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date: 17 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the legal status and consequences of the asymmetrically federal provisions included in the Indian Constitution. In particular, it considers constitutional amendments relating to autonomy arrangements in India’s North-eastern region, along with the ‘special status’ of Jammu and Kashmir. After providing an overview of the significance of asymmetric federalism in India, the article discusses the administration of tribal areas under the Fifth and Sixth Schedules. It also explores provisions aimed at mitigating intra-State inequalities in the States of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Karnataka; the Indian Supreme Court’s rulings on the asymmetric features of the Constitution; and the role of the courts in upholding asymmetrical provisions and protecting the rights of territorially concentrated minorities in the context of democratic politics.

Keywords: asymmetric federalism, autonomy arrangements, constitutional amendments, democratic politics, India, Indian Constitution, Indian Supreme Court, inequalities, minorities, tribal areas

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