ST status as per modalities, says Union minister


NEW DELHI, JULY 2: Only those proposals that have been recommended and justified by the State Government and concurred with by the Registrar General of India (RGI) and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) are to be considered for grant of scheduled tribe (ST) status according to modalities and amended legislation.
The Centre on Monday said in Lok Sabha that it has laid down the modalities for deciding the claims for inclusion in, exclusion from and other modifications in orders specifying scheduled castes and scheduled tribes lists.
Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda in reply to a Lok Sabha question by Assam MPs Abdul Khaleque and Naba Sarania on whether the Government has decided and made all preparations to give ST status to 6 communities, namely Koch Rajbongshi, Tai Ahom, Chutia, Moran, Matak and tea tribes in the State said that all action on the proposal is being taken as per approved modalities.
The NDA Government has been treading cautiously on the demand for according ST status to the 6 communities in Assam. The Centre on January 9 tabled a Bill in Rajya Sabha proposing to grant ST status to these 6 communities. Accordingly, the then Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram had moved the Bill to further amend the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950 to include certain communities in the list of scheduled tribes in relation to Assam. The Bill proposes to grant ST status to 41 groups and sub-groups.
The Bill’s statement of objectives and reasons said that in accordance with the provisions of Article 342 of the Constitution, the first list of ST of Assam was notified vide the Constitution (Schedule Tribes) Order, 1950. The list of ST of Assam was modified through the SC and ST Order (Amendment) Act, 1956, the North Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971, the SC and ST Order A (Amendment) Act, 2000 and the Constitution (ST) Order (Amendment) Act, 2003.
The minister said there were 78 communities and synonyms appearing in the list of STs in Assam. On the basis of the recommendation of the Assam Government, it has been decided to include 41 communities. Therefore, it is proposed to amend part-II of the schedule to the Constitution (ST) Order, 1950 relating to Assam for grant of ST status to the 6 communities.
The amendment in the list of STs in Assam will entail no additional expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India on account of benefits likely to be provided to the persons belonging to the communities.
(Courtesy: AT)