Scheduled Tribes Current Affairs

Union Cabinet approves Amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for introduction of two Bills in the Parliament for certain amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950.

These bills seek to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes in respect of five States, namely, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Tripura. They also seek identification of new communities in the Union Territory of Puducherry.

The Bills add the following communities to the list of Scheduled Castes:

  • Assam: Inclusion of Boro, Boro Kachari, Bodo, Bodo Kachari and Karbi (Mikir) communities in the list.
  • Chhattisgarh: Inclusion of Bhuinya, Bhuiyan, Bhuyan, Dhanuhar/Dhanuwar,Kisan, Saunra, Saonra and Dhangad communities in the list.
  • Jharkhand: Inclusion of Bhogta, Deshwari, Ganjhu, Dautalbandi (Dwalbandi), Patbandi, Raut, Maajhia, Khairi (Kheri) and Puran communities in the list.
  • Tamil Nadu: Inclusion of Malayali Gounder, Narikoravan and  Kurivikkaran communities in the list.
  • Tripura: Inclusion of Darlong community in the list.
  • Puducherry: Identification (First Order) of Irular (including Villi and Vettaikaran).

After these Bills become Acts, members of the included communities in the list of Scheduled Tribes will be able to derive benefits meant for Scheduled Tribes under the existing schemes.

Constitutional provisions: The Constitution provides certain privileges/concessions to the members of Scheduled Tribes which are notified under the provisions of Article 342.

Article 342: It empowers President after consultation with the State Government to issue an order for the first list of Scheduled Tribes. Any subsequent inclusion or exclusion from the list of Scheduled Tribes can be effected through an Act of Parliament as envisaged under clause (2) of Article 342.

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Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015 came into force

The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015 came into force from 26th January 2016.

Earlier President Pranab Mukherjee had given his assent to the bill after it was passed by the Parliament in the winter session in December 2015.

Key facts

  • The amended Act has more stringent provisions for prevention of atrocities against Scheduled Castes (SCs) and the Scheduled Tribes (STs).
  • The amended law include new offences like tonsuring of head or similar acts which are derogatory to the dignity of SCs and STs.
  • It also includes garlanding with chappals, abusing in caste name, using or permitting manual scavenging, imposing social or economic boycott.
  • It also has provisions for establishment of Exclusive Special Courts for the expeditious disposal of cases.
  • The new law also defines wilful negligence and dereliction of duty of public servants at all levels provision and specify duties of public servants.
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