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Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution

Sixth Schedule

The resurgence in the demand for two autonomous councils has prompted various political parties and community-based organizations to advocate for extending the application of the Sixth Schedule or Article 371 (A) of the Constitution to cover the entirety of Arunachal Pradesh.

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What is the Sixth Schedule?

  1. The Sixth Schedule in the Indian Constitution contains provisions for the governance of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram. It was approved by the Constituent Assembly in 1949 with the aim of protecting the rights of tribal communities.
  2. Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) are established under this schedule to represent districts and grant them varying levels of self-governance within the state legislature.
  3. The governors of these states have the authority to adjust the boundaries of tribal areas. In other words, they can decide to include or exclude specific regions, expand or shrink the district boundaries, and even merge two or more autonomous districts into one.
  4. Additionally, these governors can modify the names of autonomous regions without requiring separate legislation.
  5. The primary goal of the Sixth Schedule is to empower and protect the tribal population in these states by allowing them a say in local governance and decision-making.
  6. In summary, the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution provides a framework for administering tribal areas in these states, giving them a degree of self-governance and the ability to adapt their boundaries and names as needed.

Autonomous Districts and Regional Councils

The Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in the Northeastern regions are vested with both civil and judicial authority. The Governors of states falling under the Sixth Schedule are responsible for specifying the jurisdiction of high courts for these cases.

In addition to the ADCs, the Sixth Schedule also includes provisions for the creation of separate Regional Councils for each area designated as an autonomous region. In total, there are ten such areas in the Northeast with autonomous district status, including three in Assam, Meghalaya, and Mizoram, and one in Tripura. These regions are named as the District Council of [District Name] and the Regional Council of [Region Name].

Each autonomous district and regional council is composed of a maximum of 30 members, with four appointed by the governor and the remainder elected by the local population. Their term in office spans five years.

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