Scheduled Castes Current Affairs - 2019

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Union Cabinet gives nod to modify Scheduled Castes list in Odisha

The Union Cabinet had approved the amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 to modify the list of SC in Odisha.

It also approved amending the Constitution (Pondicherry) Scheduled Castes Order, 1964 to change the name of the Union territory to Puducherry from Pondicherry.

In this regard, The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2017, incorporating the above changes, will be introduced in the parliament.

The amendment of SC list in Odisha makes inclusion of Sualgiri/Swalgiri caste in the list as it is Sabakhia caste which is already in the list of SC in Odisha.

Background

The Constitution provides certain privileges and concessions to the members of Scheduled Castes, notified under the provisions of Article 341 of the Constitution. Under the provision of Article 341, first list of SCs in relation to a states/UT is to be issued by a notified Order of the President after consulting concerned state Government. But the clause (2) of Article 341 envisages that, any subsequent inclusion in or exclusion from the list of Scheduled Castes can be effected through an Act of Parliament. So far, six Presidential Orders have been issued between 1950 and 1978 for specifying SC in respect of various States/Union territories. These Orders have been amended from time to time by Acts of Parliament enacted as per Article 341(2) of the Constitution between 1956 and 2016.

Lok Sabha passes The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016

Lok Sabha has passed Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to include certain communities in the list of Scheduled Castes (SC) from 4 states.

The bill seeks to amend Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 to include certain communities from Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala and West Bengal in the list.

It also has provisions for exclusion of certain communities from Odisha and removal of area restriction in respect of certain communities.

Key facts

  • Chhattisgarh: Inclusion of Sais, Sahis, Sarathi, Soot-Sarathi, Thanwar communities in the list.
  • Haryana: Inclusion of (i) Aheria, Aheri, Hari, Heri, Thori, Turi and (ii) Rai Sikh communities in the list.
  • Kerala: Inclusion of Peruvannan community in the list and Modification in the area of specification of Malayan community.
  • West Bengal: Removal of area restriction of Chain community.
  • Odisha: Exclusion of Bariki and Kummari communities in the list.

Background

  • The bill was introduced in the Parliament by Union Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot as per the provisions of Article 341 of the Constitution.
  • Article 341: It empowers Parliament to include or exclude castes from the list of Scheduled Castes in the notification.
  • It also empowers the President to specify castes which will be deemed as Scheduled Castes through a notification.