Benefits of Sixth Schedule of Constitution Over Fifth Schedule

Benefits of Sixth Schedule of Constitution Over Fifth Schedule

Question: The Fifth and the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India have been formulated to empower tribal communities. But the latter succeeds where the former fails. Discuss.

A. Benefits of Sixth Schedule

• Sixth Schedule provides tribal communities considerable autonomy

• States of Assam, Tripura , Mizoram and Meghalaya are autonomous under the VI Schedule

• Role of government and states are restricted with greater powers devolved on a local scale

• District and Regional Council under Schedule VI have the power to make laws on numerous legislative subjects

• They also receive grants in aid from Consolidated Fund of India to meet the financing of schemes for:

- Development
- Healthcare
- Education

• Regulatory powers of state control are mandated under Schedule VI for ensuring:

- Devolution
- Deconcentration
- Divestment

• This spurs:

- Protection of customers
- Effective economic development
- Ethnic Security

• Some of the landmark provisions which can be considered include:

- Creation of elected village councils in areas where they do not function
- Ensuring Village Councils are accountable to Gram Sabha
- Recognition of Gram Sabha under law and specification of powers and functions
- Regular Village Council elections conducted by the State Election Commission
- Empowerment of Village Councils and Gram Sabhas

• Measures help to:

- Strengthen the democratic process
- Empower women leaders
- Improve health services
- Encourage education and nutrition programmes
- Bring transparency in planning, implementation and monitoring of developmental programmes

B. Drawbacks of the Fifth Schedule

• The Fifth Schedule has never been effectively applied

• Recent efforts to provide greater autonomy within the Schedule V have failed

• Tribal areas under Schedule V are demanding right to self governance and autonomy like Schedule VI areas

• Sixth Schedule has particular features which can be implanted in any tribal governance model unlike the Schedule V

• It also grants autonomy in a manner that can be sustained

Facts and Stats

• India’s population comprises 100 million tribal persons

• Schedule V applies to majority of India’s tribal population in 9 states Sixth Schedule covers NE region bordering Myanmar and China

• Many districts in the Fifth Schedule want to move to the Sixth Schedule Example Bastar district
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