First of all, before knowing the provisions provided in the Indian constitution for the schedule castes and tribes, we should know who comes under the ambit of SCs and STs. These are well defined under the article 366 (24) and 341 as under:

Article 366(24) in the Constitution of India 1949

(24) Scheduled Caste means such cases, races or tribes or parts of or groups within such castes, races or tribes as are deemed under Article 341 to be Scheduled Castes for the purposes of this Constitution;

Article 341 in the Constitution of India 1949

341. Scheduled Castes

(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 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 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

Safeguards for SCs and STs:


1. Article 17: it relates to abolition of untouchability being practiced in the society. The Parliament also enacted the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 to tackle the problem of untouchability being practiced against Scheduled Castes.

2. Article 23: this prohibits human trafficking and begar and other similar forms of forced labour and provides that any contravention of this provision shall be a punishable offence. Although this article is not specifically articulated for the SCs and STs but because majority of bonded labour is from SCs so it holds significance for them.

3. Article 25 (2)(b) : it provides that Hindu religious institutions of a public character shall be opened to all classes and sections of Hindu.


Article 46 : it provides ,”The state shall promote with special care the educational and economic interest of the weaker sections of the people, and in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.”


Article 15(4) : it empowers the State to make special provisions for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward class of the citizens and for SCs. This article enabled the State to reserve seats for SCs in educational institutions.
Article 335: Allows relaxation in qualifying marks for admission in educational institutes or promotions for SCs/STs.


1. Article 243D: Reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in every Panchayat.
2. Article 243T: Reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in every Municipality.
3. Article 330: Reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the House of the People.
4. Article 332: Reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assemblies of the States.
5. Article 334: Reservation of seats and the special representation to cease after sixty years.


1. Article 16(4): This clause allows the state to reserve vacancies in public service for any backward classes of the state that are not adequately represented in the public services.
2. Article 16 (4A): This allows the state to implement reservation in the matter of promotion for SCs and STs.
3. Article 16(4B): This allows the state to consider unfilled vacancies reserved for backward classes as a separate class of vacancies not subject to a limit of 50% reservation.


1. Article 164: Appoint special minister for tribal welfare in the states of MP, Bihar, and Orrisa.
2. Article 275: Allows special grant in aids to states for tribal welfare.
3. Article 338/338A/339: Establishes a National Commission of SCs and STs. Article 339 allows the central govt. to direct states to implement and execute plans for the betterment of SC/STs.
4. Article 340: Allows the president to appoint a commission to investigate the condition of socially and economically backward classes and table the report in the parliament.


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