The Union Home Ministry has approved a Uttar Pradesh government proposal to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj.
The decision comes days ahead of the Kumbh Mela being organised by the State government in the city, and over two months after the State Cabinet decided to rename it .
The plan to rename Faizabad district in Uttar Pradesh as Ayodhya is yet to come in from the State government.
The Home Ministry clears the name change proposals after the Ministry of Railways, the Department of Posts and the Survey of India confirm that no city, town or village has similar names.
A proposal to rename West Bengal as Bangla is pending as the Ministry of External Affairs is understood to have expressed its reservation over the new name, as it sounds similar to Bangladesh. A decision in this regard is expected soon as the general election in the neighbouring country concluded on December 31.
The Union Home Ministry considers the proposals of name change according to the existing guidelines in consultations with agencies concerned. It gives its approval to the change of name of any place after taking no-objections from the Ministry of Railways, Department of Posts and Survey of India. These organisations have to confirm that there is no such city, town or village in their records with a name similar to the proposed one.
For changing the name of a village or town or a city, an executive order is needed. The renaming of a State requires amendment of the Constitution with a simple majority in Parliament.
(With inputs from PTI)