What is the “special status” of states?

The Constitution of the country does not call any state special, but in spite of this, many states enjoy “special status”. Many states often demand that they get this status. But what happens to the states “special status.”

There is no provision to give special status to any state in the constitution. But the status of each state is different on the development level, which led to the recommendation of “Special Category Status” in the year 1969, by the Fifth Finance Commission. Under this, the Central Government gives a large amount as a help to the special status granted to the state. The National Development Council (NDC), the allocation for these states, was made by the Planning Commission.

The first NDC on which the special status was given was, hilly areas, low population density, or the larger share of the population being of the Backward Castes or Tribes, areas of strategic importance like the area adjoining the international border, economic and basic backwardness, financial position of the state e.t.c. But now the Planning Commission has replaced the Planning Commission. And the Commission has no right to allocate financial resources.

According to the Central Government, the 14th Finance Commission effectively removed the concept of “special status” given to the states in its recommendations. On the issue of Andhra Pradesh, the central government said that the Center can give financial help by treating the state as a state in the special category. But the government will not give Andhra Pradesh a status of “special state”.

Prior to the policy commission, the Planning Commission allocated central assistance to the special status of the state. This help can be divided into three categories. This includes simple central assistance (Normal Central Assistance or NCA), additional central assistance (Additional Central Assistance or ACA) and special central assistance (Special Central Assistance or SCA).

The Center carries 90 percent of central policies in the special status state and 10 percent of the state. At the same time, the central government raises 60 percent of the expenditure in other states and the remaining 40 percent is paid by the state government.

NDC first gave this status to Jammu Kashmir, Assam and Nagaland in the year 1969. But for a few years, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura joined the list for a few years. Uttarakhand, who received “special status” in the year 2010, became the last state. Altogether 11 states have this status today.

Many states have been raising the demand for getting “special status”. The voices of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Bihar are the most vocal in this. But till now these states have not been given this status.

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