Article 244A and Sixth Schedule

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Article 244A and Sixth Schedule

Article 244A and Sixth Schedule

Article 244A of the Constitution is enshrined in the Constitution to protect the interests of the people in the tribal majority districts of Assam. A few days ago, Rahul Gandhi had said that if his government is formed in Assam, then Article 244A of the Constitution will be implemented.

Article 244-A

  • The Sixth Schedule (Article 244) of the Constitution deals with the administration of the tribal areas of the four northeastern states of the country – Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
  • This Article empowers Parliament to by law establish an autonomous state comprising certain tribal areas of Assam.
  • This article also envisages the establishment of a local legislature or a council of ministers or both for local administration.
  • Article 244-A was added to the Indian Constitution under the Constitution amendment of

Background:

  • It may be noted that in the 1950s, when Assam was undivided, many tribal groups started demanding a separate state for themselves.
  • In the year 1960, several political parties from the hill areas together formed the All Party Hill Leaders Conference, and put forward the demand for a separate state. As a result of this long agitation, Assam was broken up in 1972 and Meghalaya was formed.
  • At that time, the people of North Cachar Hills and KarbiAnglog were also involved in this movement, which was included in Assam by the then Congress government by assuring more autonomy under Article 244Since then, demand has been made to implement Article 244A in these areas of the state of Assam.

Sixth Schedule:

  • The Sixth Schedule which applies to the Tribal Areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram, provides for autonomy in the administration of these areas through Autonomous District Councils (ADCs).
  • These special provisions are provided under Article 244 (2) and Article 275 (1) of the Constitution.
  • Dima Hasao, KarbiAnglong in Assam, and the hill districts of West Karbi and Bodo territorial regions are covered under this provision.
  • Autonomous councils formed under the Sixth Schedule have limited powers of law and order.
  • Whereas Article 244A provides more autonomous powers to tribal areas.
  • In tribal areas, the Governor has the power to create and reorganize autonomous districts, reduce or increase the limits of autonomous areas, and also change the name etc.
  • If there is more than one tribe in an autonomous district, then the governor can divide this district into several autonomous regions.
  • While the administration of scheduled areas under the Fifth Schedule comes under the executive powers of the Union, the Sixth Schedule comes under the executive powers of the State Government.
  • Each autonomous district has a district council of 30 members, in which 4 members are nominated by the governor and the remaining 26 are elected on the basis of adult suffrage.
  • The tenure of the members of the ZillaParishad is five years. Each autonomous region has its own regional council.
  • District and regional councils oversee the administration of the area under their jurisdiction.

Source – Indian Express

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