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Assam’s Delimitation Draft UPSC NOTE


What is Delimitation process?

  • Delimitation is the process of redrawing boundaries of Lok Sabha and State Assembly constituencies based on a recent census to ensure each seat has an almost equal number of voters. 

  • It is ideally carried out every few years after a Census by an independent Delimitation Commission formed under the provisions of the Delimitation Commission Act.

Delimitation commission 

  • Appointed by the President of India

  • works in collaboration with the Election Commission of India.

  • Composition:Retired Supreme Court judge,Chief Election Commissioner,Respective State Election Commissioners

Delimitation commission Functions and Powers

  • Determine the number of constituencies and their boundaries in order to make the population of all constituencies nearly equal.

  • To locate seats set aside for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in areas where their populations are relatively large.

  • The Delimitation Commission in India is a high power body whose orders have the force of law and cannot be called in question before any court.

Constitutional Provisions:

  • Article 82: This provides the Parliament with the authority to enact a Delimitation Act after every Census.

  • Article 170: This provides for the  States to get divided into territorial constituencies as per the Delimitation Act after every Census.

Delimitation commissions constituted in India

  • In India, such Delimitation Commissions have been constituted 4 times:

  • In 1952 under the Delimitation Commission Act, 1952

  • In 1963 under Delimitation Commission Act, 1962

  • In 1973 under Delimitation Act, 1972

  • In 2002 under Delimitation Act, 2002.

Delimitation exercise in Assam

  • The last delimitation of constituencies in Assam was done on the basis of census figures of 1971 by the then Delimitation Commission in 1976.

  • The last Commission was set up in 2002 but before its exercise was completed in 2008, the delimitation of four north-eastern States was deferred due to “security risks” through separate presidential orders.

  • In March 2020, the Centre notified a Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland.

Assam’s Delimitation Draft

  • The EC notified the initiation of Assam’s delimitation on December 27, 2022, following which four districts were re-merged with the ones they were carved out of.

  • 24 Assembly seats would be reshaped and renamed.

  • The number of reserved seats for the Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Scheduled Castes (SC) would be increased from 16 to 19 and eight to nine respectively.

  • The reserved seats would also be juggled – six each for the SCs and STs would become unreserved while nine ST and seven SC general seats would become reserved.

  • The number of reserved Lok Sabha seats (two ST, one SC) would remain the same but Silchar would become reserved for SCs in place of Karimganj.

Why are many opposed to the proposal?

  • Ethnic groups such as the Ahoms are disappointed with the number of Assembly seats reduced from eastern Assam and increased in western Assam.

  • Some questioned the EC for citing Section 8A of the Representation of the People Act, 1950, to initiate the delimitation exercise.

  • Section 8A only allows the reorientation of seats without any change in the total number.

  • The use of the 2001 Census data has also raised hackles.

  • “Some seats have been reshaped to scatter the Muslims voters to ensure their representation in the Assembly and Parliament reduces”, AIUDF’s Badruddin Ajmal alleged.

  • Other parties said delimitation should have waited for the exercise to update the NRC, to be completed. 

  • Meanwhile, people across the Bodoland Territorial Region are happy with the proposed increase of Assembly seats there from 16 to 19.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Assam’s Delimitation Draft UPSC NOTE
Assam’s Delimitation Draft UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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