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NCST Recommends Inclusion of ‘Ladakh’ into Sixth Schedule

The Sixth Schedule provides for the administration of tribal areas after setting up autonomous district and regional councils. 

NCST, a constitutional body to safeguard socio-cultural rights of Scheduled Tribes, was entrusted with the responsibility of examining the status of tribals in Ladakh, by the Centre.

If included, Ladakh will be the only UT in the Sixth Schedule. Also, bestowing such a status to Ladakh would require a constitutional amendment.

Reasons Behind the Recommendation-It is estimated that more than 90% of Ladakh’s population is tribal. The primary Scheduled Tribes (STs) in Ladakh are Balti Beda, Bot (or Boto), Brokpa (or Drokpa, Dard, Shin), Changpa, Garra, Mon and Purigpa.Thereby several distinct cultural heritages of these communities in Ladakh region needs to be preserved and promoted.

About NCST:

The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) was established by amending Article 338 and inserting a new Article 338A in the Constitution through the Constitution (89th Amendment) Act, 2003. By this amendment, the erstwhile National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was replaced by two separate Commissions namely- the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) w.e.f. 19th February 2004.

Composition: The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes has a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and 3 other Members. These are are appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.

Functions:

  • To monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Tribes under the Constitution or under any other law or under any order of the Government
  • To participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes,
  • To evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any State,
  • To present to the President, annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards.
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