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Article 244 (A) of the Constitution

  May 15, 2023

Article 244 (A) of the Constitution

Q What is Article 244(A)?

  • Article 244(A) allows for the creation of an ‘autonomous state’ within Assam in certain tribal areas.
  • Inserted into the Constitution in 1969 by the then government, it also has a provision for a Legislature and a Council of Ministers.


Q. How is it different from the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution? 

  • The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution — Articles 244(2) and 275(1) — is a special provision that allows for greater political autonomy and decentralized governance.
  • It is applicable to certain tribal areas of the Northeast through autonomous councils that are administered by elected representatives.
  • Article 244(A) accounts for more autonomous powers to tribal areas.
  • In Autonomous Councils under the Sixth Schedule, they do not have jurisdiction of law and order.


Q How did the demand arise?

  • In the 1950s, a demand for a separate hill state arose around certain sections of the tribal population of undivided Assam.
  • In 1960, various political parties of the hill areas merged to form the All Party Hill Leaders Conference, demanding a separate state.
  • After prolonged agitations, Meghalaya gained statehood in 1972.
  • The leaders of the Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills were also part of this movement. They were given the option to stay in Assam or join Meghalaya.
  • They stayed back as the then government promised more powers, including Article 244 (A). Since then, there has been a demand for its implementation.
  • In the 1980s, this demand took the form of a movement with a number of Karbi groups resorting to violence. It soon became an armed separatist insurgency demanding full statehood.