Sikkim has always been a treasure trove of natural beauty and cultural variety, a little but charming state hidden in the eastern Himalayas. The Indian Constitution gives the least populated state in the country specific rights and protections because of its distinctive physical setting and extensive history. It examines the different laws and programs designed to uphold Sikkim’s unique character, protect its environment, and foster its socioeconomic growth.

(a). The 36th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1975 made Sikkim a full fledged state of the Indian Union. It included a new Article 371-F containing special provisions with respect to Sikkim. These are as follows:

  • The Sikkim Legislative Assembly is to consist of not less than 30 members.
  • One seat is allotted to Sikkim in the Lok Sabha and Sikkim forms one Parliamentary constituency.
  • For the purpose of protecting the rights and interests of the different sections of the Sikkim population, the Parliament is empowered to provide for the:
  • (i) number of seats in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly which may filled by candidates belonging to such sections; and
    (ii) delimitation of the Assembly constituencies from which candida belonging to such sections alone may stand for election to Assembly.
  • The Governor would bear particular responsibility for maintaining order and establishing a fair system to guarantee the social and economic growth of the various segments of the Sikkim populace. The Governor must behave responsibly in carrying out this duty. He will use his judgment under the President’s guidance.
  • The President can extend (with restrictions or modifications) to Sikkim any law which is in force in a state of the Indian Union.

The Special Status of Sikkim

When Sikkim united into the Indian Union in 1975, it gave up its previous position as an Indian protectorate and began the route to become a crucial component of India. The 36th Amendment to the Indian Constitution, which added Sikkim to the list of states, codified this change. Sikkim was given a lot of autonomy in numerous important sectors because to this exceptional provision.

Legislative Rules

Sikkim stands apart from other Indian states thanks to its own legal system. Unlike most other states, which have 60 members in their state legislatures, Sikkim’s has just 32. This clause aims to protect the state’s delicate natural balance by preventing uncontrolled growth and curbing urbanization.

Additionally, Sikkim is granted specific legislative privileges under Article 371(F) of the Indian Constitution, which enables the state to adopt its own legislation protecting indigenous populations’ rights by regulating property ownership and transfer.

Protecting the environment

Sikkim is recognized for both its lush biodiversity and its clean environment. To protect its natural heritage, the state has adopted a number of aggressive measures. In order to save its ecology and advance sustainable agriculture, it banned the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers in 2016 to become the first totally organic state in India.

Additionally, programs like the Sikkim Biodiversity Conservation and Forest Management Project and the Sikkim Climate Change Action Plan seek to mitigate climate change and protect the state’s various ecosystems.

Socio-Economic Growth

Sikkim has advanced significantly in socioeconomic development despite its tiny size and difficult geography. The administration has put into place a number of programs and policies to enhance the state’s infrastructure, healthcare, and educational systems.

Transparency and accountability in government are advanced by laws like the Right to Information Act and the Sikkim Anti-Corruption Commission Act. The state’s emphasis on education has also resulted in a high percentage of literacy and an increase in the number of educational institutions.

Protection for Native American Communities

Lepcha, Bhutia, and Nepalese communities are among the indigenous peoples who call Sikkim home. They have certain protections in place for their cultural and social rights. The Sikkim Himalayan Institute of Tribal Studies was established by the state government to research and record these people’ cultures, customs, and languages.

Tourism and Sustainable Development

Sikkim’s economy benefits greatly from the tourist sector. The state has enacted a sustainable tourism strategy that encourages ethical tourist methods, limiting environmental damage and supplying locals with employment possibilities.

Construction of infrastructure

The difficult geography of Sikkim has made infrastructure development a major concern. Connectivity has increased with the development of Pakyong Airport, India’s 100th operational airport. The state also prioritizes creating extensive road networks and upgrading healthcare facilities, especially in outlying regions.

Sikkim’s distinctive laws and programs have been essential to maintaining its identity, ecology, and socioeconomic advancement. It acts as a role model for sustainable development as the sole carbon-neutral state in all of India. Sikkim continues to shine as a Himalayan jewel by juggling modernisation with cultural preservation and environmental protection, urging others to follow its path towards a peaceful and prosperous future.


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