What’s in a name? Shakespeare had once said. But as Indian psyche goes by, a lot.
The Central government has approved renaming of 25 places in last one year -- Allahabad has become Prayagraj and Mughal Sarai has become Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction, among others -- and all due to various reasons.
But altering the name of a state or a city is not all that easy.
Indian legislature has laid down major guidelines for renaming a state or a city. The Central government and the state government have to follow a given set of guidelines necessarily so that, it may be considered as democratically acceptable and may represent the will of the majority.
The procedure, however, differs from state to state.
The Constitution of India provides for the renaming of a state under Article 3. According to this, Parliament can accomplish the following functions:
- Construction of a new state
- Extension to a state
- Incident to any state area
- Change the boundaries of a state
- Change in the name of a state
Process of renaming a state-
The process of renaming of a state can be initiated by either the Parliament or the state assembly. It is as follows:
- The state legislature sends a proposal in the form of a resolution to the Central government -- proposing the renaming of any particular city or street. It is compulsory to get the President's approval on this proposal.
- After the approval, the Central government sends the bill to the respective state assembly for expressing their views within a stipulated time.
- On the expiry of the period, the bill is sent back to the Parliament by the legislature for deliberation. The President can extend this time frame if he wishes.
- Parliament is not bound to accept the bill passed by the legislature. If Parliament wants, it can dismiss the opinion of the state legislature. So, the bill, in order to take the force of law, must be passed by a simple majority.
- The bill is sent to the President for approval. After the said bill gets approved, it becomes a law and the name of the state stands modified.
- The provision to send a bill to the state legislature was not in the original Constitution. This process was added in the 5th Amendment Act, 1955.