(1) The President may with respect to any State or Union territory, and where it is a State, after consultation with the Governor thereof, by public notification, specify the tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within tribes or tribal communities which shall for the purposes of this Constitution be deemed to be Scheduled Tribes in relation to that State or Union territory, as the case may be.
(2) Parliament may by law include in or exclude from the list of Scheduled Tribes specified in a notification issued under clause (1) any tribe or tribal community or part of or group within any tribe or tribal community, but save as aforesaid a notification issued under the said clause shall not be varied by any subsequent notification.
Draft Article 300B (Article 342 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 tribes or tribal communities that will be classified as ‘Scheduled Tribes’ under the Constitution. The President was allowed to use this power after consulting the Governor of a State by way of public notification. The Draft Article also gave Parliament the power to include or exclude any tribe or tribal community from the President’s notification, by way of law.
Similar to the earlier Article, the Drafting Committee Chairman moved this 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 that specifies communities as ‘Scheduled Tribes’ should remain the same for a period of 10 years. This would ensure that the rights of the community are not arbitrarily taken away by the executive or legislature.
Another Member passed an amendment to ensure that the State Legislature, on approval of the Parliament, could include or exclude tribes from the list as well.
Both the amendments were rejected by the Assembly and the Draft Article was added to the Constitution after a few minor changes, on the same day.
This Article was amended in 1956 to alter the process of notification issued by the President.