North-East India – Security and Developmental Issues

Autonomous Councils in India


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Autonomous districts, Sixth Schedule

Mains level : Sixth Schedule of Indian constitution

The Rengma Nagas in Assam have written to Union Home Minister demanding an autonomous district council amid a decision by the Central and the State governments to upgrade the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) into a territorial council.

Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council

  • KAAC is an autonomous district council in the state of Assam, India for the development and protection of tribals living in area namely Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong district.
  • The council is constituted under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India and administratively functions under the Government of Assam.

Answer this PYQ in the comment box:

Q.The Government enacted the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act in 1996. Which one of the following is not identified as its objective?

(a) To provide self-governance

(b) To recognize traditional rights

(c) To create autonomous regions in tribal areas

(d) To free tribal people from exploitation

What are such Autonomous Council?

  • The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India allows for the formation of autonomous administrative divisions which have been given autonomy within their respective states.
  • Most of these autonomous district councils are located in North East India but two are in Ladakh, a region administered by India as a union territory.
  • Presently, 10 Autonomous Councils in Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura are formed by virtue of the Sixth Schedule with the rest being formed as a result of other legislation.

Powers and competencies

Under the provisions of the Sixth Schedule, autonomous district councils can make laws, rules and regulations in the following areas:

  • Land management
  • Forest management
  • Water resources
  • Agriculture and cultivation
  • Formation of village councils
  • Public health
  • Sanitation
  • Village and town level policing
  • Appointment of traditional chiefs and headmen
  • Inheritance of property
  • Marriage and divorce
  • Social customs
  • Money lending and trading
  • Mining and minerals

Judicial powers

  • Autonomous district councils have powers to form courts to hear cases where both parties are members of Scheduled Tribes and the maximum sentence is less than 5 years in prison.

Taxation and revenue

  • Autonomous district councils have powers to levy taxes, fees and tolls on; building and land, animals, vehicles, boats, entry of goods into the area, roads, ferries, bridges, employment and income and general taxes for the maintenance of schools and roads.

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Divya Patel
2 years ago

Plz provide answer key its helpful

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vivek yadav 2427
2 years ago


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rashi jain
2 years ago



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