"Sixth schedule has ended up creating multiple power centers instead of bringing in a genuine process of democratization or autonomy in the North East". Opine.

Model Answer:
As per the Sixth Schedule, the four states viz. Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.Though the executive authority of the state, provision has been made for the creation of the District Councils and regional councils for the exercise of the certain legislative and judicial powers.But, Sixth schedule has ended up creating multiple power centers instead of bringing in a genuine process of democratization or autonomy in the North East. For example-
Conflict of Power
There are frequent conflicts of interest between the District Councils and the state legislatures. For example, in Meghalaya, despite the formation of the State, the whole of the State continues to be under the Sixth Schedule causing frequent conflicts with the State Government. Para 12 (A) of the Sixth Schedule clearly states that, whenever there is a conflict of interest between the District Councils and the state legislature, the latter would prevail. Thus state enjoys the superiority, but then it is alleged that autonomous councils are mere platforms for aspiring politicians who nurture ambitions to contest assembly polls in the future.
Disparity among Autonomous Bodies and Local Bodies
This is another important area of conflict. The local bodies established via Seventy-third Amendment are more liberally funded through the State Finance commissions. In a state where there are more than one autonomous councils; one claims that it is being treated less favourably than other. For example, in Assam, there is a perceived preferential treatment to Bodoland Territorial Council in matters of budget allocations.
Functioning of Governor
The Legislations passed by the Autonomous councils come into effect only after the assent of the Governor. However, Governor works as per the aid and advice of the state Council of Ministers. This makes many a times, the autonomous councils irrelevant as far as power to legislate is concerned.

Question for UPSC Mains:
“Sixth schedule has ended up creating multiple power centers instead of bringing in a genuine process of democratization or autonomy in the North East”. Opine.

Published: February 7, 2016 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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