Ladakh Demands Sixth Schedule Status To Safeguard Land, Jobs, Cultural Identity

In a surprise development in Parliament, BJP MP from Ladakh Jamyang Tsering Namgyal demanded that the region be included in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution to safeguard land, employment, and cultural identity of the local population.

Representatives of the region have raised the demand repeatedly since the constitutional changes in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019.

What is the Sixth Schedule?

The Sixth Schedule under Article 244 provides for the formation of autonomous administrative divisions — Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) — that have some legislative, judicial, and administrative autonomy within a state.

ADCs have up to 30 members with a term of five years, and can make laws, rules and regulations with regard to land, forest, water, agriculture, village councils, health, sanitation, village- and town-level policing, inheritance, marriage and divorce, social customs and mining, etc. (Not Education)

The Bodoland Territorial Council in Assam is an exception with more than 40 members and the right to make laws on 39 issues.

The Sixth Schedule applies to the Northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram (three Councils each), and Tripura (one Council).

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