Political Science Answer Writing Practice 2018 - Week 9 - Question 2
90 Days Political Science Answer Writing Practice Question 2 for 07-Jan-2019
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1. Write your answers in the comment section.
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3. Model Answers will be uploaded on this page the next day.
4. Rectify your mistakes and progress further.
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07-Jan-2019 - Question 2
Examine the provisions of Panchayat Extension Services Act (PESA), 1996.
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PESA, short for Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, is the most important law meant for the Adivasis that can radically change the socio-political landscape of India, only if it is implemented honestly. It can achieve three things simultaneously: (1) deprive the Naxal of the fertile ground of backwardness and poverty in the “Red Corridor” and make them baseless; (2) assimilate the 8 percent tribal Adivasis into the mainstream political current through self governance; and (3) preserve forests and local ecology because they only know their land and its resources the best. But unfortunately, state governments lack willpower, honesty, and far-sightedness to grasp the profound impact its proper implementation will have for the future development.
Village level democracy became a real prospect for India in 1992 with the 73rdamendment to the Constitution, which mandated that resources, responsibility and decision making be passed on from central government to the lowest unit of the governance, the Gram Sabha or the Village Assembly. A three tier structure of local self government was envisaged under this amendment.
Since the laws do not automatically cover the scheduled areas, the PESA Act was in-acted in 1996 to enable Tribal Self Rule in these areas. The Act extended the provisions of Panchayats to the tribal areas of nine states that have Fifth Schedule Areas.
The PESA Act gives radical governance powers to the tribal community and recognizes its traditional community rights over local natural resources. It not only accepts the validity of “customary law, social and religious practices, and traditional management practices of community resources”, but also directs the state governments not to make any law which is inconsistent with these. Accepting a clear-cut role for the community, it gives wide-ranging powers to Gram Sabhas, which had hitherto been denied to them by the lawmakers of the country.
The full-fledged implementation of PESA will give Rs 50,000 crore to tribal communities to develop themselves. Nothing would deal a bigger blow to the Maoists than participative development by, for and of the tribal communities. Of the 76 districts highly infected by the Maoists, 32 are PESA districts. Hence, honest implementation of the PESA Act would empower the marginalized tribals so that they can take care of their developmental needs. This would deprive the Naxals of their ground support coming from the misguided and helpless tribals.
Looking at the performance of State governments in implementation of PESA and their tendency to by-pass it, the Central government should issue a notification that all other laws will be subordinate to PESA in the fifth schedule (or PESA) areas.
Land litigations are another headache of tribals who have been rendered landless by the rich or powerful. In order to restore speedy justice, follow the recommendation of the B.D Sharma Committee. It suggested issuing notification of a date, when all pending cases in any Court of Law in which the land of a tribal is alleged to have been illegally transferred or occupied by any person or body, shall stand transferred to the Gram Sabha in whose jurisdiction the land is situated.
Only PESA has the real potential to deal a fatal blow to the leftwing extremists thriving on their backwardness, ignorance, and isolation. The “Original Indian People” of India deserve a life free of exploitation, poverty, and fear
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