Special Category Status (SCS)

  • IASbaba
  • December 30, 2022
  • 0
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Context: Recently, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh requested the Prime Minister for the grant of Special Category Status (SCS) which, he insisted, was essential to mitigate the impact of bifurcation.

About SCS:

  • This concept was first introduced in 1969 when the 5th Finance Commission sought to provide certain disadvantaged states with preferential treatment.
  • This concept was named after Dr Gadgil Mukherjee (the then Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission) and is related to the transfer of assistance to the states by centre under various schemes.
  • After the dissolution of the planning commission and the formation of NITI Aayog, the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission were implemented which meant the discontinuation of the Gadgil formula-based grants.
  • The 14th FC effectively removed the concept of special category status after its recommendations were accepted in 2015.
  • States with special category status (SCS): Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand.
  • No constitutional provision for the categorization of any state in India as a ‘special category.
    • However, a wide range of provisions are available to as many as 10 states that have been listed under Articles 371, 371-A to 371-H, and 371-J.
  • National Development Council: NDC composed of the prime minister, union ministers, chief ministers and members of the planning commission, who guide and review the work of the commission will grant the SCS to states.
  • Criteria for special category status:
    • Hilly and difficult terrain
    • Low population density or sizeable share of tribal population
    • Strategic location along borders with neighbouring countries
    • Economic and infrastructural backwardness
    • Non-viable nature of state finances

Source:  The Hindu


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