Scheduled Tribes Current Affairs - 2019

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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.

Cabinet Clears Ordinance on Reservation Roster for University Teachers

The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cleared the ordinance for the Reservation Roster for University Teachers.

What was the issue?

Following an order by the Allahabad high court in April 2017, the University Grants Commission had announced in March last year that an individual department should be considered as the base unit to calculate the number of teaching posts to be reserved for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes candidates.

This order of UGC led to a series of protests. The protestors were demanding the restoration of the 200-point roster and the government had filed a review petition against the verdict of the Allahabad High Court which was dismissed by the Supreme Court. The ordinance has been brought in by the Supreme Court to nullify the verdict of the Supreme Court.

What is the 200-point Roster System?

200 point roster system is a roster system for faculty positions that includes 99 posts reserved for the SC, ST and OBC communities and 101 posts for the unreserved. Under this roster, in case there is a deficit of reserved seats in one department, it could be compensated by more people from the reserved communities in other departments in the university.  It considers college or university as a unit for reservation in teaching posts.

Whereas under the new 13 point roster proposed by the UGC, an individual department should be considered as the base unit to calculate the number of teaching posts to be reserved for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes candidates. This system had drawbacks for small departments of the university or college. Also, the 200 point roster system provided an advantage wherein the deficit in reservation in one department could be compensated by other departments. The government has brought an ordinance to restore the 200-point roster system.