Compare the social and political impacts of fifth and sixth schedule of Constitution under which tribal areas of India are governed. Why there have been demands to move some fifth schedule areas to sixth schedule? Discuss Critically.

Published: December 28, 2015

The fifth schedule of the constitution of India contains the provision related to the administration and control of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes.

The sixth schedule of the constitution of India contains the provisions related to the administration of tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.

Social and political impacts: The social and political impact of 5th and 6th schedules are

Fifth schedule:

  • The Fifth schedule does not provide real autonomy.
  • The Panchayats Extension to the Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act mandates the state to accord certain political, administrative, and fiscal powers to local governments of Fifth Schedule areas.

Sixth schedule:

  • The Sixth Schedule provides autonomy.
  • It enables the District Council and the Regional Council the real power to make laws on grants in aids from the Consolidated Fund of India, health care, education, roads, etc.
  • It provides better economic development and ethnic security.

Previous demands: The tribal people of the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh demanded the introduction of the Sixth Schedule.

Justification: It is quite clear that PESA and the Fifth Schedule is not that much effective to sort out all implications. The demand may benefit in the following way.

  • It will provide a special status and will enable direct participation in governance.
  • Some of the constitutional and legislative subjects of the sixth schedule are beneficial from the aspect of the administrative requirements.

Comment: The autonomy provided by the sixth schedule is not ultimate and has many shortcomings. But its introduction to certain areas other than the mentioned northeast Indian states, would provide a better taste of autonomy.

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