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Scheduled and Tribal Areas in India | POLITY

Introduction | Scheduled and Tribal Areas in India

  • Article 244 in Part X of the Constitution envisages a special system of administration for certain areas designated as ‘scheduled areas’ and ‘tribal areas’.
  • The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution deals with the administration and control of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes in any state except the four states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
  • The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, on the other hand, deals with the administration of the tribal areas in the four northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
  • Article 244 (1) → Provisions of 5th schedule shall apply to administration & control of schedule areas in every state other than Meghalaya, Tripura, Assam & Mizoram
  • Article 244 (2) → Provisions of 6th schedule shall apply to administration & control of tribal areas of Meghalaya, Tripura, Assam, & Mizoram

5th Schedule- Administration of Scheduled Areas

  • Governor of each state having scheduled areas have to submit a report to the President annually or whenever so required by the President
  • Executive powers of union extends to giving directions to the state regarding administration of these areas
  • A tribal advisory council consisting of not more than 20 members should be established in each state having scheduled areas therein, for their advancement & welfare
  • Governor is empowered to direct that any particular act of parliament or state government does not apply to scheduled areas or if applied, then with specific modifications & exceptions
  • Constitution provides for appointment of a commission to report on administration of scheduled areas & welfare of scheduled tribes in the state. President can appoint such commission at anytime but compulsorily after 10 years from commencement of constitution

6th Schedule – Administration of Tribal areas

  • Tribal areas in state of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura & Mizoram have been constituted as autonomous districts (i.e. falls under the executive authority of state concerned)
  • President at any time by order direct that whole or any specified part of schedule area ceases to be a scheduled area or may increase the scheduled area in state after the consultation with the governor of the state
  • If there are different tribes in an autonomous districts, governor can divide the district into several autonomous regions
  • Each autonomous district has a district council of 30 members + each autonomous region also has a separate regional council
  • District & Regional councils are empowered to assess & collect land revenue & impose certain specified taxes
  • Governor can appoint a commission to examine & report of any matter relating to administration of autonomous district of regions.
  • He may also dissolve a district or regional council on the recommendation of appointed commission.

Tribal Areas in India

  • Assam
    • The North Cachar Hills District.
    • The Karbi Anglong District.
    • The Bodoland Territorial Areas District.
  • Meghalaya
    • Khasi Hills District.
    • Jaintia Hills District.
    • The Garo Hills District.
  • Tripura
    • Tripura Tribal Areas District.
  • Mizoram
    • The Chakma District.
    • The Mara District.
    • The Lai District.

Scheduled Tribes in India

  • According to the 2011 Census, the Scheduled Tribes account for 104 million representing 8.6% of the country’s population.
  • These Scheduled Tribes are spread throughout the country largely in forest and hilly regions.
  • The essential characteristics of these communities are:-
    • Primitive Traits
    • Geographical isolation
    • Distinct culture
    • Shy of contact with community at large
    • Economically backwards
  • As in the case of the SCs, the Plan objective of empowering the tribals is being achieved through a three-pronged strategy of social empowerment, economic empowerment and social justice.

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