Most of the 560-odd native states and subdivisions of pre-1947 India acceded to the new nation, and the central government pursued a vigorous policy of integration. This took three forms: merger into adjacent provinces, conversion into centrally administered areas, and grouping into unions of states. Finally, under a controversial reorganization plan effective on Nov. 1, 1956, the unions of states were abolished and India became a union of 15 states and 8 centrally administered areas. A 16th state was added in 1962, and in 1966, the Punjab was partitioned into two states. In 2000, India created three new states: Uttranchal, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand. Today India consists of 29 states and 7 Union Territories.
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