From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Tribes in news
Mains level : Not Much
The Union Cabinet under the chairmanship of PM has approved the addition of four tribes to the list of Scheduled Tribes (ST), including those from Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh.
Which tribes are we talking about?
- Hatti tribe in the Trans-Giri area of Sirmour district in Himachal Pradesh
- Narikoravan and Kurivikkaran hill tribes of Tamil Nadu and
- Binjhia tribe in Chhattisgarh, which was listed as ST in Jharkhand and Odisha but not in Chhattisgarh
Other tribes in news
- The Cabinet also approved ‘Betta-Kuruba’ as a synonym for the Kadu Kuruba tribe In Karnataka.
Who are the Scheduled Tribes?
- The term ‘Scheduled Tribes’ first appeared in the Constitution of India.
- Article 366 (25) defined scheduled tribes as “such tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342 to be Scheduled Tribes for the purposes of this constitution”.
- Article 342 prescribes procedure to be followed in the matter of specification of scheduled tribes.
- Among the tribal groups, several have adapted to modern life but there are tribal groups who are more vulnerable.
- The Dhebar Commission (1973) created a separate category “Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs)” which was renamed in 2006 as “Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)”.
How are STs notified?
- The first specification of Scheduled Tribes in relation to a particular State/ Union Territory is by a notified order of the President, after consultation with the State governments concerned.
- These orders can be modified subsequently only through an Act of Parliament.
Status of STs in India
- The Census 2011 has revealed that there are said to be 705 ethnic groups notified as Scheduled Tribes (STs).
- Over 10 crore Indians are notified as STs, of which 1.04 crore live in urban areas.
- The STs constitute 8.6% of the population and 11.3% of the rural population.