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Tribes Advisory Council (TAC) UPSC NOTE

 


Fifth Schedule of the Constitution

  • 5th Schedule of Indian Constitution deals with the administration and control of certain areas called Scheduled and Tribal Areas in ten Indian states, which come under the category of 5th schedule states.

  • The ten states included in this list are Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra.

  • The scheduled areas in Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Assam are excluded from the 5th schedule of Indian Constitution and covered in the sixth schedule.

  • In the 5th Schedule of the Indian Constitution, the President can declare any such area or the whole state as a scheduled area. 

  • In consultation with the Governor, the President is also empowered to alter the boundary of such areas by reducing it or increasing the size of the area.

  • It deals with provision for the constitution of a Tribes Advisory Council (TAC).

  • The Governor has the power to adapt laws passed by Parliament and State legislature in such a way that it suits these areas.

  • The Fifth Schedule also deals with the extension of direction by the Union to a State for the administration of the Schedule Areas.

  • The Schedule is aimed towards making the State responsible towards the promotion of educational and economic interests of Tribal.

  • It also aims to provide social justice to the tribals and prevent them from exploitation of any kind.

  • The Central Government also provides special financial assistance to the states under Article 275 for the implementation of schemes that would lead to the development of Schedule Tribes. 

  • Schedule 5 of Indian Constitution: Article 244 and Article 244 A.

  • Article 244 of the Constitution – It deals with the scheduled and tribal area’s administration.

  • Article 244 A of the Constitution – It deals with the formation of an autonomous state. It includes states that include Assam’s tribal areas with a council of ministers.

  • However, according to Article 339 of the Constitution, the Union government has control over the administration of the Scheduled Areas and the welfare of the Scheduled tribes.

Tribes Advisory Council (TAC)

  • The Fifth Schedule provides the provision of a Tribes Advisory Council. 

  • It deals with the provision of establishment of Tribes Advisory Council consisting of not more than twenty members.

  • Three-fourth of its representatives would consist of Schedule tribes members of the State Assembly.

  • In case the number of such representatives are less than the number of seats which are to be filled than the remaining seats shall be filled by other members of the tribe.

  • The Fifth Schedule also provides the establishment of Tribes Advisory Council in states which have Schedule Tribes population but do not have Schedule Areas, if the President so directs for the formation of Tribes Advisory Council in those areas.

  • Tribes Advisory Council advise on matters related to the welfare and advancement of the Scheduled Tribes in the state which are referred to the council by the Governor.

  • The Governor has the power to make rules prescribing or regulating

    • The number of members of the Council

    • The mode of their appointment

    • The appointment of the Chairman of the Council etc.

  • The Governor is also responsible for regulating the conduct of its meetings and procedures along with other incidental matters.

Recent issues in Jharkhand

  • In June 2021, the Jharkhand government had notified the Jharkhand Tribes Advisory Council Rules, 2021, which amended the rules for constituting the TAC, making the Chief Minister the body’s ex officio chairperson. 

  • The TAC was accordingly reconstituted by the CM.

  • The former governor (Ramesh Bais) had severely rebuked the government for “not following the spirit of the Fifth Schedule” by notifying the TAC Rules, 2021, without consulting the Governor’s office.

  • The current governor (C.P. Radhakrishnan) now focusing on taking control of TAC.

  • The Fifth Schedule does give the Governor powers to make rules prescribing or regulating the appointing of all TAC officials. 

  • However, States have earlier argued that powers of the Governor under the Fifth Schedule were an extension of those under Article 154 and hence, Article 163 of the Constitution forbade the Governor from acting on his own discretion — even when it comes to TAC.

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