UPSC PRELIMS 2019: Land Rights of Scheduled Tribes

Land Rights of Scheduled Tribes

Topic : Land Rights of Scheduled Tribes

Topic in Syllabus: Indian Polity



Land Rights of Scheduled Tribes

  • Land and its management falls under the List-II (State List) in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.
  • In so far as land related issues are concerned, the Ministry of Rural Development acts as the nodal Ministry at the Centre.
  • It plays a monitoring role in the field of land reforms.


Constitutional and legal provisions to protect and safeguard the land rights of STs are,

  • The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA) states that
    • no member of STs or Other Traditional Forest dweller shall be evicted from the forest Land till the recognition and verification procedure is complete.
    • Gram Sabha is empowered to regulate community forest resources and stop any activity which adversely affects the biodiversity.
    • The ‘Right to fair compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (RFCTLARR) states,
    • To ensure, in consultation with Gram Sabhas, a participative, informed and transparent process for land acquisition.
  • A National Level Monitoring Committee for Rehabilitation and Resettlement has been constituted Under RFCTLARR Act, to review and to monitor the implementation of rehabilitation schemes related to land acquisition.
  • As per RFCTLARR Act, 2013, acquisition of land shall be made in the Scheduled Areas only as last resort.
  • In case of acquisition or alternation of any land in Scheduled Areas, the prior consent of the concerned Gram Sabha or the autonomous district councils shall be obtained.
  • The Act also lays down procedure and manner of rehabilitation and resettlement.
  • The Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Area) Act, 1996, PESA, also provides that the Gram Sabha or the Panchayats shall be consulted before making the acquisition of land.
  • The Governor of the State, which has scheduled Areas is empowered to prohibit or regulate transfer of land from tribals.
  • The Scheduled castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 has been introduced to prevent the commission of offences of atrocities against members of the SCs and the STs.
  • Apart from this, Supreme Court in its judgement also held that forest approval cannot be granted for a development project without the informed consent of the Gram Sabhas.
  • The ‘Ministry of Mines’ adviced all the states, regarding imposing of conditions in the lease deed in regard to FRA.
  • The ‘Ministry of Environment and Forests’ has informed all the states, regarding diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes to consult Gram Sabha before giving approval.
  • The State Governments/UTs have been issued advisories by Ministry of Tribal Affairs from time to time to carry out the strict and speedy implementation of provisions of the FRA 2006.


Sample Question:

In which part of the Indian Constitution, special provisions have been made for National Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and Anglo Indians?

a. Part XVI

b. Part XI

c. Part XXI

d. Part XIII


Answer: a

Explanation: Special provisions have been in Part XVI of the Indian constitution for the betterment of the   Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and Anglo Indians. These provisions have the reservation of the jobs, legislatures, etc. for the SCs, STc and OBCs.