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THE CONSTITUTION (SCHEDULED CASTES) ORDER (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2021

INTRODUCTION

Mr. Arjun Munda, the Minister for Tribal Affairs, introduced the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021, in the Rajya Sabha on August 2, 2021. The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950 is amended by the Bill. The President has the authority under the Constitution to designate Scheduled Tribes (STs) in various states and union territories. It also allows Parliament to change the list of notified STs. According to the Bill’s Statement of Objects and Reasons, it was introduced to give effect to changes recommended by the state of Arunachal Pradesh. Part-XVIII of the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, relating to the state of Arunachal Pradesh, is to be amended by the bill. According to the government, the alteration to the Scheduled Tribes list will not result in any additional recurring spending from the Consolidated Fund of India due to benefits that are likely to be offered to people who belong to the communities specified in the bill. Banda Prakash (TRS), M Thambidurai (AIADMK), K Somaprasad (CPI-M), Fauzia Khan (NCP), Manoj Jha (RJD), and SK Gupta (AAP) all spoke briefly about the measure and expressed support for it. It aims to change the constitutional list of Scheduled Tribes, as Arunachal Pradesh has suggested. In the state of Arunachal Pradesh, there are now 18 communities with their synonyms listed in the illustrated list of Scheduled Tribes.

The primary goal of the Scheduled Tribe Component is to channel/monitor the flow of funds and benefits from the general sectors in the Central Ministries/Departments for the development of Scheduled Tribes in proportion to their population.

KEY POINTS ABOUT THE BILL:-

Part-XVIII of the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, relating to the state of Arunachal Pradesh, is to be modified by the bill. According to the government, the alteration to the Scheduled Tribes list will not result in any additional recurring spending from the Consolidated Fund of India due to benefits that will be offered to those who belong to the communities specified in the bill. Banda Prakash (TRS), M Thambidurai (AIADMK), K Somaprasad (CPI-M), Fauzia Khan (NCP), Manoj Jha (RJD), and SK Gupta (AAP) all spoke briefly about the measure and expressed their support.

It aims to change the constitutional list of Scheduled Tribes, as Arunachal Pradesh has suggested. In the state of Arunachal Pradesh, there are now 18 communities with their synonyms listed in the illustrated list of Scheduled Tribes.

This change to the Scheduled Tribes list in relation to the state of Arunachal Pradesh will result in no additional recurrent expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India in the form of benefits for people who belong to the communities suggested in the Bill.

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is responsible for the welfare of 10.45 crore members of the Scheduled Tribes (Census, 2011).

Scheduled Tribes are also eligible for benefits under the Scheduled Tribes Component (STC) of central government and state government schemes.

Scheduled Tribes are those communities that are scheduled in accordance with Article 342 of the Constitution, according to Article 366 (25) of the Constitution.

Only those groups that have been declared Scheduled Tribes by the President either an initial public notification or a subsequent amending Act of Parliament are considered Scheduled Tribes, according to Article 342 of the Constitution. The Scheduled Tribes list is state/UT specific, and a community that is designated as a Scheduled Tribe in one state may not be in another.

The conditions for designating a group as a Scheduled Tribe are not specified in the Constitution. Scheduled Tribe groups are distinguished from other communities by their primitiveness, geographical seclusion, shyness, and social, educational, and economic backwardness.

There are 75 Scheduled Tribes identified as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) who are defined as follows:

a) Pre-agriculture level of technology;

b) Stagnant or declining population;

 c) Extremely low literacy; and

d) Subsistence level of economy.

GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES

The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA); the Provision of Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996; the Minor Forest Produce Act, 2005; the SC And ST (Prevention Of Atrocities) Act; and the Tribal Sub-Plan Strategy are all aimed at empowering tribal people. On August 2, 2021, the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha. The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021 alters the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950 to change the list of Scheduled Tribes in Arunachal Pradesh. The Bill’s full text is as follows:-

A bill to alter the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, to change the Scheduled Tribes list in reference to Arunachal Pradesh.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Seventy-second Year of the Republic of India as follows:-

1. Short title.

This Act may be called the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Act, 2021.

2. Amendment of Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950.

In the Schedule to the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, in PART XVIII.-Arunachal Pradesh,-

(a) Entry 1 shall be omitted;

(b) For entry 6, the following entry shall be substituted, namely:-“6. Tai Khamti”;

(c) For entry 8, the following entry shall be substituted, namely:-“8. Mishmi-Kaman (Miju Mishmi), Idu (Mishmi), Taraon (Digaru Mishmi)”;

(d) For entry 9, the following entry shall be substituted, namely:-“9. Monpa, Memba, Sartang, Sajolang (Miji)”;

(e) For entry 10, the following entry shall be substituted, namely:-“10. Nocte, Tangsa, Tutsa, Wancho”.

STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS

Scheduled Tribes are defined as “those tribes or tribal communities, or sections of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities, as are regarded to be Scheduled Tribes for the purposes of this Constitution” in clause (25) of Article 366 of the Constitution.

According to Article 342 of the Constitution:-

(1) After consulting with the Governor of any State or Union territory, the President may, by public notification, specify the tribes or tribal communities, or parts of or groups within tribes or tribal communities, which shall be deemed to be Scheduled Tribes in relation to that State or Union territory for the purposes of this Constitution.

(2) Parliament may include or exclude any tribe or tribal community, or part of or group within any tribe or tribal community, from the list of Scheduled Tribes specified in a notification issued under clause (1) by law, but a notification issued under the said clause shall not be varied by any subsequent notification, except as aforesaid.

(3). The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, notified the first list of Scheduled Tribes in respect of the State of Arunachal Pradesh, in conformity with the requirements of article 342 of the Constitution. The North Eastern Areas (Reorganization) Act, 1971, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Orders (Amendment) Act, 2002, the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Act, 2008, and the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Act, 2011 have all amended the list of Arunachal Pradesh’s Scheduled Tribes.

(4). In the State of Arunachal Pradesh. , there are currently eighteen groups with their synonyms listed in the illustrated list of Scheduled Tribes.

(5). Following the recommendations of the State of Arunachal Pradesh, it has been decided to amend Part-XVIII of the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, relating to the State of Arunachal Pradesh as follows: –

 (a) Replace ‘Tai Khamti’ instead of ‘Khampti’ in serial No. 6, as it is the same as ‘Adi’ in serial No. 16;

 (b) Replace ‘Abor’ in serial No. 1, as it is the same as ‘Adi’ in serial No. 16;

c) ‘Mishmi-Kaman (Miju Mishmi)’, ‘Idu (Mishmi)’, and ‘Taraon (Digaru Mishmi)’ were substituted for ‘Mishmi, Idu, Taroan’ in series No. 8;

(d) Substitution of ‘Monpa,’‘Memba,’‘Sartang,’ and ‘Sajolang (Miji)’ for ‘Momba’ in serial No. 9;

(e) inclusion of ‘Nocte’,‘Tangsa’,‘Tutsa’,‘Wancho’ in lieu of ‘Any Naga Tribes’ in serial No. 10.

6. Therefore, it is proposed to amend Part-XVIII of the Schedule to the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950 relating to State of Arunachal Pradesh.

7. The Bill seeks to achieve the aforesaid objects.

FINANCIAL MEMORANDUM

  • The Bill seeks to amend the Constitution (Schedule Tribes) Order, 1950, by amending the list of Scheduled Tribes in the State of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • There will be no additional recurring expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India due to benefits expected to be paid to persons belonging to the communities suggested in the Bill as a result of the revision to the list of Scheduled Tribes relating to the State of Arunachal Pradesh. This Ministry already provides funds for the wellbeing of 10.45 million Scheduled Tribes people (Census, 2011). Scheduled Tribes are also eligible for benefits under the Central Governments and State Government’s Scheduled Tribes Component (STC) of programmes. The spending will be accommodated within the Government’s allocated fiscal outlay.

AUTHOR

POOJA GAUR

AMITY UNIVERSITY, NOIDA.