Autonomous administrative divisions of India

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Autonomous councils in India
Autonomous councils in North East India

The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India allows for the formation of autonomous administrative divisions which have been given autonomy within their respective states.[1] Most of these autonomous district councils are located in North East India but two are in the Ladakh region of Northern India. Presently, 10 Autonomous Councils in Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura are formed by virtue of the Sixth Schedule [2] with the rest being formed as a result of other legislation.

Powers and competencies[edit]

Executive and legislative powers[edit]

Under the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India, autonomous district councils can make laws, rules and regulations in the following areas:[3]

  • Land management
  • Forest management
  • Water resources
  • Agriculture and cultivation
  • Formation of village councils
  • Public health
  • Sanitation
  • Village and town level policing
  • Appointment of traditional chiefs and headmen
  • Inheritance of property
  • Marriage and divorce
  • Social customs
  • Money lending and trading
  • Mining and minerals

Judicial powers[edit]

Autonomous district councils have powers to form courts to hear cases where both parties are members of Scheduled Tribes and the maximum sentence is less than 5 years in prison.[4]

Taxation and revenue[edit]

Autonomous district councils have powers to levy taxes, fees and tolls on; building and land, animals, vehicles, boats, entry of goods into the area, roads, ferries, bridges, employment and income and general taxes for the maintenance of schools and roads.[5]

List of autonomous administrative divisions[edit]

Autonomous district councils operating under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India are shown in bold.

State/Union Territory Autonomous Council Headquarters Districts / Subdivisions
Assam Bodoland Kokrajhar Baksa, Chirang, Kokrajhar, Udalguri
Deori Narayanpur Lakhimpur
North Cachar Hills (Dima Hasao) Haflong Dima Hasao
Karbi Anglong Diphu Karbi Anglong, West Karbi Anglong
Mising Dhemaji Dhemaji
Rabha Hasong Dudhnoi Kamrup Rural, Goalpara
Sonowal Kachari Dibrugarh
Thengal Kachari Titabar
Tiwa Morigaon
Ladakh Kargil Kargil Kargil
Leh Leh Leh
Manipur Chandel Chandel
Churachandpur Churachandpur
Sadar Hills Kangpokpi Saikul, Saitu and Sadar Hills West subdivisions of Kangpokpi district
Senapati Senapati
Tamenglong Tamenglong
Ukhul Ukhrul
Meghalaya Garo Hills Tura East Garo Hills, West Garo Hills, South Garo Hills, North Garo Hills and South West Garo Hills
Jaintia Hills Jowai East Jaintia Hills, West Jaintia Hills
Khasi Hills Shillong West Khasi Hills, East Khasi Hills and Ri Bhoi
Mizoram Chakma Kamalanagar Tuichawng subdivision
Lai Lawngtlai Lawngtlai subdivision, Sangau subdivision
Mara Siaha Siaha subdivision, Tipa subdivision
Tripura Tripura Tribal Areas Khumulwng
West Bengal Gorkhaland Darjeeling Darjeeling, Kurseong and Mirik subdivisions of Darjeeling district, Kalimpong district

De facto self-governing areas[edit]

North Sentinel Island[edit]

North Sentinel Island is situated in the island chain of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands which is a union territory of India. It is home to the Sentinelese people, who are among some of the world's last uncontacted peoples. They reject any contact with other people and are among the last people to remain virtually untouched by modern civilization. There has never been any treaty with the people of the island nor any record of a physical occupation.

The local government (Andaman and Nicobar Islands) has stated [6] that they have no intention to interfere with the Sentinelese's lifestyle or habitat. Although the island is likely to have suffered seriously from the effects of the December 2004 tsunami, the survival of the Sentinelese was confirmed when, some days after the event, an Indian government helicopter observed several of them, who shot arrows at the hovering aircraft to repel it.

Although this has not been done with any formal treaty, the official policy of minimal interference has ensured that they have de facto autonomy and sovereignty over their island under the framework of the central and local governments.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.mea.gov.in/Images/pdf1/S6.pdf.
  2. ^ https://www.firstpost.com/india/union-cabinet-approves-amendment-in-sixth-schedule-to-strengthen-10-north-east-autonomous-councils-5951561.html
  3. ^ https://www.mea.gov.in/Images/pdf1/S6.pdf
  4. ^ https://www.mea.gov.in/Images/pdf1/S6.pdf
  5. ^ https://www.mea.gov.in/Images/pdf1/S6.pdf
  6. ^ The Sentineli Archived March 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Administration in India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands has finally decided upon a policy of minimal interference". Archived from the original on 2012-09-14. Retrieved 2008-08-21.

External links[edit]