The Constitution (89th Amendment) Act of 2003 created the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) by amending Article 338 of the Constitution and inserting a new Article 338A.
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was replaced by two independent commissions as a result of this reform.
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)
The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)
The commission analyses and oversees concerns connected to Scheduled Tribes Safeguards (STS) established by the Constitution, other laws, or government decree, in order to assess how well they are working.
It must look into particular complaints about STs' rights and protections.
The commission takes part in and provides advice on the planning process for STS' socioeconomic growth. It also assesses how far they have progressed under the union and any individual state.
It submits a report to the President on the working of safeguards and measures required for effective implementation of programs/schemes relating to the welfare and socio-economic development of STs, once a year and at such other times as the commission deems appropriate. It must perform any other STS-related functions that the President may designate by regulation, subject to the rules of any law passed by Parliament.
The commission would also have the following responsibilities in connection to the Scheduled Tribes' protection, welfare, development, and advancement
The following are some of the functions of the commission:
Measures that need to be made to give Scheduled Tribes living in forest areas ownership rights over minor forest products.
Steps to be done to protect native communities' rights to mineral and water resources and so on, in accordance with the law.
Actions should be made for tribal development and the establishment of viable livelihood options.
Steps to improve the efficacy of assistance and rehabilitation for indigenous groups displaced by development projects.
Measures to be implemented to prevent tribal peoples from being ejected from their lands and to adequately rehabilitate them. (Such individuals, in which situation alienation has already occurred.)
Power Of Civil Court
For the purposes of investigation and enquiry, the commission has been given the powers of a civil court, including the ability to:
summon and compell the attendance of any person, and examine on oath, as well as demand the production of any documents.
discovery and production of any document.
receive evidence on affidavits.
requisition any public record or copy thereof from any court or office.
Issue commissions for the examination of witnesses and documents.
Any other thing that the President may determine by rule, such as appointing commissions to examine witnesses and documents.