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Art.371

  May 24, 2020

Art.371

What does Art.371 deal with?

Article 371 of the Indian Constitution deals with special provisions for eleven states of the Indian Union. As part of XXI of the Constitution of India, Article 371 grants special provisions to some states in the country. Part XXI deals with Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions but the word `temporary' is not used for the Art.371. 

Which states are the beneficiaries?

Ranging from Article 371-A to Article 371-J, this Article gives special provisions for the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa and Karnataka. 

What are the objectives of Art.371?

The main objectives behind the Article 371 granting special provisions to some states are to meet the unique needs of the backward regions of these states, protect the economic and cultural interests of these regions, combat the local challenges and protect the customary laws in these regions.

What are the details related to each state?

The details are as follows:

Article 371 – Maharashtra and Gujarat 

President is authorised to provide that Governor of Maharashtra & Gujarat would have special responsibilities for:

  1. Establishment of separate development boards for Vidarbha, Marathwada & rest of Maharashtra + Kutchh & rest of Gujrat.
  2. A report on working of these boards will be placed each year before state legislative assembly.
  3. Equitable allocation of funds for developmental expenditure over the mentioned areas.
  4. Equitable arrangements providing adequate facilities for technical education, vocational training & adequate opportunities for employment in state services.

Article 371A - Nagaland

It states that no act of Parliament shall apply to the state of Nagaland in respect to religious or social practices of the Nagas, its customary laws, and procedures, administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary laws and ownership and transfer of land and its resources. It shall apply to Nagaland only after the state Assembly passes a resolution to do so, it says. Article 371-A states that land and its resources in the state belong to the people and not the government.

Article 371B – Assam

To give autonomy and voice to tribes, the President can provide for the constitution and functions of a committee of Legislative Assembly of the state consisting of members elected from the tribal areas of Assam.

Article 371C – Manipur

Article 371C in Manipur is similar to 371B for Assam. The president may provide for the Constitution and functions of a committee of Legislative Assembly of the state, but consisting of members elected from the hill areas of Manipur. The governor must submit an annual report to the president regarding the administration of hill areas as well.

Article 371D & E – Andhra Pradesh

Article 371D, which was added to the Constitution in 1974, provides equitable opportunities and facilities for the people of the state and safeguards their rights in matters of employment and education. The state government may organise civil posts or direct recruitment to posts in local cadre as required. Article 371E states that the Parliament may by law provide for the establishment of a University in Andhra Pradesh.

Article 371F – Sikkim

Article 371F, incorporated in 1975, states that the Legislative Assembly shall consist of not less than 30 members. In order to reflect the diversity of different groups in Sikkim, seats in the assembly are provided to people of these different sections.

Article 371G – Mizoram

Similar to Article 371A in case of Nagaland. An act of Parliament would not apply to Mizoram in matters relating to religious or social practices of Mizo, Mizo customary law and procedure, administration of civil or criminal justice involving decisions according to Mizo customary law, ownership and transfer of land and its resources.

Article 371H – Arunachal Pradesh

The governor has special powers on the state's law and order situation and can overrule the chief minister's decision on the basis of this provision.

Article 371I – Goa

The Legislative Assembly of the state of Goa must consist of not less than 30 members.

Article 371J

Article 371J grants special status to six backward districts of Hyderabad-Karnataka region. The special provision requires that a separate development board be established for these regions (similar to Maharashtra and Gujarat) and also ensures local reservation in education and government jobs.

What is the difference between Art.370 and Art.371?

The difference between the erstwhile Art.370 and Art.371 is that the former gave a separate constitution to J&K while the latter only gave special and separate provisions to 11 other states. Both are protective. Art.370 is temporary while Art.371 is not.