Minority Issues – SC, ST, Dalits, OBC, Reservations, etc.

[pib] Conservation of PVTGs of Andaman & Nicobar Islands


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups of A&N Islands

Mains level: Issue of extinction of PVTGs in A&N Islands


  1. National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has organized a Two days National Seminar on “Conservation of Particularly Vulnerable Tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: The Way Forward”.
  2. This Seminar has been organized in collaboration with Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) to deliberate on critical issues of tribal groups who are at the verge of extinction.
  3. Andaman & Nicobar Islands are home to the most primitive tribal groups: Great Andamanese, Onge, Jarawa, Sentinelese, Nicobarese and Shompens. 

Tribal Structure of A&N Islands 

  1. The total number of tribes on these islands are 28077, out of which 97% are the more developed Nicobarese.
  2. The five particularly venerable tribes are the Sentinelese only 50, in North Sentinel Island; Andamanese: 70 in Strait Islands; Ongese: 120 in the little Andaman Islands;  Shompens: 238 in Great Nicobar Island and Jarawas: 500 in middle and South Andaman Islands.
  3. Historically, these islands lay along the grand trade routes between Europe and East Asia, but they remained isolated and unexplored.
  4. The A&N tribes represent oldest living indigenous communities of the world, with anthropological connections with both the original inhabitants of Africa and of East Asia which reveals in their features.
  5. Many attempts have been made across history by the colonial British rulers to subjugate them and to keep Andamans as a penal colony, but the indomitable spirit of the tribes was not easy to defeat.

Threats to these PVTS

  1. These fragile communities are facing expropriation of their ecosystem by outsiders.
  2. There is an aggressive brush off with non-tribals- traders and tourists and this is impacting their physical, environment and routine life.
  3. The outside influences are impacting their land use patterns, use of the sea, overall biodiversity leading to material and non-material changes in them and to some deleterious consequences.
  4. These clearly need to learn from what happened to the Onges and the Great Andamanese who have been adversely impact by outside influences brought in by tourism and modern development.

Legislations for PVTs Protection 

  1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation 1956 as amended in 2005 and 2012.
  2. Policy on Jarawa Tribes of Andaman and Nicobar, 2004.
  3. Policy on Shompen of Great Nicobar Islands, 2015
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