Q. Consider the following statements with respect to objectives of “Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act” 1996:
1. To extend the provisions of Part IX of the Constitution relating to the panchayats to the scheduled areas with certain modifications
2. To provide self-rule for the bulk of the tribal population
3. To protect forests and conservation of environment
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

[A] 1 only

[B] 1 and 2 only

[C] 2 and 3 only

[D] 1, 2 and 3

Answer: B
Notes:

Explanation:

  • The provisions of Part IX of the constitution relating to the Panchayats are not applicable to the Fifth Schedule areas. However, the Parliament may extend these provisions to such areas, subject to such exceptions and modifications as it may specify.
  • Under this provision, the Parliament has enacted the “Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act”, 1996, popularly known as the PESA Act or the Extension Act. At present (2016), ten states have Fifth Schedule Areas.
  • These are: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhatisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Rajasthan. All the ten states have enacted requisite compliance legislations by amending the respective Panchayati Raj Acts.

The objectives of the PESA Act are as follows:

  • To extend the provisions of Part IX of the Constitution relating to the panchayats to the scheduled areas with certain modifications
  • To provide self-rule for the bulk of the tribal population
  • To have village governance with participatory democracy and to make the gram sabha a nucleus of all activities
  • To evolve a suitable administrative framework consistent with traditional practices
  • To safeguard and to preserve the traditions and customs of tribal communities
  • To empower panchayats at the appropriate levels with specific powers conducive to tribal requirements
  • To prevent panchayats at the higher level from assuming the powers and authority of panchayats at the lower level of the gram sabha

Source: Laxmikanth