State does not have adequate laws to safeguard tribal rights, says Chief Minister Pema Khandu
The 60-member Arunachal Pradesh Assembly on Thursday resolved to persuade the Centre for inclusion of the State under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution to protect the rights of its indigenous communities.
Tribal areas of four northeastern States — Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura — are under the Schedule.
After Home Minister Bamang Felix moved the resolution, Chief Minister Pema Khandu said the State did not have adequate laws to safeguard tribal rights.
“We will place the resolution before the Centre explaining all the views expressed by the MLAs and the community-based organisations so that it can be taken up for discussion in both Houses of Parliament,” Mr. Khandu said, adding that the “tough journey began today [Thursday]”.
The one-day Assembly session was earlier scheduled for three days.
Non-IAS as DCs
The Chief Minister also told the House that the Centre would be asked to open up the posts of Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of the State’s 22 districts for non-IAS officers.
The IAS officers of the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Union Territories) cadre are posted as DCs in the State.
“Our government has decided to appeal to the Centre to de-cadre the posts to open up promotional avenues for State civil services officers,” Mr. Khandu said.
He pointed out that the Assembly had in 2018 approved a separate IAS cadre for the State so that the bureaucrats are not transferred out frequently.
Janata Dal (United) MLA Hayeng Mangfi, who had raised the issue, said it was inhuman for Arunachal Pradesh Civil Service (APCS) officers to be in selection grade even after 27 years of service.
“The APCS officers of the 2003 batch are still in senior grade unlike in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu where State civil service officers are inducted to IAS grade after eight years. The State government should facilitate their career progression,” Mr. Mangfi said.