Rajya Sabha on Tuesday began the discussion on a bill that seeks to remove the Bhogta caste from the list of Scheduled Castes (SC) and include certain communities in the list of Scheduled Tribes (ST) for Jharkhand. The bill was introduced in the Upper House on February 7. Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda moved the Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which also aims to help beneficiaries tap better into the provisions of reservation in education and government jobs, for discussion.
Initiating the debate, Congress member Naranbhai J Rathwa supported the bill and said that the BJP government has ignored the demand of adding the Bhogta community to the list of Scheduled Tribes. He said that there are many tribal communities in the Other Backward Classes category among others and suggested that certain communities could be brought under the list of Scheduled Tribes. The discussion on the bill will continue in the Upper House on Wednesday.
The bill amends the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950, and the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950. The Scheduled Castes Order specifies the castes, races and tribes deemed to be Scheduled Castes in various states and union territories, while the Scheduled Tribes Order specifies the same for tribes and tribal communities. The bill amends the schedule to the Scheduled Tribes Order to include Deshwari, Ganjhu, Dautalbandi (Dwalbandi), Patbandi, Raut, Maajhia, Khairi (Kheri), Tamaria (Tamadia), and Puran communities in the Scheduled Tribes list in Jharkhand.
Further, the schedule to the Scheduled Castes Order is being amended to omit the Bhogta community from the list of Scheduled Castes and is instead being included in the list of Scheduled Tribes in the state. The government keeps amending the lists originally notified in 1950 based on requests made by various state governments.