Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for introduction Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order Amendment Bill, 2015 in the Parliament.
The Bill seeks to amend Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 in order to modify the list of Scheduled Castes in respect of 5 States viz. Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala, Odisha and West Bengal.
- The Bill also modifies the Central List of Other Backward Classes of 3 states viz. Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Kerala.
- Chhattisgarh: Sais, who are also known as Sahis, Sarathi, Soot-Sarathi and Thanwar are eligible for their inclusion in SC category.
- Haryana: Two castes have been included in the SC list. These are Aheria (also called Aheri, Hari, Heri, Thori and Tur) and Rai Sikh.
- Kerala: Peruvannan caste has been included the SC list. While, Malayan community area has been extended.
- Odisha: Bariki and Kummari castes been excluded from the OBC list consequent upon their inclusion in SC list.
- West Bengal: The area restriction of the inclusion of Chain caste has been removed.
- After the Bill becomes an Act, the members of these communities will be included in the list of Scheduled Castes.
- They will be able to derive benefits meant for Scheduled Castes under the existing Government schemes. In addition they will also be entitled to the benefits of reservation in services and admission to educational institutions.
- The Constitution of India provides certain privileges and concessions to the members of Scheduled Castes that are notified under the provisions of Article 341 of the Constitution.
- Article 341 says that 1st list of Scheduled Castes in relation to a States/UTs has to be issued by a notified Order of the President after consultation with the respective State Government.
- Clause (2) of Article 341 mentions that any subsequent inclusion or exclusion particular community from the list of Scheduled Castes can be envisaged through an Act of Parliament.
- Modalities in regard to modifications in the lists of SCs/STs: In 1999, Union Government had approved Modalities for considering proposals in regard to modifications in the lists of SCs/ST. It was amended in June 2002.
- Under it amending legislation to the concerned Constitution Order is proposed only in respect of such proposals of the concerned State Government/UT Administration.
- Such proposal must have been agreed to both by the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) as well as Registrar General of India (RGI).