New Delhi: Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which seeks to amend the constitutional list of Scheduled Tribes as recommended by Arunachal Pradesh.

The bill was passed by voice vote amid protest by the opposition over issues of Pegasus, agri laws and others.

Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda said, “This bill will justice to tribals. Please support and approve the bill.”

The bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha by Munda on August 2, 2021

At present, there are 18 communities with their synonyms appearing in the illustrative list of Scheduled Tribes in respect of the state of Arunachal Pradesh.

On the basis of recommendations of the state of Arunachal Pradesh, the bill provides for modifying Part-XVIII of the Schedule to the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, relating to state of Arunachal Pradesh.

It provides for deletion of ‘Abor’ (tribe) in serial No. 1, as it is the same as ‘Adi’ in serial No. 16.

Secondly, it proposed to replace ‘Tai Khamti’ instead of ‘Khampti’ at serial No. 6 of the list.

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It also provides for inclusion of ‘Mishmi-Kaman (Miju Mishmi)’, ‘Idu (Mishmi)’ and ‘Taraon (Digaru Mishmi)’ in serial No. 8 in lieu of ‘Mishmi, Idu, Taroan’ in the list.

It provides for inclusion of ‘Monpa’, ‘Memba’, ‘Sartang’, ‘Sajolang (Miji)’ in serial No. 9 in lieu of ‘Momba’ in the list.

It also provides for inclusion of ‘Nocte’, ‘Tangsa’, ‘Tutsa’, ‘Wancho’ in lieu of ‘Any Naga Tribes’ in serial No. 10 of the the list.

The amendment in the list of Scheduled Tribes relating to the state of Arunachal Pradesh will entail no additional recurring expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India on account of benefits likely to be provided to persons belonging to the communities proposed in the Bill.

This ministry is already funding for welfare of 10.45 crores Scheduled Tribes population (Census, 2011).

Further, the Scheduled Tribes are also eligible for benefits under the Scheduled Tribes Component (STC) of schemes under the central government and state governments.

Banda Prakash (TRS), M Thambidurai (AIADMK), K Somaprasad (CPI-M), Fauzia Khan (NCP), Manoj Jha (RJD) and S K Gupta (AAP) spoke briefly on the bill and supported it.

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