Scheduled Areas (5th Schedule) – UPSC Notes

The fifth schedule of the constitution deals with the administration and control of scheduled areas in any state except the four states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. The sixth schedule of the constitution, on the other hand, deals with the administration of the tribla areas in the gouir northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

Here, the question arises, if both the schedules (i.e. 5th Schedule and 6th Schedule) deal with the tribal population and tribal areas. Then why, they have been put in different schedules of the constitution?. So, remember these words. This is your answer.

“The tribes in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram have not assimilated much the life and ways of the other people in these states. These areas have hitherto been anthropological speiments. The tribal people in other parts of India have more or less adopted the culture of the majority of hte people in whose midst they live. The tribes in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram, on the other hand, still have their roots in their own culture, customes and civilization. These areas are, thereof traeted differently by the Constitution and sizeable amount of autonomy has been give to these people for self-government.”

The scheduled areas are treated differently from the other areas in the contry because they are inhabited by ‘aboriginals’ who are socially and economically rather backward, and special efforts need to be made to improve their condition. Therefore, the whole of the normal administrative machinery operating in a state is not extended to the scheduled areas and the Central Government has somewhat greater responsibility for these areas.

These areas are limited to only 10 states of India. These 10 states are not difficult to remember once you adopt this method. Remember the middle and large states of India. They are mostly located on Tropic of Cancer. Now let’s start from west to east direction. These are Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and the last one is different. this is Himachal Pradesh.

List of States in the Fifth Schedule

  • Rajasthan
  • Gujarat
  • Maharashtra
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Chhattisgarh
  • Odisha
  • Jharkhand
  • Telangana
  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Himachal Pradesh

Initially, there was also Bihar in this list, but after Bihar Reorganisation Act, 2000, Jharkhand was separated from Bihar. The major tribal population lives in Jharkhand. So, Bihar was excluded from this list.

What is the criteria to declare an area, a tribal of scheduled area. Under the Constitution, it is written, that the area which is declared a scheduled or tribal area by the President is a scheduled or tribal area.

But the normal criteria that the President uses to declare an area a schedule or tribal area are:

  • Preponderance of Tribal Population
  • Compactness and Reasonable size of area
  • A viable adminstrative entity such as a district, block or Taluk
  • Economic backwardness of the area as compared to the neighbouring area

Also Read about

Tribal Areas (6th Schedule)