5th Schedule of The Indian Constitution | Quick Overview

In this article, we are going to talk about the administration of scheduled and tribal areas in India in accordance with the constitution of India, latest as per the date written on 2nd February 2021. The Part X of the Indian Constitution outlines the administration of scheduled and tribal areas which we will be discussing in detail as a separate topic. Secondly, we will be discussing as a separate topic some articles of Part XVI (Certain Provisions Related to Some Classes) related to Scheduled and Tribal Areas, thirdly we will be talking about the 5th Schedule of the Indian Constitution which talks about the administration of the scheduled and tribal areas in states except Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.

This all might sound perplexing at the sight of the constitution, but in this article, it will be explained in much simpler words. 

So let’s start!!!

Part X Of The Constitution Of India

The Part X of the Constitution of India (THE SCHEDULED AND TRIBAL AREAS) has only two articles which are Article 244 and Article 244 A. Article 244 (Administration of Scheduled and Tribal Areas) outlines the application of provisions of administration under the 5th Schedule of the Indian constitution and the 6th Schedule of the constitution and hence it also outlines the difference between the two.

The Article 244 A under its clause 1 makes up an autonomous state in Assam by law comprising of the tribal areas mentioned in the Part 1 of the Table under the Sixth Schedule, further the sub clause (a) and (b) says to form a body which can function as a legislature or a Council of Ministers or both having its own constitution, powers and functions as specified in law.

Further in its clause 2 and the sub clauses, it specifies the laws referred to in clause 1 shall be under the state list or the concurrent list or otherwise define its own executive powers in comparison with to that of state of Assam.

Further the clause 3 mentions that any amendment to laws relating to or made under the sub clause (a) or (b) will not come into effect until passed in each Houses of Parliament, further the fourth and the last clause specifies that any such law as referred to in this article shall not deem to effect or amend the constitution for the purpose of article 368 of the Constitution of India which gives the sole and supreme power only to the parliament to amend the Constitution of India, by law.

Provisions related to Scheduled and Tribal Areas under Part XVI of the Indian Constitution

Part XVI of the Constitution of India (SPECIAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO CERTAIN CLASSES) has 16 articles, but we will only be talking about 5 articles related to the administration of scheduled and tribal areas specifically Articles 330, 332(I), 338, 338 A and 339.

Article 330 and Article 332 (I) provides scheduled castes and the scheduled tribe’s reservations in the house of people and the legislative assemblies of the state which helps in the role of scheduled castes and tribes in decision making at the legislatures which further helps in the administration of the scheduled and tribal areas.

Article 338 and Article 338 A establishes a National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes respectively, both the commissions investigate and monitors related to Safeguards provided for scheduled castes and tribes, they inquire into special complaints which are for deprivation of rights and safeguards, they have a major role in determining the planning process of socio-economic development for such classes, they also present their reports to the President and recommend further for development, lastly the Union and the State Governments also discuss upon policies relating to scheduled castes and tribes with the commission.

Further, Article 339 under its first clause gives the power to President to any time call a commission to report on the welfare of Scheduled and tribal areas and shall necessarily call it after 10 years of the commencement of the constitution, and such a commission has been so far established and called upon only two times, the first one was in 1960 which was necessary and the second was in 2002.

In its second clause, it gives power to the Union Government to direct state governments for implementing recommendations given under the report, the directions were successfully given for the report given by 1960 commission in 1961, but for the commission that was called in 2002 by the NDA government, it gave the report in 2004, by when UPA government had taken the control.

5th Schedule of the Indian Constitution

The 5th Schedule of the Indian constitution as we earlier discussed in Part X’s article 244 will be only discussing the administration of scheduled and tribal areas in states other than Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.

So, the Part A of the 5th Schedule of the Indian constitution outlines that the executive power of the state shall extend to the scheduled areas as per the schedule and the governor shall be reporting to the President on their administration in the areas and the Union then shall have the power of giving further directions.

Furthermore, in Part B, it establishes a Tribes Advisory Council in each state having not more than 20 members and most of the reserved seats of the Legislative Assembly of the State shall be the representatives of the Tribes Advisory Council also, the role of the Advisory Council has to be advised on matters relating to welfare and advancement of scheduled tribes as referred to the governor; the Governor may make all the other rules of the council.

It also outlines the law applicable to scheduled areas, which the governor may notify by public notification exceptions to the legislature enacted by the Parliament, the governor may also make regulations for peace and good government for a scheduled area; all the regulations made by the governor shall be submitted to the President and shall require his assent.

Under the Part C, it is clarified that under the constitution ‘scheduled areas’ are a subject of the President, he may declare the scheduled areas and he can also cease, increase, alter the scheduled areas as per his choice after consultation with the governor of the state.

Lastly, under Part D, 5th Schedule of the Indian constitution provides power to the constitution to amend the schedule through additions, variations, and repeals, but it also specifies that no such amendment shall deem to be an amendment to the constitution for the provision of article 368.

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