National ST Commission to take action on video films of Jaravas on YouTube

In news:

  • The National Commission for Scheduled Tribe (NCST) has taken suo-moto cognizance of objectionable video films and pictures of protected Jarava and other tribal communities of Andaman Islands on YouTube social media platform.
  • The commission has decided to take up the matter with Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Chief Secretary of A&N Island for removal of these objectionable video films from YouTube and initiate action on those who uploaded these video clips on social media platform.

Andaman and Nicobar Island (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation, 1956

  • As per provisions of Andaman and Nicobar Island (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation, 1956 (PAT) the Andamanese, Jarawas, Onges, Sentinelese, Nicobarese and Shom Pens have been identified as “aboriginal tribes”.
  • The PAT contains the provisions of protection of these communities from the outside interference.
  • Penalty provisions for promoting tourism through advertisement relating to aboriginal tribes have also been made in the year 2012.
  • Whoever enters these areas in contravention of the notification under section 7 (which prohibits entry into reserve areas) for taking photographs or making videos shall be punishable with imprisonment up to three years. Section 3 (i) (r) of the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act) also attracted.
  • The total population of tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is about 28077. Out of these five tribal communities have population of below 500.

The National Commission for Scheduled Tribe (NCST)

On the 89th Amendment of the Constitution coming into force on 19 February 2004, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes has been set up under Article 338A on bifurcation of erstwhile National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to oversee the implementation of various safeguards provided to Scheduled Tribes under the Constitution.

Composition:

The Commission comprises a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and three full-time Members (including one lady Member). The term of all the Members of the Commission is three years from the date of assumption of charge.

Functions:

  • To investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Tribes under the Constitution or under any other law for the time being in force or under any order of the Government and to evaluate the working of such safeguards;
  • To inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the Scheduled Tribes;
  • To participate and advise in the planning process of socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any State;
  • To present to the President, annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards;
  • To make in such reports, recommendations as to the measures that should be taken by the Union or any State for effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes, and
  • To discharge such other functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the Scheduled Tribes as the President may, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, by rule specify.
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