North-East India – Security and Developmental Issues

Demand for Greater Tipraland in Tripura


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Autonomous districts, Sixth Schedule

Mains level: Subnationalist demands

Several tribal outfits in Tripura have joined hands to push their demand for a separate state called Greater Tipraland for indigenous communities in the region.

Demand for Greater Tipraland

  • The Protestants are demanding a separate state of ‘Greater Tipraland’ for the indigenous communities of the north-eastern state.
  • They want the Centre to carve out a separate state under Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution.
  • Greater Tipraland envisages a situation in which the entire Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTADC) area will be a separate state.
  • It also proposes dedicated bodies to secure the rights of the Tripuris and other aboriginal communities living outside Tripura.

What does the Constitution say?

  • Article 2 of the Indian Constitution deals with the admission or establishment of new states.
  • Parliament may by law admit into the Union, or establish, new States on such terms and conditions, as it thinks fit,” it states.
  • Article 3 comes into play in the case of “formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States” by the Parliament.

How did the demand originate?

  • Accessed state: Tripura was a kingdom ruled by the Manikya dynasty from the late 13th century until the signing of the Instrument of Accession with the Indian government on October 15, 1949.
  • Demographic changes: There is an anxiety among the indigenous communities in connection with the change in the demographics of the state due to the displacements from the erstwhile East Pakistan.
  • Existential threats: From 63.77 per cent in 1881, the population of the tribals in Tripura was down to 31.80 per cent by 2011.
  • Ethnic conflicts: In the intervening decades, ethnic conflict and insurgency gripped the state, which shares a nearly 860-km long boundary with Bangladesh.

What has been done to address the grievances of indigenous communities?

  • The TTADC was formed under the sixth schedule to ensure development and secure the rights and cultural heritage of the tribal communities.
  • The TTADC, which has legislative and executive powers, covers nearly two-third of the state’s geographical area.

Back2Basics: Autonomous District 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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