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Constitutional provisions for development of Scheduled Tribes

Constitutional provisions for development of Scheduled Tribes

Important constitutional provisions

Several provisions have been incorporated in the Constitution for safeguarding and promoting the interests and rights of the Scheduled Tribes in various spheres so as to enable them to join the national mainstream. An overview of the provisions is as follows.

I.A-Definition and Specification of STs
Art. Title
Preamble
342Scheduled Tribes
366Definitions
II.B - Educational, Economic and Public Employment-related Safeguards
15Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth
16Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment
19Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc
46Promotion of Educational and Economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections
335Claims of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to services and posts
II.C- Political Safeguards
330Reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the House of the People
332Reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assemblies of the States
334Reservation of seats and special representation to cease after sixty years
243DReservation of seats (in Panchayats)
243TReservation of seats
II.D- Agency for monitoring safeguards
338ANational Commission for Scheduled Tribe

Article 46 of the Constitution provides that the State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the society and in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.

Reservation in educational institution has been provided in Article 15(4) while reservation in posts and services has been provided in Article 16(4), 16(4A) and 16(4B) of the Constitution.

Article 23 which prohibits traffic in human beings and beggar and other similar forms of forced labour has a special significance for Scheduled Tribes. In pursuance of this Article, Parliament has enacted the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976. Similarly, Article 24 which prohibits employment of Children below the age of 14 years in any factory or mine or in any other hazards activity is also significant for Scheduled Tribes as a substantial portion of child labour engaged in these jobs belong to Scheduled Tribes.

Article 243D provides reservation of Seats for Scheduled Tribes in Panchayats.

Article 330 provides reservation of seats for Scheduled Tribes in the House of the People.

Article 332 provides reservation of seats for Scheduled Tribes in Legislative Assemblies of the States.

Article 334 provides that reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Lok Sabha and the State Vidhan Sabhas (and the representation of the Anglo-Indian Community in the Lok Sabha and the State Vidhan Sabhas by nomination) would continue up to January, 2020.

Other specific safeguards have been provided in Article 244 read with the provisions contained in Fifth and Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.

Other provisions applicable in specific states

  • Article 164(1) provides that in the States of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha there shall be a Minister in charge of tribal welfare who may in addition be in charge of the welfare of the Scheduled Castes and backward classes or any other work.
  • Article 371A has special provisions with respect to the State of Nagaland.
  • Article 371B has special provisions with respect to the State of Assam.
  • Article 371C has special provisions with respect to the State of Manipur.
  • Article 371F has special provisions with respect to Sikkim.

Source : National Commission for Scheduled Tribes



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