• Scheduled Areas:- The Fifth Schedule Article-244(1), being a very important provision of the Constitution deals with the control and administration of the Scheduled Areas. The Constitution makes special provisions for the administration of certain areas called Scheduled Areas in the states other than Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Manipur despite such areas are situated within a State or Union Territory A- 244(1), probably because of the backwardness of the people of these areas.
The criteria for declaring any areas as Scheduled Areas under the Fifth Schedule are as follows :
(1) Preponderance of Tribal population in such area.
(2) Compactness and reasonable size of the area.
(3) Viable administration entity such as a district, block, or Taluk, etc.
(4) Economic backwardness of the area as compared to the neighboring areas.
• Features of the 5th Schedule-
(1) Declaration of Scheduled Areas- The Constitution empowers the President to declare any areas as Scheduled Areas. He can increase or decrease or even alter the boundaries of a Scheduled Area. He can also cancel such designation after consultation with the Governor of the concerned State or can make fresh orders to redefine any Scheduled Area.
(2) Executive powers of State and Union- Subject to the provisions of this schedule the executive powers of State extend to the Scheduled Areas therein. The executive powers of the Union are limited to giving directions to the State for the administration of such areas.
(3) Tribal Advisory Council- Any state having a Scheduled Area needs to establish a Tribal Advisory Council consisting of not more than 20 members of whom about 3/4 members should be the representative of the Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assembly of the State.
(4) Law Applicable to Scheduled Areas– The Governor is empowered to direct that any particular Act of Parliament or the Legislature of the State, does not apply directly to a Scheduled Area and is subject to such exceptions and modifications as he may specify in the notification:
(a) Prohibit the transfer of land by or among members of the Scheduled Tribe in such areas;
(b) Regulate the allotments of land to the members of the Scheduled Tribes in such areas;
(c) Regulate the carrying out of businesses as money lenders by persons who lend money to members of the Scheduled Tribes in such areas.
• States Under Fifth Schedule:-
The Fifth Schedule designates Tribal majority areas in the ten Tribal minority States within peninsular India including:
(1) Andhra Pradesh
(2) Himachal Pradesh
(3) Madhya Pradesh
• Some Important points:-
(1) Tribal Advisory Council(TAC) in Scheduled Areas do not perform administrative actions directly and do not have much autonomy.
(2) Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas is applicable here.
(3) PRIs in non-6th Scheduled Areas are liberally funded so direct funding of the Council is done under Article 280 of the Constitution.
(4) The Council in the 5th Schedule is the creation of the State Legislature.
(5) 5th Schedule Areas have an implementation of various schemes like MGNAREGA ( Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) 2005.