New panel to discuss cultural safeguards for Assam on July 24

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  1. The Home ministry has constituted a high-level panel to suggest ways to implement Clause 6 of the 1985 Assam Accord.The panel is headed by former Gauhati high court judge Justice Biplab Kumar Sarma.
  2. The ministry had to reconstitute the panel after four of the nine members named on the earlier panel had refused to be a part of it.
  3. Assam Accord is a Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed between representatives of the Government of India and the leaders of the Assam Movement – a movement against illegal immigrants in Assam. It was signed in 1985.
  4. Clause 6 of the Assam Accord envisages that appropriate constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards should be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the people of Assam.
  5. The panel will examine the effectiveness of actions taken since 1985 to implement the clause and to assess the appropriate level of reservation of seats in Assam’s legislative assembly and local bodies for the indigenous people.