Special Provisions Relating to Certain Sections
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Special Provisions Relating to Certain Sections – Indian Polity Notes

There are Special Provisions laid down in the Constitution, for certain sections of the society. These sections include the Scheduled Tribes (STs), the Scheduled Tribes (SCs) the Backwards Class (OBCs), and the Anglo Indians.

Part XVI of the Indian Constitution deals with Articles between Article 330 to Article 342.

The following are the areas these articles are focused on:

  1. Reservation in State Legislature and Parliament
  2. Special type of reservations in Legislatures
  3. Reservation in Services, posts, and government employment.
  4. Special provisions of Educational Grants
  5. Appointment of National Commission for SCs, STs, and other such commissions
  6. Appointment of the Commissions of Investigation
  7. Specification of Classes

The Constitution doesn’t specify any caste or tribe, which can be called the Scheduled Castes (SCs) or the Scheduled Tribes (STs). Instead, it leaves it on the President to specify which castes in a particular state or Union Territory would fall under which category.

Hence, we see that the lists of SCs and STs might vary from state to state, or Union Territory to Union Territory.

  • While in the case of states, the President releases a notification after consulting the Governor of the State concerned, the inclusion or exclusion of any caste or tribe is done only by the Parliament.
  • This means that any kind of inclusion and exclusion, after the Presidential notification, cannot be done by a subsequent Presidential notification only.

Special Provisions: Components

Reservation for SCs and STs and Special Representation for Anglo-Indians in State Legislatures and Parliament

  • On the basis of population and its ratio, the seats are to be reserved for the Scheduled Castes (SCs) & Scheduled Tribes (STs) in both the Lok Sabha, and the State Legislative Assemblies.
  • Previously, there was a provision to nominate two members of the Anglo-Indian community to the Lok Sabha.
  • However, with the Constitutional (One Hundred and Fourth Amendment) Act, 2019, the nomination-based representation of the Anglo-Indian community in Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies was removed.
  • Similarly, the one member of the Anglo-Indian community, who could be nominated to the State Legislative Assembly, if not adequately represented, also stands removed.

Claims of Reservation of SCs & STs in Services, Jobs & Posting

  • The focus of this provision is to consider the claims of the SCs & STs, while there are appointments to the Public Services of Centre and State to be made.
  • These considerations are to make sure, that in no way is the efficiency of the administration hampered.
  • The 82nd Amendment Act of 2000 provides for relaxation in qualifying marks, or lowering standards of evaluation in favour of the SCs and STs, for matters like reservation in promotion to the public services, for both Centre and State.

Special Provision in Services and Educational Grants for Anglo-Indians:

  • Certain posts like Customs, Railways, Postals, and Telegraph Services were reserved for the Anglo Indians before independence.
  • Similarly, certain special provisions of grants were made by the Centre and the States for the Anglo-Indians in educational institutions.

National Commissions for SCs & STs 

  • Under Article 338, the President set up the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes (SCs), to investigate any matter relating to the Constitutional safeguards for the SCs.
  • Similarly, under Article 338A, the President set up the National Commission for the Scheduled Tribes (STs) to investigate matters related to Constitutional safeguards for the STs.
  • The 89th Amendment Act of 2003 bifurcated the combined commission into two separate bodies.

Centre’s control over the Administration of Scheduled Areas and the Welfare of STs

  • According to this, the President can appoint a commission to report on administration of the Scheduled Areas, as well as the welfare of the Scheduled Tribes in any state.
  • While the President was given the liberty to establish the commission at any time, it was to be compulsorily set up after 10 years of the commencement of the Indian Constitution.

Appointment of a Commission to Investigate the Conditions of BCs

  • According to this, the President can set up a commission to investigate the matters related to the condition of the social and educationally backward classes.
  • After the report submission by the commission, the President could recommend steps to improve the conditions of the social and educationally backward classes.
  • Following this, the 2nd Backward Classes Commission was appointed under the chairmanship of B.P Mandal, hence called the Mandal Commission.

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