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Centre introduces Bills to modify ST list in four States

  • Published
    10th Dec, 2022
Context

The GOI has introduced four Bills that seek to modify the Scheduled Tribes list in the four States of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in the LokSabha, via amendments proposed in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950.

About

About the Bills introduced:

  • There were four bills being introduced in the parliament for providing ST status and to add more tribes to the existing status in the States.
  • The bill accordingly contains:
    • To add the Narikoravan and Kuruvikkaran hill tribes to the ST list of Tamil Nadu. 
    • To introduce Betta-Kuruba as a synonym for the already categorised Kadukuruba in the ST list of Karnataka.
    • To add a number of synonyms in Devnagri script for the already categorised BhariyaBhumia tribe in the ST list of Chhattisgarh.
    • The Hattee community of Sirmaur district’s Trans-Giri region was added to the ST list of Himachal Pradesh

The Schedule Tribe (ST) Order, 1950:

  • The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, specifies the tribal and tribal communities which are deemed to be Scheduled Tribes.
  • The President has notified the Scheduled Castes in the order called ‘Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order-1950’ and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes List (Modification) Order-1956.

Important Constitutional Provisions:

  • 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.
  • 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.

How a community is added or removed from ST lists?

  • The process begins at the level of a State or Union Territory, with the concerned government or administration seeking the addition or exclusion of a particular community from the ST list.
  • The final decision rests with the President’s office issuing a notification specifying the changes under powers vested in it from Articles 342.
  • The inclusion or exclusion of any community in the Scheduled Tribes or Scheduled Castes list comes into effect only after the President assents to a Bill that amends the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 and the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, as is appropriate after it is passed by both the LokSabha and RajyaSabha.
  • A State government may choose to recommend certain communities for addition or subtraction from the list of SCs/STs based on its discretion.
  • Procedure for inclusion/exclusion:
    • Following this, the proposal to include or remove any community from the Scheduled List is sent to the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs from the concerned State government.
    • After this, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, through its own deliberations, examines the proposal and sends it to the Registrar General of India (RGI).
    • Once approved by the RGI, the proposal is sent to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes or National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, following which the proposal is sent back to the Union government, which after inter-ministerial deliberations, introduces it in the Cabinet for final approval.
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