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Maharashtra modifies Forest Rights Act

Topics Covered: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Maharashtra modifies Forest Rights Act:


Context:

Maharashtra Governor has issued a notification modifying the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006.

  • The notification has been issued by the Governor using his powers under sub paragraph (1) of paragraph 5 of the Schedule V of the Constitution.

What are the modifications?

The changes will enable tribals and other traditional forest dwelling families to build houses in the neighbourhood forest areas.

 Significance:

  • The decision is likely to provide a major relief to Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest-dwelling families residing in the scheduled areas of the State.
  • The move aims to prevent the migration of forest-dwelling families outside their native villages and provide them housing areas by extending the village site into forest land in their neighbourhood.

What is 5th schedule?

The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution deals with the administration and control of Scheduled Areas as well as of Scheduled Tribes residing in any State other than the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

Special Provisions for Fifth Schedule Areas:

  • The Governor of each State having Scheduled Areas (SA) shall annually, or whenever so required by the President, make a report to the President regarding the administration of Scheduled Areas in that State.
  • The Union Government shall have executive powers to give directions to the States as to the administration of the Scheduled Areas.
  • Para 4 of the Fifth Schedule provides for establishment of a Tribes Advisory Council (TAC) in any State having Scheduled Areas.
  • Composition: Consisting of not more than twenty members of whom, three-fourths shall be the representatives of the Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assembly of the State. If the number of representatives of the STs in the Legislative Assembly of the State is less than the number of seats in the TAC to be filled by such representatives, the remaining seats shall be filled by other members of those Tribes.
  • Functions: The TAC shall advise on such matters pertaining to the welfare and the advancement of the STs in the State as may be referred to them by the Governor.

The Governor may make rules prescribing or regulating:

  • The number of members of the Council, the mode of their appointment and the appointment of the Chairman of the Council and of the officers and servants thereof, the conduct of its meetings and its procedure in general.
  • The Governor may, by public notification, direct that any particular Act of Parliament or of the Legislature of the State shall or shall not apply to a SA or any part thereof in the State, subject to such exceptions and modifications, as specified.
  • The Governor may make regulations for the peace and good government of any area in the State which is for the time being a SA. Such regulations may prohibit or restrict the transfer of land by or among members of the Scheduled tribes in such area; regulate the allotment of land to members of the STs in such area.
  • In making such regulations, the Governor may repeal or amend any Act of Parliament or of Legislature of the State or any existing law after obtaining assent of the President.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Difference between 5th and 6th schedule of Indian Constitution.
  2. Powers of governor under 5th schedule
  3. Who can include or exclude areas under 5th schedule
  4. What are scheduled areas?
  5. Forest Rights Act- key provisions.
  6. TAC- composition and functions.

forest_right_act

Sources: the Hindu.