Schedule Castes Current Affairs

Parliament passes Constitution (SCs) order (Amendment) Bill, 2017

Parliament has passed the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill 2017 after it was passed by Rajya Sabha. It was already passed by Lok Sabha in March 2017.

 The Bill seeks to amends the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 and the Constitution (Pondicherry) Scheduled Castes Order, 1964. 

Key Provisions
  • Modify the list of SCs for Odisha: It makes castes Sualgiri, Swalgiri as synonyms to the Sabakhia caste in the list of SCs for the state.
  • Modification of name of Pondicherry: It modifies name of the Union Territory of Pondicherry to Puducherry by incorporating changes in the Constitution (Pondicherry) Scheduled Castes Order, 1964. 
Background

Article 341 of the Constitution empowers the President to specify the Scheduled Castes in various states and UTs.  Further, it permits Parliament to modify this list.

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Parliament passes Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016

Parliament passed Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to include certain communities in the list of Scheduled Castes (SC) from 4 states.

The bill seeks to amend Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 to include certain communities from Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala and West Bengal in the list.

It also has provisions for exclusion of certain communities from Odisha and removal of area restriction in respect of certain communities.

Key facts

  • The bill was introduced in the Parliament by Union Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot as per the provisions of Article 341 of the Constitution.
  • Chhattisgarh: Inclusion of Sais, Sahis, Sarathi, Soot-Sarathi, Thanwar communities in the list.
  • Haryana: Inclusion of (i) Aheria, Aheri, Hari, Heri, Thori, Turi and (ii) Rai Sikh communities in the list.
  • Kerala: Inclusion of Peruvannan community in the list and Modification in the area of specification of Malayan community.
  • West Bengal: Removal of area restriction of Chain community. Odisha: Exclusion of Bariki and Kummari communities in the list.

Article 341: It empowers Parliament to include or exclude castes from the list of Scheduled Castes in the notification. It also empowers the President to specify castes which will be deemed as Scheduled Castes through a notification.

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