Puducherry Current Affairs

Odisha’s Sualgiri, Swalgiri Communities Notified as Scheduled Castes

Sualgiri and Swalgiri communities of Odisha have been notified as Scheduled Castes after President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Act, 2017. Last month, Rajya Sabha had passed the bill after it was cleared by the Lok Sabha in March. Accordingly, the Sualgiri, Swalgiri communities have been notified as Scheduled Castes in the modified list for Odisha.

Similarly, the Constitution (Pondicherry) Scheduled Castes Order, 1964 has replaced the term Union Territory of Pondicherry to Puducherry.

Benefits

The Constitution provides certain privileges and concessions to the members of Scheduled Castes notified under the provisions of Article 341 of the Constitution. The Scheduled Castes status will entitle these communities to get reservation in government jobs and admission into educational institutions in addition to some other financial benefits. The government implements various schemes for the benefit of the Scheduled Castes like post-matric scholarship, national overseas scholarship, Rajiv Gandhi national fellowship, concessional loans from National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation, provision of hostel facilities for the SC boys and girls etc.

Background

The constitution of India empowers the Parliament of India to modify the list of notified scheduled castes, which upon receiving the assent of the President of India can be notified as Scheduled Castes. Under the provision of Article 341, list of SCs in relation to a states/UT is to be issued by a notified Order of the President after consulting concerned state Government. But the clause (2) of Article 341 envisages that, any subsequent inclusion in or exclusion from the list of Scheduled Castes can be effected only through an Act of Parliament.

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V. Vaithilingam elected as Speaker of Puducherry Assembly

Congress leader and former Chief Minister V. Vaithilingam was elected unopposed as the Speaker of the 14th Puducherry legislative Assembly.

Besides, pro-tem Speaker VP Shivakozhuthu was declared elected unopposed as the Deputy Speaker.

V. Vaithilingam had served Chief Minister of the Union Territory twice. For first time he was in office from 1991 to 1996 and for second time again from 2008-2011. He was the second youngest Chief Minister and the first Chief Minister of Puducherry to serve the full five-year term till date.

Earlier in May 2016, Congress-DMK alliance had emerged victorious in 2016general elections. The alliance had won 17 seats (Congress: 15; DMK:2) in the 30 member Territorial Assembly.

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