Fifth Schedule - Not a happy anniversary

Sixty-six years after B R Ambedkar introduced it, the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution, which grants powers to tribal people over their land and resources, is in danger of getting diluted

Published: Friday 05 September 2014

The Fifth Schedule has remained mired in confusion and politicking
Author: B K Manish
It took 40 years before a tribal representative could be inducted in Indian Cabinet. Land and resources of the tribal people were looted not just by the non-tribal settlers, the common refrain has been that though tribal welfare has consistently been a thrust area for New Delhi since Independence, the implementation of various schemes and legislation were tardy
The true potential of the Fifth Schedule was diluted right at its conception
Author: Bhupinder Singh
Incontrovertibly, the object of creating the Fifth Schedule was to make a special instrument for the welfare and advancement of the Scheduled Tribes. It was formulated for the implementation of the Directive Principle that the State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of...
After raising the political profile of village councils, government wants to downsize them
Author: Richard Mahapatra
It is a tendency that cripples India's attempt to make democracy participatory and effective. First, the government empowers gram sabhas (village councils) to take up development planning within the Panchayati Raj framework and equips them with provisions to make their consent necessary in almost all development programmes. Then there is a parallel effort to dilute the vested powers.
B D Sharma, the mover of Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas Act, on development and tribal rights
Author: Richard Mahapatra
Past two months saw B D Sharma negotiating release of high-profile hostages by the Maoists in Odisha and Chhattisgarh. TV viewers saw and heard Sharma, probably for the first time. Widely respected in the civil society, he has been championing the rights of tribals for four decades now. He served as collector in the undivided Bastar district of Chhattisgarh in the 1970s, after which he quit the Indian Administrative Service. Later he was appointed the commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Known as the mover behind the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas Act, Sharma says the tribals will not accept the current development model as an alternative.
No vision, no planning, no adequate allocation and utilisation of funds, says Cabinet panel report still under wraps
Author: M Suchitra
A confidential report submitted by the Cabinet sub committee, appointed by the Andhra Pradesh government to evaluate the implementation of the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) Sub Plans, has revealed serious lapses in implementing the plans and allocating and utilising plan funds.

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