will make for better economy and better politics” published in The Times of India on 16th February 2023.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure.

Relevance: About the demand for smaller states.

News: The Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (TIPRA) Motha has come up with the demand for creating a separate state of Greater Tipraland.

About the demand for Greater Tipraland

Read more: The demand for a Greater Tipraland by the TIPRA Motha

Why there is a demand for smaller states?

Too big to function efficiently: There are too many big states by area in India. Such as Rajasthan, UP, MP, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Odisha, and West Bengal.

They are so big to be administered with efficiency. For instance, If UP were a separate country, it would be the fourth-largest by population. But its per capita GDP is closer to Kenya’s.

Low economic contribution and high political participation: Smaller or medium size states or small bits of one or two large states like Maharashtra and Gujarat are performing better economically. But larger states with larger populations wield political power in Indian federal system.

This imbalance will deepen after delimitation and soon be a source of tension in Indian federalism.

Hence, bigger states can and should be subdivided into two or three or even more states.

How efficient are the smaller states?

There are enough evidences which suggests that smaller states mostly tend to do better. For example, according to the Eleventh Plan document the then newly created states of Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh grew economically faster than their parent states – UP and MP respectively – between 2004-05 to 2008-09.

This is due to better decentralisation of resources. So, India as a continent-size country should have at least 100 states.

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