Renaming of states: Kerala to ‘Keralam’

Jun 26, 2024

Current Affair 1:


The renaming of states is governed by Article 3 of the Constitution of India. The Article empowers the Parliament to alter the name of any State by law.

The procedure for the same is as follows:

  1. The renaming of a state requires Parliamentary approval under Article 3 and 4 of the Constitution.
  2. A bill for renaming a state may be introduced in the Parliament on the recommendation of the President.
  3. Before the introduction of the bill, the President shall send the bill to the respective state assembly for expressing their views within a stipulated time. The views of the state assembly are not binding, neither on the President nor on the Parliament.
  4. On the expiry of the period, the bill will be sent to the Parliament for deliberation. The bill to take the force of a law must be passed by a simple majority.
  5. The Bill is passed in each House (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) by a majority of total membership of the House with 2/3 members present and voting
  6. President gives his assent to the Bill
  7. The change in name of the state is recorded in First and Fourth Schedule of the Constitution (Schedule containing the names of states)
  8. No such law as aforesaid shall be deemed to be an amendment of this Constitution for the purposes of article 368.

The process for changing the name of a state can also be initiated by state legislature.

To initiate the process, the state assembly would first pass a resolution for such change in name and this passed resolution would be sent to central government. The Central Government will then create a bill and this bill will be sent back to the state legislature to express its views in a stipulated time.

Following the said procedure in 2010, the name of Orissa was changed to Odisha, by passing of the Odisha (Alteration of Name) Bill, 2010. Recently, The Kerala Legislative Assembly, in a unanimous decision on June 24, passed a resolution proposing a Constitutional amendment to change the name of the State from ‘Kerala’ to ‘Keralam’.

However, the central government refused to introduce a Bill to the effect. While, many have termed this a political tactic, one should note, that the government’s refusal is constitutional as under Article 3, the decision to introduce a Bill to the effect, is discretionary.


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