How the idea of UP Divas was born
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How the idea of UP Divas was born

Governor Ram Naik, who made the suggestion, says he is sure north Indians abroad will begin celebrating the occasion too on Jan 24.

lucknow Updated: Jan 23, 2018 16:17 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
UP Divas,Governor Ram Naik,Uttar Pradesh Divas
The move, which stems from a suggestion by governor Ram Naik, is also likely to take the celebrations beyond India’s boundaries.(HT )

The UP government will celebrate the state’s foundation day on January 24 for the first time and mark the occasion every year from now onwards.

The move, which stems from a suggestion by governor Ram Naik, is also likely to take the celebrations beyond India’s boundaries.

“I am sure all the north Indians living abroad will begin celebrating Uttar Pradesh Divas just like they celebrate Ram Navmi and Janmasthmi,” said Naik, who has been pushing for the state celebrating its foundation day like most other states.

Till now, a large number of people in the state may have remained unaware of its foundation day in view of its long history that can be traced back to the ancient period.

Uttar Pradesh came into existence on January 24, 1950 when the governor general of India passed United Provinces (Alteration of Name) Order 1950, renaming United Provinces as Uttar Pradesh. The governor general’s order was published in the Uttar Pradesh Gazette (Extraordinary) dated January 24, 1950.

As most states celebrated their foundation day, HT Lucknow carried a special package on the issue on November 23, 2014.

Naik obviously took note of the HT report and made a suggestion to the then chief minister Akhilesh Yadav when Yadav met him at Raj Bhawan here on December 10, 2014.

“Almost all the states have been celebrating their foundation day regularly. As the issue is linked to its identity, the state should celebrate its foundation day as Uttar Pradesh Day,” Naik told Yadav.

Naik, who belongs to Maharashtra, handed over to the then chief minister the copies of souvenirs that a Mumbai-based organisation had brought out in the past 20 years. The organisation had been celebrating January 24 as the UP Day in Mumbai. Yadav, however, did not implement the suggestion.

After a change of guard, Naik took up the issue with chief minister Yogi Adityanath who agreed to act. Yogi took the issue to the state cabinet for its approval and announced that his government will use the occasion to launch a number of welfare schemes.

“I am happy that chief minister Yogi Adityanath accepted my proposal. The celebrations will start in a big way with the chief minister launching 40 projects of Rs 24,000 crore on the occasion. In view of the importance of the occasion, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu will attend the state’s first foundation day celebrations,” said Naik.

Uttar Pradesh has witnessed various changes over the years. It reached its present size after the hill state of Uttarakhand was carved out of the undivided UP on November 9, 2000.

An exhibition of documents about creation of Uttar Pradesh is being organised on the occasion.

“We have many documents in the state archives and all of them will be put on display on the UP Divas celebrations. The ‘one district, one product’ programme will be launched and the state government will come out with a new solar policy on the occasion. We propose to honour 40 to 50 dignitaries who have won Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan and other national awards,” said an official spokesman.

The state’s main opposition the Samajwadi Party was, however, not amused.

“We are fine with the Yogi Adityanath government’s decision to celebrate UP’s foundation day. We want to know what they are doing for people of the state on this occasion. As chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav had not opposed the idea of holding Uttar Pradesh Divas. The SP government wanted to hold UP Divas. But it could not organised due to assembly elections,” said Samajwadi Party spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary.

HT Lucknow carried a special package on the issue of foundation day on November 23, 2014.


Uttar Pradesh got its name only in January 1950 under the Constitution of India. The details of the various transitions from change of its capitals to the time it got its final name are available at the UP State Archives.

According to the books on UP and documents at the archives, the state was under the Bengal Presidency till 1834. But then the need to form a fourth presidency was felt, the three being Bengal, Bombay and Madras. The fourth presidency was known as the Agra Presidency that was headed by a governor.

In 1836, this presidency came under the lieutenant governor.

In January 1858, Lord Canning proceeded to Allahabad and formed the North Western Province, excluding the Delhi division. The seat of power was thus shifted from Agra to Allahabad. This was followed by the transfer of the high court from Agra to Allahabad in 1868.

In 1856, Awadh was placed under the chief commissioner. The districts were later merged with North Western Province and began to be know as ‘North Western Provinces and Oudh’ in 1877. The entire province in 1902 came to be known as the ‘United Provinces of Agra and Oudh’.

The first election was held in 1920 for legislative council which was constituted in Lucknow in 1921. Since the governor, ministers and the secretaries to governor had to be in Lucknow, the then governor Sir Harcount Butler changed his headquarters from Allahabad to Lucknow. By 1935, the entire office was shifted to Lucknow.

Lucknow became the capital of the province, the name of which was further changed to United Province in April 1937. The name was further changed to Uttar Pradesh in January, 1950 under the Constitution of India.


The state was called the Brahmrishi Desh or the Madhya Desh in the Vedic period. In the Mughal period, its territory was divided under governors.


Ministry Of Law

New Delhi, the 24th January 1950

No. S.O. 32. The following order made by the Governor General is published for general information:-

The United Provinces (Alteration of Name) Order, 1950

Whereas it is expedient to alter the Province known as the United Provinces

And whereas the view of the Government of the said Province have been ascertained both with respect to the proposal to make this Order and with respect to the provisions to be inserted therein;

Now, there is exercise of the powers conferred by sub section (1) of section 290 of the Government of India Act, 1935, the Governor General is pleased to make the following order:-

(1) The order may be called the United Provinces (Alteration of Name) Order, 1950

(2) It shall come into force at once.

As from the commencement of… this order United Provinces shall be known as Uttar Pradesh.

First Published: Jan 23, 2018 16:15 IST