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.
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.
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.