Mains Paper 2: Governance | Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of the vulnerable sections.
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Fifth and Sixth Schedules
Mains level: Development of Tribal Areas
- The Union Cabinet has approved a Constitutional amendment to increase the financial and executive powers of the 10 autonomous councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of the northeast.
Highlights of the Amendments
- The Finance Commission would be mandated to recommend devolution of financial resources to the councils.
- Till now, the autonomous councils have depended on grants from Central Ministries and the State governments for specific projects.
Transfer of Subjects
- The amendment also provides for transfer of additional 30 subjects including departments of Public Works, Forests, Public Health Engineering, Health and Family Welfare, Urban Development and Food and Civil Supply to Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council and Dima Hasao Autonomous Territorial Council in Assam.
Amendments in Schedule VI
- The cabinet approves landmark amendment to Article 280 and Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
- As per the amendment, at least one third of the seats would be reserved for women in the village and municipal councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of Assam, Mizoram and Tripura.
More powers to Village Councils
- The village councils would be empowered to prepare plans for economic development and social justice including those related to agriculture, land improvement, implementation of land reforms, minor irrigation, water management, animal husbandry, rural electrification, small scale industries and social forestry.
- The State Election Commissions would hold elections to the autonomous councils, village and municipal councils in the areas of Assam, Mizoram and Tripura. There would be a provision for anti-defection too.
- Meghalaya has for the time being opted out of the provision for elected village and municipal councils and one-third reservation for women.
- This will be a game changer, as it will substantially enhance the funds available to these local government institutions for undertaking development works in these tribal areas.
- The proposed amendments provide for elected village municipal councils, ensuring democracy at the grass-roots level.