Other States

NCST recommends ‘tribal area’ status for Ladakh

‘Will help in democratic devolution of powers, preserve and promote culture’

The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) on Wednesday wrote to Home Minister Amit Shah and Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda, recommending that Ladakh be declared a tribal area under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

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

“The Commission, after careful consideration, recommends that the Union Territory of Ladakh be brought under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution... Accordingly, NCST chairperson (Nand Kumar Sai) has written to Home and Tribal Affairs Ministers conveying the recommendation,” a statement said.

The NCST feels this will help “democratic devolution of powers, preserve and promote distinct culture of the region, protect agrarian rights including rights on land and enhance transfer of funds for speedy development of the region,” it said.

Growing demand

The NCST’s recommendation comes against the backdrop of growing demand from a predominantly tribal population and political leaders of Ladakh for according “tribal area” status to the region.

The Home Ministry is the central authority for declaring an area as a “tribal area”.

“The Commission discussed the issue of including Ladakh under the Fifth or Sixth Schedule of the Constitution at a meeting held on August 27. Later, on September 4, the NCST consulted the Home, Law and Tribal Affairs Ministries in this regard,” NCST Joint Secretary S.K. Ratho said.

“After discussing the issue in detail, the Commission decided to recommend ‘tribal area’ status for Ladakh under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution,” he said.

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Printable version | May 22, 2020 1:04:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ncst-recommends-tribal-area-status-for-ladakh/article29395776.ece

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