PESA ACT 1996 (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     12th January 2024        
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Context: Recently, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj inaugurated a Two-Day Regional Conference on Strengthening of PESA at Pune.

Panchayats (Extension To The Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996

  • About: This provision extends Panchayats to Fifth Schedule Areas, benefiting the tribal population, and enabling self-governance through Gram Sabhas (village assemblies).
  • Applicable: To the Fifth Schedule(Article 244(1)), applicable in 10 states. 
  • The objective of the PESA Act: To empower tribal communities by recognizing their rights over land, resources, and self-governance within the scheduled areas.

Significance of the PESA Act

  • Involving Gram Sabha: By actively involving Gram Sabha, the Act protects the tribal population from exploitation.
  • Democratic Decentralisation: Gram Sabhas are given significant authority by PESA to oversee all social sectors and play a critical part in approving development plans.
  • Empowerment of Tribal Communities: PESA Act empowers tribal communities by granting them autonomy and self-governance over their resources, land, and local institutions.
  • Recognition of Traditional Systems: The Act recognizes and protects the traditional systems of governance, customs, and practices of tribal communities, preserving their cultural heritage.
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