TODAY -

Constitutional concessions and protections to specific groups in India
- Part 2 -

Dr N Somorendro *



Special provision to Sikkim is under Article 371 F and for Arunachal Pradesh under Article 371 H. Fifth Schedule of the Constitution provides separate administration of STs including Tribes Advisory Council with Governor having responsibility to report to President in the tribal areas in India other than North East States.

The Sixth Schedule provides separate administration and establishment of District Councils and Regional Councils in the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. The Governors in these States have the responsibility to run the administration including permission to apply the Acts of Parliament and State Assemblies in the Sixth Schedule areas.

Under Sixth Schedule the additional powers have been given to the Bodoland Territorial Council in Assam since 2003 to make laws in various matters and with special powers to Governor and President. Bodoland Territorial Council is like a mini State within the State of Assam having powers on agriculture, cultural affairs, education upto college level, forests, intoxicating liquors, land and revenue, PWD, transport, tourism etc.

Under the Articles 14, 15 and 16 in Part III, the State is given the power to put the reasonable restriction on the fundamental rights of the citizens in the interests and for the advancement of the birth based social categories like Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCS).

For SCs and STs the reservations are provided in admissions to educational institutions, government jobs, seats in Lok Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies, panchayates and municipalities under the Constitution. In the case of Scheduled Tribes the additional privileges and concessions include protection of land under Article 19(5) and no income tax payments irrespective of high or low income.

Therefore it is not surprising that demands for ST status are increasing in North East and other parts of India. In case of OBCs the reservation is confined to admissions to educational institutions and government jobs. For OBCs it is on income basis as to the creamy layers among the OBCs are excluded.

It is the Constitution and laws which protect and provide concessions to different social categories including STs. The protections and concessions are not by the traditional tribal chiefs or ethnic based groups in the hill/tribal areas of India including North East. Question has been raised on the rationale of such special protections and concessions due to rising income disparities within ST populations and poor financial status of the States with majority/sizeable ST populations.

The rising inequalities in income among the individuals and regional disparities in the development process are factors causing prejudices and conflicts among the social groups. In fact new demands for concessions and protections under the Constitution have been increased.

These include new reservations, Scheduled Tribe (ST) status, Inner Line Permit System (ILPS) and ethnic/group based political and administrative arrangements. In a sense these are short cut methods with the immediate promises to resolve complex socio-economic and political issues.

In another sense it only reflects the failure of India’s socio-economic and political systems in the 70th years of functioning of the Constitution and democracy. 10 % reservation in government jobs and education is granted to economically backward sections in the general category [ by 103th Constitution Amendment Act, 2019]

The British enacted the Eastern Bengal Frontier Regulations, 1873 popularly known by ILPS has been in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram. After mass movements for ILPs in Manipur two bills were passed by the State Assembly but could not get Governor’s/ Presidential assents. Any demand or change has to be within the Constitution. If the demand requires amendment, then demand should include Constitutional amendment also.

In the wake of protests against Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), 2019, ILPs was implemented in Manipur on 11th December, 2019 by the Union Government by extending and amending Eastern Bengal Frontier Regulations, 1873. Meghalaya does not have ILPS while Nagaland and Manipur do not have Sixth Schedule.

Under Article 341 President can declare after consultation with Governor by public notification specify castes, races, or tribes to be Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Parliament may by law declare to include or exclude from the list of SCs.

Under 342 of Constitution President can declare after consultation with Governor by public notification specify tribes or tribal communities to be STs and Parliament may by law declare to include or exclude from the list of STs.

Reservation is a temporary provision in the Constitution which is extended by Parliament for every ten years. The reservation to women is extended only in the panchayates and municipalities including in Manipur. However there is no reservation in the local bodies for any category including women in the hill/tribal areas including in the Autonomous District Councils of Manipur.

After 70th year of working of Constitution and democracy, Constitution of India still recognizes and promotes two distinct systems in the North East. One is for the hill areas /Scheduled Tribes (ST) with protection of land rights and preservation of undemocratic traditional political institutions and economic practices. The other is for the plains/valleys/non-Scheduled Tribes without protection of land and other concessions.

For political reasons nature, history, geography, land and culture have been ethicized and interpreted from the ethno-centric approach. One tribe/ethnic group often blames the other for their backwardness or disadvantaged positions. Such approach in many ways goes against the shared history and composite culture of multi-ethnic states of Assam and Manipur and universal human values.

The principles of good governance, democracy and sustainable development are not followed in North East India particularly in the tribal/hill areas. Poverty, unemployment, lack of quality education and lack of basic needs of modern life, poor conditions of roads and connectivity are not the top agendas of the politics and governance.

Group based rights and politics have been the centre stage which threaten or violate individual rights and dignity of the citizens including women. Frequent financial crisis, justifications of government inaction/failure on the basis of no funds theory and disturbing educational system characterize the States like Manipur. It is high time that political parties, leaders, civil society and citizens focus to address and overcome the issues of common sufferings and problems including environment.

It will require giving up the present habit of blame games, reviving old practice of self-sufficiency, relevant and quality education and shamefulness of immoral/illegal acts. On the whole in India there are indications that few classes/individuals in the society are increasingly monopolizing wealth, common resources, the development benefits and political power. These are often in the name of democracy and in the interest of nation, community, ethnic or tribe.

Inequalities among the individuals and within the communities/tribes and regional disparities: hills-valley, rural-urban etc have increased in the last few decades.

For instance in Manipur the maximum number of modern institutions and facilities are located in about 7-8 km radius of the capital Imphal and district headquarters are worrying concerns. The issues of good governance, sustainable development and democratic rights to equality and freedom of the individuals including women need to be the focused as the primary concerns.

The impact of single citizenship and centralized federal system as well as changing demography and socio-economic life of the indigenous ethnic groups in North East India and Manipur will require serious studies.

General failure of socio-economic policies of India and politics in Manipur to provide equal livelihood opportunities and empowerment of common people should be addressed. The resolution or reduction of political demands and conflicts will require critical review of the British colonial legacies and present Constitutional provisions.

The citizens, leaders and political parties have equal responsibilities to ensure the realization of the Constitutional values and goals. Amendments to Constitution will be required through consensus to ensure equality and other rights to the citizens irrespective of one’s birth based identities.

Similarly it will be necessary to ensure equality of States at least in the representation to the Rajya Sabha. Inequalities among the citizens and States which constitute India may not ensure justice, liberty and ‘unity and integrity of the Nation’.

The article is the revised version of the paper presented at the Seminar on 70th Year of Indian Constitution at Y.K. College, Wangjing on 23rd December, 2019.

Conlcuded .....


* Dr N Somorendro wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The author is the General Secretary of FEGOCTA and teaches Political Science in Manipur College.
This article was webcasted on January 22, 2020.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Students @ Class XII Exam #2 : Gallery
  • School Phagathanshi : No-dearth-of-fund
  • Conference on Material Science at Tripura Univ
  • 495 jobs at National Informatics Centre (NIC)
  • AMP organizes National Convention
  • Save ocean environments for humanity
  • 4th Guwahati International Music Festival
  • Imphal-Mandalay bus service
  • Restructuring the Attitude
  • Lui-ngai-ni, Naga festival @Ukhrul #2 : Gallery
  • Gender equity & human rights pivotal for SDGs
  • RK Alex: Painter who just got his biggest break
  • Fresco of Void :: Poem
  • More options @ food technology
  • Defunct irrigation facilities & farmers' income
  • The dilemma in parliamentary reporting
  • GoI, WC on threshold of signing Naga solution
  • Ongoing Class X, Class XII exams
  • Mukna Kangjei -Indigenous game : Gallery
  • Sangai Festival [Nov 28] #1 : Gallery
  • The Sunshine :: Poem
  • Development of new laboratory tests
  • Warmth of selfless heart
  • Shopping List - Shivaratri #1 : Gallery
  • CRT TV - Our Travelling Companion
  • A Morsel of Food :: Peom
  • Naga Political Settlement
  • Cannabis in epilepsy
  • 2019 Review: Ministry of Social Justice
  • Judicious journalism for good governance
  • Bangladeshki Sana Tampha #1 :: eRang
  • Lannganba, Shangrina, Changpombi: eMing
  • Beauty in the Dark :: Poem
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Speaker Sir SC is divided on defections
  • Northeast Music Conference at Guwahati
  • Ways to use garlic for long, lustrous locks
  • Outcome of 'taken note of' camps
  • Committing crime against nature
  • Students @ Class XII Exam #1 : Gallery
  • 13th Mega Marathon Manipur #1 : Gallery
  • Maha Shivratri - Brahma Kumaris concept
  • Understanding dementia #2
  • Once in a billion
  • Are provisions of CAA, 2019 discriminatory ?
  • Leaking question papers of Class XI
  • Coronavirus: no case reported from Myanmar
  • Lui-ngai-ni, Naga festival @Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • Exploring horticultural avenues of Manipur
  • GPS : For Real Time Geo-location
  • Birds at Dusk :: Poem
  • Small banks: Operational soundness a must
  • Addressing traffic congestion in Imphal
  • Conversion of diesel engine with electrified..
  • Mizoram: Highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
  • Manipur Legislative Assembly Building : Gallery
  • 71st Indian Republic Day #6 : Gallery
  • Rohan Philem : Cycle ride at Delhi
  • Career in food technology
  • Women Entrepreneurs from North east India
  • Workshop: High Energy Physics, IIT Guwahati
  • Nambul, Kongba in the list of infamous 60
  • Limitation of freedom sometime required
  • A remarkable journey of a Thang-Ta exponent
  • Day 4 : Sangai Fest #3 : Gallery
  • Education & Teachers in Manipur
  • Its all about learning
  • Manipur- 6 medals at NSG Fencing at Gujarat
  • Coronavirus - A grave threat
  • Class X examination has started !
  • Modi's romance with NE states
  • NE has 60 most polluted river stretches
  • Eepan Thaba -birth ceremony : Gallery
  • Flood Light at Khuman Lampak : Gallery
  • List of nominees : Manipur Film Awards 2020
  • Extending ILP to Manipur Needs A Review
  • The great cosmic discovery - IX
  • 36th Central Conference of ICI at Jiribam
  • Festival with a significant message
  • Sirarakhong Hathei Phanit #2 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Understanding dementia #1
  • The Old Man in the Afternoon :: Poem
  • Nurturing Peace
  • Historic Bodo Accord: Beginning of an era
  • Atrial Flutter treated with Radio Frequency
  • Condolence & prayer meeting held
  • Is accepting gift by newsperson unethical
  • Fashion Show @ Sangai Fest #2 : Gallery
  • 71st Indian Republic Day #5 : Gallery
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni - Naga Seed Sowing Fest
  • Revelation for the new decade
  • Beneath our hearts :: Poem
  • Makhol : Discussing Arts
  • Online for Inner Line Permit
  • Redefining mob violence
  • Wakching Thagi Sanarei #1 :: eRang
  • For the Love of Valentine
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • Teach a Topic : Online Competition
  • Valentine's Day beauty tips
  • Street Vendor Restriction: Violation of Art 21
  • Community Radio Awareness Workshop - NE
  • School Fagathansi Mission: on Govt school
  • Re-thinking of the serious wrong
  • Amur Falcon Fest @Tamenglong #1 : Gallery
  • Wetlands & biodiversity: Promote actions..
  • Sexual & reproductive health key to SDGs
  • Maddening power of Dili
  • Nagaland BJP leaders joined NPF
  • 2019 review: Ministry of Renewable Energy #2
  • Enacting a farce, MPP style: Comical caricature
  • The silence breaks
  • Dzukou Valley Landscape #2 : Gallery
  • Day 4 : Sangai Fest #2 : Gallery
  • Can we dream of achieving Vision-2020 ?
  • The Ant :: Poem
  • Pulok Mukherjee take charge as Director IBSD
  • The Bodo Accord and after
  • Reqts at Birla Emporiums, Khurai
  • Third time in office for the AAP
  • Govt should stop harassing media
  • Thang Ta at JNMDA #1 : Gallery
  • pNTOgi peraH :: Seireng
  • Bodo accord: A hope for peace and stability
  • Endangered Legal Systems #2
  • A Wintery Song :: Poem
  • Career options in textile industry
  • Weekly Mao Market at Imphal
  • Education should eradicates superstition
  • Sirarakhong Village, Ukhrul : Gallery
  • National Master Athletics : Gallery
  • Dramas in Higher Education
  • Has Govt overlooked Bipartite Settlement?
  • RIST Talk -43 : Nobel Prize in Physics 2019
  • Cannabis in Parkinson's disease
  • Heed appeal of Chairman of COHSEM
  • Accord after IM cadres return from Myanmar
  • Nongmadi : Synopsis of the Shumang Leela
  • 71st Indian Republic Day #4 : Gallery
  • Investment on research & development
  • From Dawn till Dusk :: Poem
  • National Lok Adalat at Lamphel Court
  • India unites on wrong issues
  • Gandhari -Dance Drama #3 : Gallery
  • TwaI na_AosuM :: Seireng
  • Political will to solve climate crisis
  • Product Validation & Quality Control Training
  • Changemakers in Bio-Pharma : Lecture
  • Honey for radiant skin
  • NE ignored for many years stand of PM
  • The changing face of RIMS
  • Phisakol - Film Scenes #1 :: eRang
  • World Tourism Day at Noney #6 : Gallery
  • Dr Ng Brajachand - Reminiscence ...
  • The Strange Boy :: Poem
  • Reqts at PR Enterprises, Khurai
  • Interior Designer at Hatil Furniture
  • Need to restrict cross border interactions
  • The mental equation
  • Hentak - Indigenous Food Fest #2 : Gallery
  • Business Correspondent Model :: Book
  • Endangered Legal Systems #1
  • The great cosmic discovery - VIII
  • The Kaleidoscopic prism
  • Living in the age of nCoV & Swine Flu
  • Bloody battle for greed
  • Agaki Waterfall @ Tamei : Gallery
  • 71st Indian Republic Day #3 : Gallery
  • Community Policing in Manipur
  • Knitwear design as career option
  • Budget & wealth creation in Manipur
  • Visions sans missions & North East India
  • Free Speech & Expression in a Debacle
  • Apple Farm @ Kumbi : Gallery
  • Day 4 : Sangai Fest #1 : Gallery
  • World Wetlands Day 2020
  • Thounaojam Niranjoy breaks 'world record'
  • Discipline and students
  • 2019 review: Ministry of Renewable Energy #1
  • Academic activities paralyse in College
  • Yoga Instructor Training by MIT
  • FIR against MPSC
  • Manipur's Theatre is facing a dark time
  • NE festival to promote culture in Thailand
  • Highest priority accorded to NE in Budget
  • Maibam Nabakishore : Play-wright :: Profle
  • Right to die for people, terminally ill
  • Communities along Barak River #3: Gallery
  • Suresh Huidrom: Natl Architecture Award
  • The Chirp of a Sparrow :: Poem
  • India's last Governor-General
  • Vanishing wetlands: Anthropogenic pressures
  • Coronavirus prevention @ Moreh : Gallery
  • Tribute Rock Concert for (L) Hegin #3 : Gallery
  • Degradation of wetlands in Manipur
  • Tansen plays at Darbar
  • Water scarcity & stress
  • Computational Thinking (CT): Education
  • People have every right to know...
  • Maibi Jagoi @ JNMDA : Gallery
  • Novel Coronavirus outbreak : WHO
  • February Calendar for Year 2020 : Tools
  • Manipur : Champion at Vovinam National
  • CAT rank predictor: for an MBA aspirant
  • Delhi Fashion Club launched in Mumbai
  • MSAB Literary Meet at Benguluru
  • Sports- Making it to news for right reason
  • Judiciary on the rescue Indian Constitution
  • Mr. Khadang #1 :: eRang
  • 71st Indian Republic Day #2 : Gallery
  • Soraisam Keshoram : Natyabhusan (Drama)
  • Chasing a wonderland :: Poem
  • Manipur champion at 16th Sr Natl Jump Rope
  • Admission- Public Health Foundation of India
  • The Killing Fields 2013-20 : News Timeline
  • Padma Vibhushan for Mary Kom
  • The Changing face of Imphal Times
  • Conservation initiatives of Hornbills #2
  • Day 6 : Sangai Fest #2 : Gallery
  • Call for Proposal- Biotechnology Ignition
  • A Picnic by the Pond :: Poem
  • Year review: Min of Rural Development #2
  • Mumbai International Film Festival 2020
  • Nail care tips
  • Coronavirus: How prepared is Manipur ?
  • CMHT needs to be reviewed
  • 71st Indian Republic Day #1 : Gallery
  • Khangminashi - VI: Gallery
  • Custodial Death
  • Golden opportunity for a Speaker
  • Khangminashi - VI, Talk Series :: Report
  • 1000 trained in Fish Processing
  • Supports agitation call by CAF & PD Labourers
  • Medical camp at Thenjang, Churachandpur
  • Peace pact signed with the NDFB
  • A better and inclusive alternative
  • Gaan-Ngai at Kakhulong #2 : Gallery
  • Tribute Rock Concert for (L) Hegin #2 : Gallery
  • Glass Painting by Khusbu: Gallery
  • Day 6 : Sangai Fest #1 : Gallery
  • Aerial- Imp to Tamenglong #2: Gallery
  • 28th Imphal Book Fair #2 : Gallery
  • Of our Responsibility and our Rights
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #2: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai @Chingkham Kabui Khul: Gallery
  • Cultural @ Shirui Lily Fest #4 : Gallery
  • Thong Nambonbi broke apart: Gallery
  • New Year picnic @Singda Dam : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #6: Gallery
  • Tolloi, Ukhrul :: 360 Panorama View
  • SPONSORED ADS