Article 371 forms a part of the Constitution of India. It safeguards the rights of local people in various ways. Unity among diversity is one of the main features of Greater India. From Kashmir-Ladakh in the north to Kanyakumari in the south and from Arunachal Pradesh in the east to Gujarat in the west, this vast territory is inhabited by a large number of ethnic, tribal, linguistic and religious people.
Since independence, millions of people in different parts of the country have lived in harmony with their customs, traditions, and brotherhood. But amid this unity, there is a need to empower people of certain ethnic groups living in different states or geographical locations to secure their existence politically. For this purpose, several articles have been inserted in India’s Constitution to ensure people’s identity.
From Article 371 to Article 371 (J) of India’s Constitution, these special provisions of different states and territories are mentioned. Earlier, Article 370 of the Indian Constitution provided for special provisions for Jammu and Kashmir. But on August 5, 2019, the central Government withdraw this system.
Despite the withdrawal of Jammu and Kashmir, special provisions under the Constitution are still in force in 12 states. These are contained in Articles 371 to 371 (J) of the Constitution.
The special provisions contained in paragraphs 371 and 371 A to J.
Article 371: Maharashtra and Gujarat
The Article 371 of the Constitution of India provides special provisions to the states of Maharashtra and Gujrat. Clauses of the article are given bellow-
(a)The establishment of separate development boards for Vidarbha, Marathwada, and the rest of Maharashtra or, as the case may be, Saurashtra, Kutch and the rest of these boards will be placed each year before the State Legislative Assembly.
(b) The equitable allocation of funds for developmental expenditure over the said areas, subject to the requirements of the State as a whole.
(c)An equitable arrangement providing adequate facilities for technical education and vocational training, and adequate opportunities for employment in service under the control of the State Government, in respect of all the said areas, subject to the requirements of the State as a whole.
Article 371 A: Nagaland
The Article 371A of the Constitution of India provides special provision to the State of Nagaland. According to this article-
(a) No Act of Parliament in respect of-
(i) Religious or social practices of the Nagas,
(ii) Naga customary law and procedure,
(iii) Administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law,
(iv) Ownership and transfer of land and its resources, shall apply to the State of Nagaland unless the Legislative Assembly of Nagaland by a resolution so decides.
(b) The Governor of Nagaland shall have special responsibility with respect to law and order in the State of Nagaland.
(c) In making his recommendation with respect to any demand for a grant, the Governor of Nagaland shall ensure that any money provided by the Government of India out of the Consolidated Fund of India for any specific service or purpose is included in the demand for a grant relating to that service or purpose and not in any other demand.
(d) As from such date as the Governor of Nagaland may by public notification in this behalf specify, there shall be established a regional council for the Tuensang district consisting of thirty-five members and the Governor shall in his discretion make rules.
Article 361 B: Assam
The Article 371B of the Constitution of India provides special provision to the State of Assam.
According to this, the President may, by order made with respect to the State of Assam, provide for the Constitution and functions of a committee of the Legislative Assembly of the State consisting of members of that Assembly elected from the tribal areas specified in Part I of the table appended to paragraph 20 of the Sixth Schedule and such number of other members of that Assembly as may be specified in the order and for the modifications to be made in the rules of procedure of that Assembly for the Constitution and proper functioning of such committee.
Article 371 C: Manipur
The Article 371C of the Constitution of India provides special provision to the State of Manipur. Clauses are-
(1) The President may, by order made with respect to the State of Manipur, provide for the Constitution and functions of a committee of the Legislative Assembly of the State consisting of members of that Assembly elected from the Hill Areas of that State, for the modifications to be made in the rules of business of the Government and in the rules of procedure of the Legislative Assembly of the State and for any special responsibility of the Governor in order to secure the proper functioning of such committee.
(2) The Governor shall annually, or whenever so required by the President, make a report to the President regarding the administration of the Hill Areas in the State of Manipur and the executive power of the Union shall extend to the giving of directions to the State as to the administration of the said areas Explanation In this article, the expression Hill Areas means such areas as the President may, by order, declare to be Hill Areas.
Article 371 D and E: Andhra Pradesh
The Article 371D and E of the Constitution of India provides special provision Andhra Pradesh. It was added to the Constitution in 1974. This article provides equitable opportunities and facilities for the people of Andhra Pradesh and safeguards their rights in matters of employment and education. The state government can organise civil posts or direct recruitment to posts in local cadre as required.
Similarly, Article 371E states that the Parliament may by law provide for the establishment of a University in Andhra Pradesh.
Article 361 F: Sikkim
Article 371F of the Constitution of India provides special provisions to the State of Sikkim. It was inserted in the Constitution of India in 1975. This ensures that the number of members of the State Legislative Assembly is not less than 30. In order to protect the rights and interests of different classes of people living in Sikkim, the seats in the Legislative Assembly have been reserved for different classes of people.
Article 371 G: Mizoram
Article 371G of the Constitution of India provides special provisions to the State of Mizoram. The special provisions are-
(a) No Act of President in respect of-
(i) Religious or social practices of the Mizos,
(ii) Mizo customary law and procedure,
(iii) Administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Mizo customary law,
(iv) Ownership and transfer of land, shall apply to the State of Mizoram unless the Legislative Assembly of the State of Mizoram by a resolution so decides: Provided that nothing in this clause shall apply to any Central Act in force in the union territory of Mizoram immediately before the commencement of the Constitution (Fifty third Amendment) Act, 1986.
(b) The Legislative Assembly of the State of Mizoram shall consist of not less than 40 members.
Article 371 H: Arunachal Pradesh
The Article 371H of the Constitution of India provides special provisions with respect to the State of Arunachal Pradesh. According to this-
(a) The Governor of Arunachal Pradesh shall have special responsibility with respect to law and order in the State of Arunachal Pradesh and the Governor shall discharge of his functions after consulting the Council of Ministers, exercise his individual judgment as to the action to be taken.
(b) The Legislative Assembly of the State of Arunachal Pradesh shall consist of not less than thirty members.
Article 371 I: Goa
Article 371 I of the Constitution of India, applicable to Goa, ensures that the number of Legislative Assembly seats in the State shall not be less than 30.
Article 371 J : Hyderabad-Karnataka
Article 371 J of the Constitution of India was enacted in 2012 by the 118th amendment of the Constitution. It provides special provisions for six backward districts in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region. Which includes-
(a) Establish a separate Development Board.
(b) The Board ensures sufficient funds are allocated for Development of the region.
(c) Local reservation in education and government jobs.