India’s Scheduled Areas UPSC NOTE

 Bhuria Committee Recommendation

  • The Bhuria Committee was a committee of members of Parliament and experts.

  •  Constituted in 1994 to make recommendations on Scheduled Areas. 

  • This is the  extension of the provisions of the Constitution 73rd  Act, 1992.

  • The committee was chaired by Dileep Singh Bhuria,an M.P.

  • The Bhuria Committee submitted its report in 1995, with following recommendations,

  • The extension of the provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA) to all Scheduled Areas in the country.

  • The establishment of a Gram Sabha in every village in a Scheduled Area

  • The Gram Sabha is the primary assembly of the village and is composed of all adult members of the village community.

  • The Gram Sabha should have the power to approve all development plans and projects in the village.

  • The Gram Sabha should also have the power to regulate the use of natural resources in the village.

  • The state government should establish a District Planning and Development Council for each district with a Scheduled Area. 

  • The council should be responsible for preparing and implementing the district development plan.

  • The District Planning and Development Council should be composed of representatives of the Gram Sabhas in the district, as well as representatives of the state government.

What are Scheduled Areas?(SA)

  • SAcover 11.3% of India’s land area.

  • SA have been notified in 10 States: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Himachal Pradesh. 

  • In 2015, Kerala proposed to notify 2,133 habitations, five gram panchayats, and two wards in five districts as Scheduled Areas; it awaits the Indian government’s approval.

  • However, despite persistent demands by Adivasi organisations, villages have been left out in the 59% of India’s STs remain outside the purview of Article 244. 

  • They are denied rights under the laws applicable to Scheduled Areas.

Article 244

 The provisions of the Fifth Schedule shall apply to the administration and control of the Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes in any State specified in Part A or Part B of the First Schedule other than the State of Assam.

How are Scheduled Areas governed? 

  • The President of India notifies India’s Scheduled Areas. 

  • States with Scheduled Areas need to constitute a Tribal Advisory Council with up to 20 ST members. 

  • They will advise the Governor on matters referred to them regarding ST welfare

  • The Governor will then submit a report every year to the President regarding the administration of Scheduled Areas.

  • The national government can give directions to the State regarding the administration of Scheduled Areas. 

  • The Governor can repeal or amend any law enacted by Parliament.

  • The Governor can also make regulations for a Scheduled Area.

  • Governor issues orders to prohibit or restrict the transfer of tribal land by or among members of the STs.

  • Governor regulate the allotment of land to STs and money-lending to STs

  • These powerful provisions, authority, and special responsibility vested with Governors, with the President’s oversight.

Way Forward

  • All habitations of largest social group will need to be notified as SA irrespective of their contiguity.

  • The geographical limit of these villages will need to be extended to the ‘community forest resource’.

  • The customary boundary within revenue lands made possible through suitable amendments to the relevant State laws. 

  • The geographical limits of the revenue village, panchayat, taluka, and district will need to be redrawn so that these are fully Scheduled Areas.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: India’s Scheduled Areas UPSC NOTE
India’s Scheduled Areas UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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