More tribes in ST categoryApprox Read Time: 5 minutes
- The Lok Sabha has recently passed the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which seeks to grant Scheduled Tribes status to certain communities in Karnataka.
- The Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha during the winter session.
How the Government Identifies SCs and STs in India?
Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes identification prior to independence:
- Scheduled Caste:
- On the basis of the 1931 census, conducted by British government, the Government of India 1935 Act was promulgated.
- The reservation for the “Depressed Classes” was incorporated into the act, which came into force in 1937.
- This “Depressed class” later came to known as the Scheduled Caste.
- Scheduled Tribe:
- The British government in 1935 identified ‘Schedule of Tribes’ which consisted of different types of indigenous tribal groups i.e. Denotified tribes, criminal tribes, forest dwellers etc.
- Scheduled Tribe were the ‘tribes or communities’ who were isolated from the rest of the communities and wouldn’t abide to any religion.
- By 1937 both the section were given positive affirmative action rights and political representation.
- After India got its independence, the Constitution continued the affirmative action for the ‘depressed class’ which were now termed as ‘Scheduled Caste’ and ‘Scheduled Tribe’.
The Constitutional Provisions:
- Under article 341(1), the President of India, after consultation with the Governor, may specify, “the castes, races, tribes or parts of groups within castes or races, which shall be deemed to be Scheduled Castes”.
- Accordingly, the President has notified the Scheduled Castes in the order called ‘Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order-1950’ and the ‘Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes List (Modification) Order-1956.
- Under article 341(2), the Parliament of India by law can include or exclude certain groups from the list of the Scheduled Castes.
About: Presidential Order of 1950
- The order was called as the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950.
- The complete list of castes and tribes was made on order of 1950 which had certain norms and criteria for inclusion of other community later.
- However, the Scheduled tribe list was put in updation due to partition as it was very difficult to identify tribal as they were geographically isolated.
- Thus, the list of Scheduled tribe was completely updated by 1958 with 744 enlisted tribes.
- On Religion: According to Part 3 of the Presidential order of 1950, Any person who is not a Hindu, Buddhist or a Sikh, will not be entitled to reservation on the basis of being a Scheduled Caste.