Scheduled Castes Current Affairs - 2020

Cabinet Approval: Occupancy rights to Scheduled Tribes of Lakshadweep

On February 26, 2020, the Union Cabinet approved amendments to provide occupancy rights to Scheduled Tribes of Lakshadweep. The approval was provided to amend the Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands Land Revenue and Tenancy Regulation, 1965.

Highlights

The Scheduled Tribes in the island did not have occupancy rights so far. The Occupancy right is the right to occupy and use tribal area.

Background

Lakshadweep is an Archipelago with 12 atolls, five submerged banks and three reefs. There are 17 uninhabited islands in the region. According to Census 2011, there are 64,429 persons in the island. Of this 93% of the population are indigenous and the entire indigenous population in the island has been classified as Scheduled Tribes due to their social and Economic Backwardness.

According to the SC and ST list (modification order), 1956, the inhabitants born to both parents born in the islands are alone treated as Scheduled Tribes.

Malayalam is the spoken language in the island.

Constitution (126th amendment) bill, 2019 introduced in Lok Sabha

The Constitution (126th amendment bill), 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha on December 9, 2019. The bill seeks to extend the reservation provided to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes by 10 years.

Key Features

The reservation provided to the Anglo-Indian community, SC, ST is to end by January 25, 2020. The bill is being introduced to continue the reservation of seats for another 10 years, that is till January, 25, 2030.

The reservation has been included in Article 334 and therefore the bill seeks to amend the article.

Article 334

Article 334 lays down that the provisions for reservation of seats and special representation of anglo-indians, SC and ST will cease after 40 years. The clause was included in 1949. After 40 years, it is being amended with an extension of 10 years.

Constitutional Amendment

The Constitution Amendment is making changing in the constitution. According to Article 368, there are two types of Constitutional Amendments namely, the amendment effected by special majority and the amendment effected by special majority and ratification by at least one half of state legislatures.

Special majority requires ratification by two-third members present at the voting. At the time of voting, more than 50% of the total strength of the house should be present.