DEMAND FOR 6th SCHEDULE AREA (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity and Governance)

News-CRUX-10     2nd April 2024        

Context: Recently, in Leh, a town in the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh, Sonam Wangchuk, renowned as Ladakh’s educationist and environmentalist, initiated a 21-day hunger strike termed as a “climate fast”.

Reason of Hunger Strike

  • Impact of Reorganisation: In August 2019, Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two Union Territories, stripping people of their exclusive land and job rights.
  • Ladakh's Status as a UT: Ladakh, under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, became a Union Territory without a legislature.
  • Demand for Safeguards: The hunger strike supports Ladakh residents' demand for safeguards under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, empowering them to manage resources like land and water.
  • Specific Demands: Ladakh's demands include Statehood, tribal status under the Sixth Schedule, and the establishment of a Public Service Commission.
  • Formation of a Dialogue Committee: A high-powered committee, composed of members from Leh Apex Body (LAB) and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA), has formed a joint sub-committee to advance dialogue, including representatives from both groups.

Sixth Schedule

  • About: The Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution contains special provisions for the administration of tribal areas in certain states.
  • Article: Article 244 and 275(1).
  • Objective: The primary objective of the Sixth Schedule is to preserve the cultural identity and promote self-governance among tribal communities residing in these regions.
  • Applicability: Northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.
  • Autonomous Districts and Autonomous Regions: Tribal areas in designated parts of the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram are designated as autonomous districts.

oIf there are multiple Scheduled Tribes within an autonomous district, the Governor may divide the area into autonomous regions.