Governance Gaps in the Sixth Schedule Mechanisms in Meghalaya

Published date01 December 2020
Date01 December 2020
Subject MatterArticles
Governance Gaps
in the Sixth Schedule
Mechanisms in
Kavita N. Soreide1
The legal-political discourse at the time of drafting of independent India’s
Constitution resulted in a unique constitutional arrangement guaranteeing a
model of self-government through setting up Autonomous District Councils
(ADCs) for some of India’s designated tribal communities. This constitutional
modality governing the tribal majority regions in India’s North-east is known as
the Sixth Schedule. Given the pre-existing tribal institutions, it was implied that
ADCs were to act as ‘bridges of governance’ between the state and traditional
polity. This article tries to look at the nature of governance and gaps in govern-
ance through the lens of ADCs.
Sixth Schedule, governance gaps, Autonomous District Council, Khasi Hills
Governance is concerned with how societies, governments and organisations are
managed and led. Though it is difficult to provide an all-embracing definition, it
may be said that governance is about the ‘rules of collective decision-making’ in
settings where no formal system fully dictates the terms of relationships between
actors and organisations. Thus governance has at least two indispensable compo-
nents: ‘a plurality of actors’ and that actors are engaged with one another through
series of ‘interconnected governance networks’ (Edwards et al., 2012, p. 13)
Certain tribe1 communities in North-east India are under the jurisdiction
of unique local governance institutions.2 The Sixth Schedule of the Indian
Indian Journal of Public
66(4) 466–480, 2020
© 2021 IIPA
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/0019556120982195
1 NMML, New Delhi, India.
Corresponding author:
Kavita N. Soreide, Former Fellow, NMML, New Delhi 110011, India; Centre for Law and Social
Transformation, Bergen, Norway.

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