In a step that will allow tribes inhabiting the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh to have greater control over local issues, the National Commission of Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has submitted its recommendation to include Ladakh into the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
As reported by ET, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs now have to take a call on the issue post which tribes in the UT can form autonomous hill councils and regional councils. Laws made by such councils will require the Lieutenant Governor’s permission to come into force.
“Overall, the tribal population of Ladakh is 97%. The step would go a long way in addressing aspirations of the tribal people,” an NCST official has been quoted as saying.
The NCST has cited an example of the autonomous councils in Mizoram when it was a UT as to how they helped preserve the unique traditions of the people in the area. Several tribes inhabit the Leh and Kargil districts like Boto, Balti Beda, Mon, Brokpa and Changpa with as much as 99 per cent of Zanskar’s population belonging to the ST category.