How the Name of State Can be Changed ?

IAS Prelims 2023

Recently West Bengal Assembly has passed a resolution to change the name of State.

A change in the name of a state however requires approval of Union Cabinet and Parliament under Article 3 and 4 of the Constitution, and the President has to refer the same to the relevant state legislature for its views.

Process for changing the name of a state can be initiated by state itself. However, by virtue of article 3, the parliament has power to change the name of a state even if such proposal does not come from the concerned state.

If initiated by State Assembly:

The state assembly would first pass a resolution for such change and this passed resolution would be sent to central government.

Central Government will create a bill and this bill will be sent back to the state legislature to express its views in a stipulated time.

The state legislature will need to give its views within this time as fixed by president. Once this time is expired, the president will recommend to introduce that bill in parliament.

Once introduced, the bill will be passed, and president would give assent. Thus, the name of state would be changed.

The example of such change is change in name of Orissa to Odisha. The Government of Orissa initiated this change in 2008 when it forwarded a resolution passed by the Legislative Assembly of Orissa to central government to change the name of state from Orissa to Odisha. This bill was passed as Orissa (Alteration of Name) Act, 2010.

Without a proposal of State:

Article 3 empowers the parliament make changes in area, boundaries, territory, name of states even if such proposal does not come from the concerned state.

For this purpose, the central government can simply get a bill passed in the parliament.

However, constitution mandates that whenever such things need to be done, states must be given an opportunity to express their views.

Thus, first central government will create a bill, but this bill can be introduced in parliament only by recommendation of the president.

Before making such recommendation, President would send this bill to concerned state legislature and give it a fixed time to express its view on that matter.

However, state’s view has no actual impact for fate of such bill. Whether the state says yes or no, once the time given to it has passed, the President may recommend the bill to be introduced in any house of parliament. Once passed the name of state gets changed.

Central Government can change the name, boundaries of the states without their permission also.