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28 States vs. 8 UT — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on January 8, 2024
28 States refer to the fully-fledged administrative divisions in India with their own governments, while 8 UTs (Union Territories) are regions governed directly by the Central Government.
28 States vs. 8 UT — What's the Difference?

Difference Between 28 States and 8 UT


Key Differences

28 States in India represent the primary administrative division, each with its own elected government and legislative powers defined by the Indian Constitution. 8 UTs, or Union Territories, are regions that have more limited legislative autonomy and are directly governed by the Central Government, usually through an appointed administrator or lieutenant governor. States have higher autonomy, with powers to make laws on all subjects that are not exclusively reserved for the central government.
The governance structure of the 28 States allows for a robust local government that caters to the specific needs of the region. In contrast, the 8 UTs often have smaller populations and may not have a legislative assembly. States have a governor appointed by the President of India, whereas Union Territories may be governed by different administrators also appointed by the President but with varying titles and powers, depending on the UT's status.
In terms of political representation, the 28 States each have a designated number of seats in both the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and Lok Sabha (House of the People), reflecting their population size. The 8 UTs, however, have limited representation in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha, with some UTs like the National Capital Territory of Delhi having more representation than others due to having a legislative assembly and a higher population.
Financially, the 28 States have a larger degree of financial autonomy, including the ability to raise funds through various taxes. The 8 UTs receive financial support from the central government and have less fiscal autonomy. This difference reflects the broader legislative and administrative autonomy of states compared to UTs.
Culturally, the 28 States often have distinct identities, languages, and cultural practices, with each state functioning almost like a small country. The 8 UTs may not exhibit as distinct cultural identities when compared to states, often due to their smaller geographic and demographic size. However, UTs like Goa and Delhi are culturally vibrant and unique despite their Union Territory status.

Comparison Chart


Full legislative and executive powers
Limited powers, governed by the central government


Have their own elected government and assembly
May or may not have an assembly, directly governed

Financial Control

Possess the ability to levy taxes
Dependent on central government for funding


More representation in parliament
Limited parliamentary representation

Cultural Identity

Distinct cultural identities
Less pronounced cultural distinctiveness

Compare with Definitions

28 States

States possess autonomy in areas except those reserved for the central government.
The 28 States have distinct policies tailored to their regional needs.

8 UT

Regions in India governed directly by the Central Government.
The 8 UTs include destinations like Chandigarh, known for its urban planning.

28 States

They contribute to the federal structure of India, maintaining diversity.
India's federalism is embodied in the governance of its 28 States.

8 UT

Some UTs have legislative assemblies, but they are the exception.
Only a few among the 8 UTs have their own legislative assembly, like Delhi.

28 States

States have their own judicial systems, up to the High Courts.
The legal jurisdictions of the 28 States are demarcated up to their respective High Courts.

8 UT

UTs are often smaller and less populous than states.
The 8 UTs cover smaller areas and have lower populations, facilitating central governance.

28 States

Federated administrative divisions in India with self-governance.
The diverse cultures of the 28 States are the cornerstone of India's democracy.

8 UT

Governed by administrators appointed by the President of India.
The Lieutenant Governors administering the 8 UTs play a crucial role in governance.

28 States

Each state functions with its own set of elected representatives.
Elections in the 28 States often indicate the political climate of the country.

8 UT

Union Territories have lesser autonomy than states.
Despite limited powers, the 8 UTs are efficiently managed by central administrators.

Common Curiosities

Can the 28 States have their own official language?

Yes, states can designate their own official languages.

Are laws passed by the 8 UTs subject to central approval?

Yes, UT laws can be subject to central government approval, especially if there's no legislative assembly.

Is there a difference in taxation between 28 States and 8 UTs?

Yes, states have more tax autonomy compared to UTs.

Do the 8 UTs have high courts?

Not all UTs have their own high court; some fall under the jurisdiction of state high courts.

Do all 28 States have their own capital?

Yes, each of the 28 States has its own capital city.

How do the 28 States contribute to the federal structure?

They maintain autonomy while being part of the larger Indian union, contributing to India’s federalism.

Are all 8 UTs former colonies?

No, not all UTs are former colonies; some were formed for administrative convenience.

Can the 28 States amend their Constitution?

States cannot amend the Constitution; they can only amend laws within their legislative purview.

Is the administration of 8 UTs similar to states?

No, UTs are administered more directly by the central government.

Are the 8 UTs represented in the Rajya Sabha?

Some UTs have Rajya Sabha representation, but not all.

Do 28 States have a Chief Minister?

Yes, each state has a Chief Minister as the head of its government.

Do 8 UTs have the same quality of infrastructure as states?

This varies widely; some UTs may have better or comparable infrastructure to states.

How often do elections occur in the 28 States?

Typically, every five years, unless an assembly is dissolved earlier.

Can the boundaries of the 8 UTs change?

Yes, the central government can reorganize UT boundaries.

Are all 28 States part of the GST regime in India?

Yes, all states are part of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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