Odisha’s Sualgiri and Swalgiri communities in the first week of May 2017 were notified as Scheduled Castes following President Pranab Mukherjee’s assent to a new law. The Rajya Sabha in April 2017 had passed the bill on it after it was cleared by the Lok Sabha in March 2017. President Mukherjee gave the nod to the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Act, 2017, on 28 April 2017. The Scheduled Castes category status will entitle these communities to reservation in government jobs and admission in educational institutions, along with other financial benefits.
As per the modified list for Odisha, the “Sabakhia, Sualgiri, Swalgiri” are notified Scheduled Castes. It modifies the list of Schedule Castes for the state of Odisha. The castes Sualgiri and Swalgiri will be introduced as synonyms to the Sabakhia caste in the list of SCs for the state of Odisha. It modifies name of the Union Territory of Pondicherry to Puducherry by incorporating changes in the Constitution (Pondicherry) Scheduled Castes Order, 1964. Article 341 of the Indian Constitution empowers the President to specify the Scheduled Castes in various states and UTs. Further, it permits Parliament to modify this list.