Arunachal to seek 6th Schedule status

In News

  • The Arunachal Pradesh government has decided to appeal to the Centre for bringing the entire State under the purview of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution towards protecting the rights of its indigenous peoples.
    • Under the Sixth Schedule, special rights are given to the indigenous population through the formation of autonomous councils.

In Focus: Sixth Schedule

  • Constitutional Provision
    • It is a special provision provided under Article 244(2) of the Constitution.
  • Areas Covered
    • It deals with the administration of the tribal areas in the four north-eastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
  • Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) and Regional Councils
    • The tribal areas in the four states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram have been constituted as autonomous districts.
    • It gives the tribals in these areas freedom to exercise legislative and executive powers through an autonomous regional council and autonomous district councils (ADCs).
    • The ADCs are the districts within the state which have been given varying degree of autonomy within the State by the central government as per the provisions of the 6th
    • Each autonomous region also has a separate regional council.
  • Role of Governor
    • The governor is empowered to organise and re-organise the autonomous districts which means that he can increase or decrease their areas or change their names or define their boundaries.
    • The governor can divide the district into several autonomous regions, in case there are different tribes in an autonomous district.
    • The governor can appoint a commission to examine and report on any matter relating to the administration of the autonomous districts or regions.
    • He may dissolve a district or regional council on the recommendation of the commission.
  • Composition & Term of Office of District Council
    • Each autonomous district has a District Council consisting of 30 members.
    • 4 members of the District Council are nominated by the governor and the remaining 26 are elected on the basis of adult franchise.
    • The elected members hold office for a term of five years (unless the council is dissolved earlier) and nominated members hold office during the pleasure of the governor.
  • Role of District Councils
    • Legislative Powers
      • They can make laws on certain specified matters like land, forests, canal water, shifting cultivation, village administration, inheritance of property, marriage and divorce, social customs and so on.
      • All such laws require prior assent of the governor.
    • Executive Powers
      • The district and regional councils administer the areas under their jurisdiction on local matters.
      • The District Council can establish, construct or manage primary schools, dispensaries, markets, ferries, fisheries, roads and so on in the district.
      • It can also make regulations for the control of money lending and trading by non-tribals. But, such regulations require the assent of the governor.
    • Financial Powers
      • The district and regional councils are empowered to assess and collect land revenue and to impose certain specified taxes.
    • Village Councils
      • The district and regional councils within their territorial jurisdictions can constitute village councils or courts for trial of suits and cases between the tribes.
      • They hear appeals from them.
      • The jurisdiction of the high court over these suits and cases is specified by the governor.
    • Exceptions
      • The acts of Parliamentor the state legislature do not apply to autonomous districts and autonomous regions or apply with specified modifications and exceptions.
Northeast India - Wikipedia

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