Saturday, 3 January 2015

Daily News Mail

Tribal areas administration - 5th and 6th Schedule of the Indian Constitution

  • Sixty percent of the forest area in the country is in tribal area. Fifty-one district out of 58 districts with forest cover greater than 67% are tribal districts. Three states : Odisha, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh - accounts for 70% of coal's reserve, 80% of its high-grade iron-ore, 60% of its bauxite and almost 100% of its chromite (FeCr2O4, the only ore of  Chromium, the metal used for make stainless steel, nichrome and chrome plating) reserves.
5th Schedule of Indian Constitution (Article - 244(1))
  • It  has "Provisions as to the Administration and control of Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes", but State in this Schedule does not refer to state of Assam, Maeghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
  • The Governor of each state which have Scheduled Areas therein shall annually, or whenever so required by the president, make a report to the President regarding the administration of the Scheduled Areas in that State and the executive power of the Union extended to that area for giving direction to the State as to administration of the said areas.
  • There shall be established in each state having Scheduled Areas a Tribes Advisory Councils, consisting of not more than 20 members, of which three-fourth shall be the representatives of the Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assembly of the State.
  • It shall be the duty of the Tribes Advisory Council to advise on such matters pertaining to the welfare and advancement of the Scheduled Areas in the State as may be referred to them by the Governor.
  • In the Constitution the "Scheduled Areas" means such areas as the President may by order declared as Scheduled Areas. 
6th Schedule of Indian Constitution (Artcle - 244(2) and 275(1))
  • It  has "Provisions as to the Administration of Tribal Areas in the state of Assam, Maeghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
  • Autonomous districts and autonomous regions - The tribal areas shall be an autonomous district.
  • There shall be a District Council for each autonomous district consisting of not more than 30 members, of whom not more than 4 shall be nominated by the Governor and the rest shall be elected by the basis of an universal adult suffrage. There shall be a separate Regional Council for each autonomous regions.
  • The power of the District Councils and Regional Councils to make laws for the Autonomous districts and autonomous regions respectively.

Union government drafted National Health Policy, 2015

  • The Union government on the last day of 2014 made public the National Health Policy, 2015. The policy is a first step towards achieving universal health coverage by advocating health as a fundamental right, whose "denial will be justiciable" .
  • There are innumerable challenges to be overcome before the objectives become a reality.
  • The current government spending on health care is a dismal 1.04% of GDP(Rs. 957 per capita), one of the lowest in the world  and the draft policy has addressed this critical issue by increase in government spending 2.5% of GDP(Rs. 3800 per capita) in the next five years.
  •  The failure of the public health-care system to provide affordable services has been the main reason that has led to increased expenditure on health care.
  • The national programmes provide universal coverage only with respect to maternal ailments, which only covers 10% of all mortalities. Over 75% of communicable diseases are outside their purview and only a limited number of non-communicable disease are covered. It is, therefore, crucial for Union government to undertake proactive measures to upgrade health-care services of poorly performing States like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The Centre shall enact, after due discussion and on the request of three or more states a National Health Rights Act, which will ensure health as a fundamental right. Since, health is a State subject, adoption by respective States will be voluntary.

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