(1) The President 2 [may with respect to any State 3 [or Union territory], and where it is a State, after consultation with the Governor thereof, by public notification, specify the castes, races or tribes or parts of or groups within castes, races or tribes which shall for the purposes of this Constitution be deemed to be Scheduled Castes in relation to that State 2[or Union territory, as the case may be.
(2) Parliament may by law include in or exclude from the list of Scheduled Castes specified in a notification issued under clause (1) any caste, race or tribe or part of or group within any caste, race or tribe, but save as aforesaid a notification issued under the said clause shall not be varied by any subsequent notification.
Draft Article 300A (Article 341 of Constitution of India 1950) was absent in the Draft Constitution 1948. The Drafting Committee Chairman introduced this provision on 17 September 1949. The Draft Article empowered the President to specify castes, races or tribes that will be classified as ‘Scheduled Castes’ under the Constitution. The President is allowed to use this power after consultating the Governor of a State by way of public notification. The Draft Article also gave Parliament the power to include or exclude any caste, race or tribe from the President’s notification.
The Drafting Committee Chairman introduced this Draft Article to ensure that the Constitution was not burdened with long lists of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
One Member moved an amendment stating that the President’s first notification - listing out ‘Scheduled Caste’ communities - should remain unchanged for a period of 10 years. This would protect the communities’ rights from being taken away arbitrarily by the executive or legislature.
Draft Article 300A was added to the Constitution without any amendments on the same day.
Article 341 was amended to include Union Territories under its ambit in 1956.