Current Affairs | Latest Jobs | Goverment Jobs | Sarkari Naukri | Edusquad

Edusquad is an education platform that provides high quality educational videos and study material for various exams like UPSC, PPSC, SSC etc.

What is the special category status?

 Special Category Status (SCS) State


  • The Constitution does not include any provision for categorisation of any State in India as a Special Category Status (SCS) State.
  • The concept of a special category state was first introduced in 1969 when the 5th Finance Commission sought to provide certain disadvantaged states with preferential treatment in the form of central assistance and tax breaks. 
  • Recognising that some regions in the country were historically disadvantaged in contrast to others, Central plan assistance to SCS States has been granted in the past by the erstwhile Planning Commission body, National Development Council (NDC).
What is the criteria for granting special status?
  • The NDC granted this status based on a number of features of the States which included: 
  1. hilly and difficult terrain, 
  2. low population density or the presence of sizeable tribal population, 
  3. strategic location along international borders, 
  4. economic and infrastructural backwardness and 
  5. non-viable nature of State finances.
What kind of assistance does the SCS States receive?
  • The SCS States used to receive block grants based on the Gadgil-Mukherjee formula, which effectively allowed for nearly 30 per cent of the Total Central Assistance to be transferred to SCS States as late as 2009-10.
  • Following the constitution of the NITI Aayog (after the dissolution of the Planning Commission) and the recommendations of the Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC), Central plan assistance to SCS States has been subsumed in an increased devolution of the divisible pool to all States (from 32% in the 13th FC recommendations to 42%) .
  • The Centre pays 90 per cent of the funds required in a centrally-sponsored scheme to special category status category states as against 60 per cent in case of normal category states, while the remaining funds are provided by the state governments.