Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas
            Scheduled Tribes live in contiguous areas unlike other communities. It is, therefore, much
      simpler to have an area approach for development activities and also regulatory provisions to
      protect their interests. In order to protect the interests of scheduled tribes with regard to land
      alienation and other social factors, provisions of the Fifth Schedule and Sixth Schedule have
      been enshrined in the Constitution.
            The Fifth Schedule under Article 244 (1) of Constitution defines “Scheduled Areas” as such
      areas as the President may by Order declare to be Scheduled Areas after consultation with the
      Governor of the state. The Sixth Schedule under Article 244 (2) of the Constitution relates to
      those areas in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram which are declared as
      “Tribal Areas” and provides for district councils and/or regional councils for such areas. These
      Councils have been conferred with wide ranging legislative, judicial and executive powers. The
      criteria for declaring any area as a “Scheduled Area” under the Fifth Schedule are: (a)
      preponderance of tribal population, (b) compactness and reasonable size of the area, (c) a viable
      administrative entity such as a district, block or taluk, and (d) economic backwardness of the
      area as compared to neighbouring areas. The specification of “Scheduled Areas” in relation to a
      state is done by a notified order of the President, after consultation with the state governments
      concerned. The same applies for altering, increasing, decreasing, incorporating new areas, or
      rescinding any orders relating to “Scheduled Areas”.
            The advantages of Scheduled Areas are that: (a) the Governor of a state, which has
      Scheduled Areas, is empowered to make regulations in respect of the following: (i) prohibit or
      restrict transfer of land from tribal people; (ii) regulate the business of money lending to the
      members of scheduled tribes. In making any such regulation, the Governor may repeal or amend
      any Act of Parliament or of the Legislature of the state which is applicable to the area in
      question; (ii) The Governor may through public notification direct that any particular Act of
      Parliament or of the legislature of the state, shall not apply to a Scheduled Area or any part
      thereof in the state or shall apply to such area subject to such exceptions and modifications as he
      may specify; (c) the Governor of a state having Scheduled Areas therein, shall annually, or
      whenever so required by the President of India, make a report to the President regarding the
      administration of the Scheduled Areas in that state and the executive power of the Union shall
      extend to the giving of directions to the state as to the administration of the said area; (d) Tribes
      Advisory Council (TAC) shall be established in states having Scheduled Areas. The role of TAC
      is to advise the state government on matters pertaining to the welfare and advancement of the
      scheduled tribes in the state as may be referred to it by the Governor. The TAC will consist of
      not more than twenty members of whom about 3/4 are to be from ST-MLAs. The TAC may also
      be established in any state having scheduled tribes but not Scheduled Areas on the direction of
      the President of India; (e) the Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act,
      1996 (PESA), vide which the provisions of Panchayats, contained in Part IX of the Constitution,
      were extended to Scheduled Areas, also contain special provisions for the benefit of scheduled
      tribes. The Sixth Schedule under Article 244 of the Constitution identifies autonomous districts
      in the tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. It also makes provisions for
      recognition of autonomous regions within these autonomous districts. These have been specified
      in Parts I, II, II A and III of the table appended to paragraph 20 of the Sixth Schedule. In other
      words, areas where provisions of Sixth Schedule are applicable are known as Tribal Areas. The
      state-wise details of Tribal Areas are as:-