The Union Cabinet has given its approval for introduction of two Bills in the Parliament for certain amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950.
These bills seek to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes in respect of five States, namely, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Tripura. They also seek identification of new communities in the Union Territory of Puducherry.
The Bills add the following communities to the list of Scheduled Castes:
- Assam: Inclusion of Boro, Boro Kachari, Bodo, Bodo Kachari and Karbi (Mikir) communities in the list.
- Chhattisgarh: Inclusion of Bhuinya, Bhuiyan, Bhuyan, Dhanuhar/Dhanuwar,Kisan, Saunra, Saonra and Dhangad communities in the list.
- Jharkhand: Inclusion of Bhogta, Deshwari, Ganjhu, Dautalbandi (Dwalbandi), Patbandi, Raut, Maajhia, Khairi (Kheri) and Puran communities in the list.
- Tamil Nadu: Inclusion of Malayali Gounder, Narikoravan and Kurivikkaran communities in the list.
- Tripura: Inclusion of Darlong community in the list.
- Puducherry: Identification (First Order) of Irular (including Villi and Vettaikaran).
After these Bills become Acts, members of the included communities in the list of Scheduled Tribes will be able to derive benefits meant for Scheduled Tribes under the existing schemes.
Constitutional provisions: The Constitution provides certain privileges/concessions to the members of Scheduled Tribes which are notified under the provisions of Article 342.
Article 342: It empowers President after consultation with the State Government to issue an order for the first list of Scheduled Tribes. Any subsequent inclusion or exclusion from the list of Scheduled Tribes can be effected through an Act of Parliament as envisaged under clause (2) of Article 342.