CONSTITUTION (SCHEDULED TRIBES) ORDER (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2021

  • Recently, Rajya Sabha has passed the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
  • The bill provides for modifying Part-XVIII of the Schedule to the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, relating to the state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Important points:

  • It seeks to amend the constitutional list of Scheduled Tribes as recommended by Arunachal Pradesh.
  • At present, there are 18 communities with their synonyms appearing in the illustrative list of Scheduled Tribes in respect of the state of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • This amendment in the list of Scheduled Tribes, relating to the state of Arunachal Pradesh, will entail no additional recurring expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India, on account of benefits likely to be provided to persons belonging to the communities proposed in the Bill.
  • The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is funding the welfare of 10.45 crores of Scheduled Tribes population (Census, 2011).
  • Further, the Scheduled Tribes are also eligible for benefits under the Scheduled Tribes Component (STC) of schemes under the central government and state governments.
  • The basic objective of Schedule Tribe Component is to channelize/monitor the flow of outlays and benefits from the general sectors in the Central Ministries/Departments for the development of Scheduled Tribes at least in proportion to their population.

The Bill removes the Abor tribe from the list of identified STs in Arunachal Pradesh. Further, it replaces certain STs with other tribes (as indicated below):

Scheduled Tribes in Arunachal Pradesh:

  • Nearly 64.2% of the total population of Arunachal Pradesh is Scheduled Tribes (STs) according to the 2001 Census.
  • The state has registered a decadal growth of 28.1% of ST population in 1991-2001 Census.
  • Scheduled Tribe
  • Article 366 (25) of the Constitution refers to Scheduled Tribes as those communities, who are scheduled in accordance with Article 342 of the Constitution.
  • Article 342 says that only those communities who have been declared as such by the President through an initial public notification or through a subsequent amending Act of Parliament will be considered to be Scheduled Tribes.
  • The list of Scheduled Tribes is State/UT specific and a community declared as a Scheduled Tribe in a State need not be so in another State.
  • The Constitution is silent about the criteria for specification of a community as a Scheduled Tribe. Primitiveness, geographical isolation, shyness and social, educational & economic backwardness are the traits that distinguish Scheduled Tribe communities from other communities.

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

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