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Meghalaya tribal council to revisit Instrument of Accession

 GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Separation of powers between various organs; dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions, tribal Councils, 5th schedule, 6th schedule etc

 

Context:

  • A tribal council in Meghalaya has called for a meeting of traditional heads to revisit the Instrument of Accession that made the Khasi domain a part of the Indian Union more than seven decades ago.
  • The chief executive member of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) agreed that the Instrument of Accession and Annexed Agreement signed with the Dominion of India between December 15, 1947, and March 19, 1948, should be studied.
  • The KHADC said the provisions can be added to the Sixth Schedule, which “can be amended by Parliament”.

 

Current Affairs

 

Background:

  • Meghalaya is divided into three regions dominated by as many matrilineal communities – the Khasis, Garos and Jaintias. The Khasi hills straddle 25 Himas or States that formed the Federation of Khasi States.
  • The conditional treaty with these States was signed by Governor-General of India, Chakravarty Rajagopalachari, on August 17, 1948.
  • Nagaland was granted special status under Article 371A, which was an idea of the Federation of Khasi States.

 

INSTRUMENT OF ACCESSION OF THE KHASI STATE:

  • It was signed between the Khasi rulers and the Dominion of India.
  • Agreement (which shall be regarded as part of Instrument of Accession), Khasi accepted that the Dominion Legislature may make laws for the said Khasi States in respect of any matter.

 

Sixth Schedule:

●      The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution provides for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram to safeguard the rights of the tribal population in these states.

●      This special provision is provided under Article 244(2) and Article 275(1) of the Constitution.

●      The Sixth Schedule provides for autonomy in the administration of these areas through Autonomous District Councils (ADCs).

●      These councils are empowered to make laws in respect of areas under their jurisdiction, which cover the land, forest, cultivation, inheritance, indigenous customs and traditions of tribals, etc. and also to collect land revenues and certain other taxes.

 

Insta Links:

Fifth Schedule

 

Practice Questions:

Q. Which of the following states is/are covered under Sixth Schedule?

  1. Assam
  2. Nagaland
  3. Meghalaya
  4. Tripura

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

a. 1, 2 and 4 only

b. 1, 3 and 4 only

c. 2 and 3 only

d. 1, 2, 3 and 4

Ans: (b)

Justification:

Sixth Schedule: It deals with the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram to safeguard the rights of the tribal population in these states, under Article 244(2) and Article 275(1) of the Constitution. It gives autonomy in the administration of these areas through Autonomous District Councils (ADCs).

Source: The Hindu