NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) on Monday cleared a proposal to grant the status of Scheduled Tribes (ST) to six communities in Assam.
The Assam government’s proposal was to grant ST status to the communities of Koch Rajbongshi, Chutia, Moran, Matak, Tai Ahom and Tea Tribes as forwarded to the Commission by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
However, the Commission has also told the state government to take the necessary steps to determine the quantum of reservation for the six communities in Assam, to suggest a revised quantum of reservation for the OBCs in the state, and to suggest measures to safeguard the interests of the existing tribes in Assam after holding consultations with the stakeholders.
“The six communities were included in the OBC list in the state. Therefore, the Commission has recommended the quantum of reservations in the state be reviewed by the state government and the need to protect the interests of the existing scheduled tribes in the area,” said an NCST official.
In order to reach the conclusion for the inclusion of the tribes, the NCST had also studied a few reports, including the ethnological status of Santhals of Assam, report of ethnographic study of Matak community and report of the expert committee constituted by the Assam government of Tai Ahom.
“On carefully considering the proposal, the NCST concluded that the six communities possess characteristics of scheduled tribes and qualify to be included in the list of STs of Assam. Accordingly, the Commission supports the proposal of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs,” according to the NCST.
The Registrar General of India has also supported the proposal of the inclusion of the STs.
The modalities for either inclusion or exclusion of the scheduled tribes are only for the proposals which have been recommended and justified by the concerned state government/UTs and concurred by the RGI and NCST.