Sixth Schedule areas: Benefits of devolving powers

  • The rationale behind the creation of Autonomous District Councils is the belief that relationship to the land is the basis of tribal or indigenous identity.
    • The culture and identity of indigenous people can be preserved by ensuring their control over land and natural resources, as these factors to a large extent determine the lifestyle and culture of the indigenous people.
  • Under the Sixth Schedule, autonomous districts and councils have a varying degree of autonomy to frame laws to protect the interests of the tribal.
    • Eg: The Bodoland Territorial Council can make laws on 39 additional subjects such as culture, education, health and agriculture, labour and employment, land and revenue among others.
  • The District Council and the Regional Council under the Sixth Schedule have real power to make laws, possibility on the various legislative subjects, receiving grants-in-aids from the Consolidated Fund of India to meet the costs of schemes for development, health care, education, roads and regulatory powers to state control.
  • The mandate towards Devolution, de-concentration and divestment determine the protection of their customs, better economic development and most importantly ethnic security.
  • Furthermore, the Sixth Schedule has certain features that can be implanted in any governance model for tribal areas, particularly concepts of constitutional and legislative subjects that are exclusive to local governments.