What is Article 371 of the Indian Constitution - All you need to know

rime Minister Narendra Modi bows before the Constitution of India ahead of starting his address during NDA Parliamentary Board meeting at Central Hall of Parliament, in New Delhi on May 25, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

Article 371 of the Indian Constitution is connected to granting special provisions for some states of the Indian Union. As part of XXI and XXII of the Constitution of India, Article 371 grants some temporary, transition and special provisions to some states in the country. 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. 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.

Article 371 – Provision for Gujarat and Maharashtra

This article provides special powers to the governors of Gujarat and Maharashtra to create independent development boards for Vidarbha, Marathwada and the rest of Maharashtra and Saurashtra, Kutch and the rest of Gujarat. It gives room to provide more facilities for employment opportunities, vocational and technical education in the state.

Article 371-B – Special provisions for Assam

This article empowers the President to include a committee of the elected tribal representatives of the Assam Legislative Assembly for the constitution.

Article 371-C – Special provisions for Manipur

It provides for creating a committee for the constitution and functions of the legislative assembly with the members elected from the hilly regions of the state. The governor will have the responsibility to secure the powers of this committee and the central government can instruct the state government on the administration of the hilly areas.

Article 371-D – Special Provisions for Andhra Pradesh

The President can provide equal opportunities for the local populace in public education and employment. The President can ask the state to create an administrative tribunal to solve all the disputes with regard to appointments and promotions to civil posts in the state. Via Article 371-E, a Central University was established in Andhra Pradesh.

Article 371–G – Provisions for Mizoram

This article says without the consent of the State Legislative Assembly, the Parliament cannot decide on the matters of the religious and social practices of the Mizos, civil and criminal law of the land, land ownership transfer, and customary law procedures.

Article 371-H – Special provisions for Arunachal Pradesh

This article gives special powers to the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, on the directions from the President with regard to the law and order in the state. Though the Governor will consult the Council of Ministers, the governor’s decision will be final. Only when the President directs, the special powers of the Governor can cease.

Article 371-I – Special provision for Goa

As per this article, the State Legislative Assembly of Goa will consist of not less than 30 members.

Article 371-J – Special provisions for Karnataka

This Article gives room for some special provisions to the Hyderabad-Karnataka region. The President gives special responsibilities to the Governor of Karnataka to create a separate board to develop the Hyderabad-Karnataka regions. Every year, a report regarding the working of this board will be presented before the State Legislative Assembly. Equitable funds must be allotted for developing these regions. There will be reservation of seats for the education and vocational training of the students from this region besides reservation in the jobs with the state government for persons hailing from this region.
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