Schedule V Current Affairs - 2019

Category Wise PDF Compilations available at This Link

Meghalaya tribes: Stop Excluding us from Schedule VI

The minor tribes of Meghalaya Hajong, Bodo – Kachari, Mann, Rabha are together put under the category of “unrepresented tribes” for nominations in the state’s autonomous councils. They are in the name of Garo, Khasi and Jaintia. These tribal groups have now asked the CM to exclude them from their provisions of VI schedule of the Constitution.

On September 26, the state Government deciding to recommend to the Standing Committee of the Parliament to remove the word “unrepresented tribes” from the amended special provision. This will deprive certain democratic rights of the communities in the district councils according to MHWA – Meghalaya Hajong Welfare Association.

Sixth Schedule of Constitution

The Schedule – VI in the constitution makes provisions for the administration of tribal areas in 4 states namely Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. It is different from Schedule V that discusses administration of Scheduled areas and Scheduled tribes of other parts of the country.

These areas do no come under regular administration. They have alternate or special governance mechanisms to protect the rights of these people. It is exclusively for welfare and advancement of the ST.

Measures to Protect and Safeguard Land Rights of Scheduled Tribes

The  protect and safeguarding the land rights and other rights of Scheduled Tribes who are the  most marginalized, isolated and deprived population, following constitutional and legislative measure have been put in place:

  • The Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFDs) (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 is being implemented to recognize and vest the forest rights and occupation in forest land to forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes.
  • Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (RFCTLARR Act, 2013 in short) safeguards against displacement of Scheduled Tribes. Special provisions have been made for under Sections 41 and 42 of the RFCTLARR Act, 2013 to protect the interests of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
  • The Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 mandates that the Gram Sabha or the Panchayats at the appropriate level shall be consulted before making the acquisition of land in the Scheduled Areas or development projects and before resettling or rehabilitating persons affected by such projects in the Scheduled Areas.
  • Constitutional provisions under Schedule – V also provide for safeguards against displacement of the tribal population because of land acquisitions etc. The Governor of the State, having scheduled Areas, is empowered to prohibit or restrict the transfer of land from tribals and regulate the allotment of land to members of the Scheduled Tribes in such cases
  • The Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 provides for legal services to members of Scheduled Tribes.
  • Wrongfully dispossessing members of Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes from their land or premises or interfering with the enjoyment of their rights, including forest rights, over any land or premises or water or irrigation facilities or destroying the crops or taking away the produce therefrom amount to atrocities and are subject to punishment under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Further, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs is implementing several schemes and programmes for upliftment and development of Scheduled Tribes in the country.