Pahari community in ST list of Jammu and Kashmir
- Posted By
Polity & Governance
3rd Nov, 2022
The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has now cleared the way for the inclusion of the ‘Pahari ethnic group’ in the Scheduled Tribes list of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
- The proposal green-lit by the commission also called for the inclusion of the “Paddari tribe”, “Koli” and “Gadda Brahman” communities to be included in the ST list of J&K.
- Currently, Jammu and Kashmir has 12 communities that have been notified as STs.
About Pahari Community
- The Pahari community, a linguistic group mainly residing in the Pir Panjal valley comprising Rajouri and Poonch
- Paharis are also spread in parts of the Kashmir valley.
- Paharis also comprise both Hindus and Muslims unlike Bakerwals and Gujjars, two prominent nomadic clans.
Who are Scheduled Tribes (ST)?
- Article 366 of the Constitution: Such tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under article 342 to be Scheduled Tribes for the purposes of this Constitution.
- Article 342: The President may with respect to any State or Union territory, and where it is a State, after consultation with the Governor thereof, by public notification, specify the tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within tribes or tribal communities which shall for the purposes of this Constitution be deemed to be Scheduled Tribes in relation to that State or Union territory, as the case may be.
- Criteria: The Constitution is silent about the criteria for the specification of a community as a Scheduled Tribe. Primitiveness, geographical isolation, shyness and social, educational & economic backwardness are the traits that distinguish Scheduled Tribe communities from other communities.
- There are certain Scheduled Tribes, 75 in number known as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs), who are characterized by:
- pre-agriculture level of technology
- stagnant or declining population
- extremely low literacy
- subsistence level of the economy
About National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)
- The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes is a constitutional body.
- It was established by the Constitution (89th Amendment) Act, 2003.
- The Commission is an authority working for the economic development of Scheduled Tribes in India.
- The NCST is dealt with in Article 338.
- Earlier, there was only one commission, which was for both the scheduled tribes and scheduled castes. In 2004, after the 89th Constitutional Amendment Act, the NCST was established by bifurcating the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes into the NCST and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.
- This amendment replaced the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes with two distinct commissions which are:
- National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)
- National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)