Tribal Development

Jun, 13, 2019

Abujh Maria PVTGs


News

  • The Chhattisgarh government is processing habitat rights for Abujh Marias, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG).

Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)

  • Tribal communities are often identified by some specific signs such as primitive traits, distinctive culture, geographical isolation, shyness to contact with the community at large and backwardness.
  • Along with these, some tribal groups have some specific features such as dependency on hunting, gathering for food, having pre-agriculture level of technology, zero or negative growth of population and extremely low level of literacy.
  • These groups are called Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups.

Characteristics of PVTGs

  • In 1973, the Dhebar Commission created Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs) as a separate category, who are less developed among the tribal groups.
  • In 2006, the GoI renamed the PTGs as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
  • PVTGs have some basic characteristics -they are mostly homogenous, with a small population, relatively physically isolated, social institutes cast in a simple mould, absence of written language, relatively simple technology and a slower rate of change etc.

PVTGs in India

  • In this context, in 1975, the GoI initiated to identify the most vulnerable tribal groups as a separate category called PVTGs and declared 52 such groups.
  • In 1993 an additional 23 groups were added to the category, making it a total of 75 PVTGs out of 705 STs, spread over 17 states and 1 UT in the country (2011 census).

Identifying PVTGs

  • PVTGs are more vulnerable among the tribal groups.
  • Due to this factor, more developed and assertive tribal groups take a major chunk of the tribal development funds, because of which PVTGs need more funds directed for their development.
  • Government of India designed a procedure to identify PVTGs.
  • According to the procedure, the state governments or UT governments submit proposals to the Central Ministry of Tribal Welfare for identification of PVTGs.
  • After ensuring the criteria is fulfilled, the Central Ministry selects those groups as PVTGs.

For additional information, navigate to the page:

PVTGs

http://vikaspedia.in/social-welfare/scheduled-tribes-welfare/primitive-vulnerable-tribal-groups

Apr, 18, 2019

Proposed amendment to Indian Forest Act would deepen injustice

News

  • Recently the Supreme Court, hearing a petition filed by wildlife conservationists and former forest department officials, directed state governments to evict “encroachers” or the “illegal” forest dwellers.
  • India’s forest dwellers were left undefended as the threat of an eviction from their habitation hovered over them.

Indian Forest Act, 1927 (IFA)

  1. The Indian Forest Act, 1927 was largely based on the British made Indian Forest Act of 1878.
  2. Both the 1878 act and the 1927 one sought to consolidate and reserve the areas having forest cover, or significant wildlife, to regulate movement and transit of forest produce, and duty leviable on timber and other forest produce.
  3. It also defines the procedure to be followed for declaring an area to be a Reserved Forest, a Protected Forest or a Village Forest.
  4. It defines what is a forest offence, what are the acts prohibited inside a Reserved Forest, and penalties leviable on violation of the provisions of the Act.
  5. Reserved Forest is an area mass of land duly notified under the provisions of India Forest Act or the State Forest Acts having full degree of protection. In Reserved Forests, all activities are prohibited unless permitted.

Ambiguity over Encroacher

  • As per the new draft, forest officials have been given the absolute authority to shoot tribals for “violation of laws”.
  • If a forest guard kills an “offender”, the move will invite no prosecution by the state governments without first initiating an inquiry into the matter under an executive magistrate.
  • Under the new amendment, forest departments can also declare any forest as reserved and alienate the forest-dwelling communities from their ancestral lands.
  • This will have a terrible effect on the tribal population, who are struggling to make both ends meet.

Democratic governance of Forests in India

  • During the 1980s and 1990s, at least the Centre showed some kind of sympathy for the tribals, as a result of which important legislations like FRA and the Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, or PESA, were enacted.
  • In India, forest governance has turned significantly democratic in the past few years.
  • Back in 1976, the National Commission on Agriculture recommended that the tribals should be chased out. On the basis of that, the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 came into being.
  • However, through the National Forest Policy of 1988, the Centre recognised the symbiotic relationship between tribals and forests for the first time.
  • This was then consolidated with the passage of the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006, when the Centre agreed that historical injustice had been committed and tried to undo the wrong.
  • But with the proposed amendment, the injustice will be deeper.
Mar, 04, 2019

Explained: Forest Rights Act

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of the vulnerable sections

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Various Forest Rights Acts and their provisions

Mains level: Repercussions of eviction of forest dwellers from their rights


News

Background

  • The Supreme Court put on hold its recent order asking states to evict forest-dwellers whose claims on land had been rejected under the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006.
  • The court’s decision to review its earlier verdict which would have displaced more than a million people from their homes in the forests, is a welcome move.
  • The SC acknowledged the need to ask whether due processes were followed by gram sabhas and state authorities before the claims for forest rights were rejected.

Colonial Legacy of the issue

  • In the colonial era, the British diverted abundant forest wealth of the nation to meet their economic needs.
  • While procedure for settlement of rights was provided under statutes such as the Indian Forest Act, 1927, these were hardly followed.
  • As a result, tribal and forest-dwelling communities, who had been living within the forests in harmony with the environment and the ecosystem, continued to live inside the forests in tenurial insecurity.

The Forest Rights Act

  • The symbiotic relationship between forests and forest-dwelling communities found recognition in the National Forest Policy, 1988.
  • The policy called for the need to associate tribal people in the protection, regeneration and development of forests.
  • The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, was enacted to protect the marginalised socio-economic class of citizens and balance the right to environment with their right to life and livelihood.

Provisions of the 2006 Act

  • The Act recognizes that tribal and other traditional forest-dwelling communities would be hard put to provide documentary evidence for their claims.
  • Rule 13 of the Act, therefore, stipulates that the gram sabhas should consider more than one evidence in determining forest rights.
  • The rule sanctions a wide range of evidence, including “statements by village elders”, “community rights” and “physical attributes such as houses, huts and permanent improvements made to land such as levelling, bunds and check dams”.

Core of the problem

  • The recent order is based on affidavits filed by the States, which does not make clear whether the due process of law was observed before the claims were rejected.
  • The Centre argues that the rejection of claims is particularly high in the States hit by Left-Wing Extremism, where tribal population is high.
  • The forest land claims of these tribes and forest-dwellers are mostly rejected by the States.
  • Being poor and illiterate, living in remote areas, they do not know the appropriate procedure for filing claims.
  • The gram sabhas, which initiate the verification of their claims, are low on awareness of how to deal with them.
  • The rejection orders were not even communicated to these communities.
Feb, 23, 2019

[op-ed snap] Without land or recourse

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of the vulnerable sections

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Various Forest Rights Acts and their provisions

Mains level: Supreme Court Order on  Eviction of forest dwellers and it’s constitutional validity


NEWS

CONTEXT

Supreme court has ordered the eviction of lakhs of people whose claims as forest dwellers have been rejected under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, or FRA.

Ramifications of such decision

  • That this order negates the claims of citizens under special protection of the Constitution, viz. the Scheduled Tribes and other vulnerable communities already pushed by gross governmental neglect precariously to the edge, is another matter altogether.
  • The question centres on the responsibility of the Supreme Court in upholding constitutional claims and equal citizenship.

The background

  • The order in question was issued in the case of Wildlife First & Ors v. Ministry of Forest and Environment & Ors.
  • The question before the court as stated in the order of 2016 when the matter was last heard related to “the constitutional validity of the [FRA] and also the questions pertaining to the preservation of forests in the context of the above-mentioned Act.”
  • The details regarding claims made under the FRA that were placed before the court by the petitioner in 2016 showed that of the 44 lakh claims filed before appropriate authorities in the different States, 20.5 lakh claims (46.5%) were rejected.
  • Obviously, a claim in the context of the above-mentioned Act is based on an assertion that a claimant has been in possession of a certain parcel of land located in the forest areas.”
  • A claim is made either for individual or community rights by the people/communities covered by the FRA. This is a plain reading of the Act, which is unambiguous on this score.

New Order

  • In the present order of February 2019, the Supreme Court specifically directs governments in 21 States by name to carry out evictions of rejected claimants without further delay and report on or before July 12.

Reasons Behind rejecting claims

  • According to the 2014 report of the High-Level Committee on Socio-Economic, Health and Educational Status of Tribal Communities in India, constituted by the Government of India (Xaxa Committee), 60% of the forest area in the country is in tribal areas — protected by Article 19(5) and Schedules V and VI of the Constitution.
  • Xaxa Committee observed that “claims are being rejected without assigning reasons, or based on wrong interpretation of the ‘OTFD’ definition and the ‘dependence’ clause
    • Xaxa Committee observed that “claims are being rejected without assigning reasons, or based on wrong interpretation of the ‘OTFD’ definition and the ‘dependence’ clause,
    • because the land is wrongly considered as ‘not forest land’
    • only forest offence receipts are considered as adequate evidence.
    • The rejections are not being communicated to the claimants, and their right to appeal is not being explained to them nor its exercise facilitated.

Against The constitutional safeguards

  • The presence of Article 19(5)  in the Fundamental Rights, which specifically enjoins the state to make laws “for the protection of the interests of any Scheduled Tribe”, is vital.
  • Supreme Court ordered the eviction in complete disregard of this core and express fundamental right protection to Adivasis (as distinct from legal/statutory protection), which protects them from a range of state and non-state intrusions in Scheduled Areas as well as from the perennial threat of eviction from their homelands.

Conclusion

Supreme Court ordered the eviction in complete disregard of this core and express fundamental right protection to Adivasis (as distinct from legal/statutory protection), which protects them from a range of state and non-state intrusions in Scheduled Areas as well as from the perennial threat of eviction from their homelands

 

Feb, 23, 2019

SC eviction order likely to impact 1.89 mn forest families

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of the vulnerable sections.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level:  Forest Rights Act (FRA)

Mains level: Issue over forest dwelling rights


News

SC orders Expulsion

  • The Supreme Court has ordered time-bound expulsion of all those families whose claims under the Forest Rights Act had been rejected by the authorities.
  • The country-wide data on 1.89 million households comes from the November 2018 report compiled by the Union tribal affairs ministry.
  • This is the total number of claims to forest lands that have been rejected under the Forest Rights Act across all 35 states and union territories.

Problems of OTFDs

  1. One of the major limitations of the FRA is the differentiated eligibility of ST and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFDs) claimants.
  2. This is compounded by the ambiguity in the wording of the Act that has disadvantaged the latter severely.
  3. OTFDs are required to prove continuous residence or dependence in the areas being claimed for three generations (75 years).
  4. This dates back to a period when most of these areas were under princely states or zamindars, with no survey or land demarcation, and no government records.
  5. Thus, these equally deserving communities are unable to produce documentary evidence to support their claims.

Explained: Forest Rights Act (FRA)

  1. The legislation was passed in December 2006 by the UPA govt.
  2. It concerns the rights of forest-dwelling communities to land and other resources, denied to them over decades as a result of the continuance of colonial forest laws in India.
  3. The Act grants legal recognition to the rights of traditional forest dwelling communities, partially correcting the injustice caused by the colonial forest laws.
  4. Eligibility to get rights under the Act is confined to those who “primarily reside in forests” and who depend on forests and forest land for a livelihood.
  5. Further, either the claimant must be a member of the Scheduled Tribes scheduled in that area or must have been residing in the forest for 75 years.

Various rights entitled

  1. Title Rights – Ownership to land that is cultivated by tribals or forest dwellers subject to a maximum of 4 hectares; ownership is only for land that is actually being cultivated by the concerned family, meaning that no new lands are granted.
  2. Use Rights – To minor forest produce (also including ownership), to grazing areas, to pastoralist routes, etc.
  3. Relief and Development Rights – To rehabilitation in case of illegal eviction or forced displacement; and to basic amenities, subject to restrictions for forest protection.
  4. Forest Management Rights – To protect forests and wildlife.

Agencies Involved

  1. The Act provides that the gram sabha, or village assembly, will initially pass a resolution recommending whose rights to which resources should be recognised.
  2. This resolution is then screened and approved at the level of the sub-division (or taluka) and subsequently at the district level.
  3. The screening committees consist of three government officials (Forest, Revenue and Tribal Welfare departments) and three elected members of the local body at that level. These committees also hear appeals.
Feb, 21, 2019

[pib] Development and Welfare Board for De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of the vulnerable sections.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Idate and Renke Commission Recommendations, NCDNT

Mains level: Welfare measures for the stigmatized de-notified and nomadic tribes


News

  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for constitution of Development and Welfare Board for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Communities (DNCs).

Background

  1. These communities once branded as criminals under the colonial Criminal Tribes Act of 1871, the communities were ‘denotified’ in 1952.
  2. They continue to face stigma till this day.
  3. To this end, the condition of the denotified, nomadic and semi-nomadic communities merits special attention.
  4. The communities which have not been categorised as SC/ST/OBC do not get access to any welfare schemes.
  5. The earlier commissions — Renke and Idate — had tried to identify and list these communities but their major recommendations have not been implemented till date.

Welfare Board for DNTs

  1. The Government has decided to set up a Development and Welfare Board under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 under the aegis of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  2. While most DNTs are spread across the SC, ST and OBC categories, some DNTs are not covered in any of these.
  3. These communities are hard to reach, less visible, and therefore frequently left out.
  4. It has, therefore, approved the setting up of a Committee under the Chairpersonship of Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog.
  5. It will complete the process of identification of the Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities (DNCs) that have not yet been formally classified.

Back2Basics

National Commission for DNTs

  1. The Government in July 2014 had constituted National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNT) for a period of three years to prepare a State-wise list of castes belonging to DNTs.
  2. The Commission recommended for the setting of up a Permanent Commission for these communities.
  3. Since most of the DNTs are covered in SC, ST or OBC, constitution of a Permanent Commission will not be very effective in implementing development programmes.
  4. Rather it will look at grievance redressal and will therefore be in conflict with mandate of existing commissions for SCs, STs and OBCs.
Feb, 14, 2019

Centre to revamp minimum support for minor forest produce

Note4students

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: MFPs and other forest products

Mains level: Issues related to forest rights


News

  • The Centre will frame new guidelines and extend the coverage of Minimum Support Price (MSP) for minor forest produce (MFP) scheme, which is aimed at benefiting a majority of 10 crore tribals.
  • The government is also considering increasing the MSP for various MFPs by around 40 per cent.

MSP for MFP scheme

  1. The MSP for MFP scheme was started in 2013 to ensure fair and remunerative prices to MFP gatherers.
  2. The new system would be decentralized with district collectors holding the responsibility of implementing the scheme.
  3. Moreover, self-help groups will be formed to sell MFP in village haats and value addition centres will be set up.
  4. The area of operation would be expanded to 307 districts across 27 states.

Why such scheme?

  1. Tribals depend on MFP for food, fodder, shelter, medicines and cash income.
  2. It provides them critical subsistence during lean seasons, particularly for primitive tribal groups such as hunter, gatherers, and the landless.
  3. In fact, according to Planning Commission data, tribals derive 20-40 per cent of their annual income from MFP.

Need for proper implementation

  1. While it has been more than five years since the scheme was launched, it has not been implemented properly.
  2. Despite the MFP rights being given to tribal communities under the Forest Rights Act, many states have nationalized MFPs like tendu, monopolising their trade, which is against the law.
  3. The allocations made under the scheme have over the years been heavily under-utilized, so much that around 90 per cent of the funds since the inception of the plan have remained unspent.

Back2Basics

Forest Produce

  1. The essential condition to be qualified as a forest produce is that the products should be either found in or be brought from forest.
  2. Section 2(4) of the Indian Forest Act 1927 defines only “forest-produce” and this term connotes to those products whether found in, or brought from a forest such as
  • timber, charcoal, caoutchouc, catechu, wood-oil, resin, natural varnish, bark, lac, mahua flowers, mahua seeds, kuth and myrabolams,
  • trees and leaves, flowers and fruits, and all other parts or produce of trees,
  • plants not being trees (including grass, creepers, reeds and moss), and all parts or produce of such plants,
  • wild animals and skins, tusks, horns, bones, silk, cocoons, honey and wax, and all other parts or produce of animals, and
  • peat, surface soil, rock and minerals (including lime-stone, laterite, mineral oils), and all products of mines or quarries;

Minor Forest Produce

  • Minor Forest Produce (MFP) is a subset of forest produce and got a definition only in 2007 when the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, was enacted.
  • Section 2(i) of the said Act defines a Minor Forest Produce (MFP) as all non-timber forest produce of plant origin and includes bamboo, brushwood, stumps, canes, Tusser, cocoon, honey, waxes, Lac, tendu/kendu leaves, medicinal plants and herbs, roots, tuber and the like.
  • ***Thus, the definition of “minor forest produce” included bamboo and cane, thereby changing the categorization of bamboo and cane as “trees” under the Indian Forest Act 1927.
  • ***Now, Bamboo is taxonomically a grass now ceases to be a tree as per the ordinance promulgated by the President in 2017.
Feb, 12, 2019

[pib] Constitutional and Legislative Measures to Protect and Safeguard Land Rights of STs

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of the vulnerable sections

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Various Acts and their provisions

Mains level: Issue of Tribal Rights and various safeguards


News

  • The Scheduled Tribes (STs) have been the most marginalized, isolated and deprived population.
  • To protect and safeguarding the land rights and other rights of Scheduled Tribes, following constitutional and legislative measure have been put in place:

I. Forest Rights

  • The Recognition of Forest Rights Act, 2006 to recognize and vest the forest rights and occupation in forest land to forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes.

II. Fair Compensation

  • Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 safeguards against displacement of Scheduled Tribes.
  • Special provisions have been made for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes under Sections 41 and 42 of the Act, which protect their interests.
  • The RFCTLARR Act, 2013 also lays down procedure and manner of rehabilitation and resettlement.

III. PESA Act

  • The Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 , provides that the Gram Sabha or the Panchayats at the appropriate level shall be consulted before making the acquisition of land in the Scheduled Areas.
  • The actual planning and implementation of the projects in the Scheduled Areas shall be coordinated at the State Level.

IV. Fifth Schedule

  • Constitutional provisions under Schedule – V provide for safeguards against displacement of tribal population because of land acquisitions etc.
  • The Governor of the State, having scheduled Areas, is empowered to prohibit or restrict transfer of land from tribals and regulate the allotment of land to members of the Scheduled Tribes in such cases.
  • Land being a State subject, various provisions of rehabilitation and resettlement as per the RFCTLARR Act, 2013 are implemented by the concerned State Governments.

V. Legal Services

  • The Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 provides for legal services to members of Scheduled Tribes.

VI. Prevention of Atrocities Act

  • The SCs and the STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989” has been introduced to prevent the commission of offences of atrocities.
  • It aims to provide for the trial of such offences and for the relief of rehabilitation of the victims of such offences and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • Wrongfully dispossessing members of SCs and STs from their land or premises or interfering with the enjoyment of their rights, including forest rights, over any land or premises or water or irrigation facilities or destroying the crops or taking away the produce there from amount to atrocities and are offence.
Feb, 08, 2019

Explained: The Dard Aryans of Ladakh: who are this tribe, what are their concerns?

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of the vulnerable sections

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Dard Aryan Tribe

Mains level: Issue of extinction of PVTGs in India


Context

  1. ‘Dard Aryan’ is not among the list of notified Schedule Tribes, clarified the Tribal Affairs Ministry.
  2. The Ministry has not formally received any charter of demands from the concerned State Government for seeking financial help for preservation of their cultural heritage.

Who are the Dard Aryans?

  1. Some 200 km from Leh are the villages of Dha, Hanu, Garkone and Darchik on both sides of the Indus River, inhabited by the Buddhist Dard Tribes.
  2. The villages are together called the “Aryan valley”.
  3. The community now numbers about 4,000.
  4. The word ‘Dard’ is derived from a Sanskrit word, ‘Daradas’, which means people who live on hillsides.
  5. People of this region are culturally and linguistically different from those in other parts of Ladakh.
  6. There is a line of thought that the “Aryans of Ladakh” or the “Brokpas” might have descended from soldiers in Alexander’s army who had come to the region over 2,000 years ago.

Tradition and Customs

  1. They rear goat and sheep for milk and meat, and their festivals are based on the solar calendar.
  2. Their traditions go back 5,000 years; those who still follow the original customs worship trees, rivers and mountains.
  3. These tribals are mainly dependent on agriculture; the apricots grown here are considered among the best in the world and there are 12 varieties of grapes in the region.
  4. Grape-wine is very popular in the “Aryan valley”.

What Concerns these Dard Aryans?

I. Urbanization

  1. The tribals perceive a threat to the heritage of the community owing to modernization, migration and religious conversion.
  2. Of late, the Dard men have been migrating to other parts of the region (in search of livelihood) and marrying outside the tribe.
  3. The tribe is struggling to find a balance between modernity and traditional values.

II. Losing Identity

  1. Over the last few decades, many of them have embraced Islam or Buddhism.
  2. The community prohibits marriage with outsiders to keep the gene pool intact.

III. Geographic limitations

  1. Also, after the Kargil War, development work in this region has been restricted.
  2. Some of the areas of the Aryan valley are out of bounds for outsiders, since it borders Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

IV. Lack of Education

  1. There are only three high schools in their villages and very limited resources for livelihood — mainly because of the harsh weather and difficult terrain.
  2. As such, they have no option but to migrate to cities for higher education and employment.

Addressing their Concerns

  1. They have demanded that the government set up a tribal hostel and declare the “Aryan valley” a heritage village to boost tourism.
  2. But the only way to sustain them is by giving them special status and helping make them self-sufficient so that they don’t have to migrate.
Feb, 02, 2019

New panel for welfare of nomadic communities

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Idate and Renke Commission Recommendations

Mains level: Welfare measures for the stigmatized de-notified and nomadic tribes


News

Panel for Nomadic Tribes

  1. A committee will be set up under NITI Aayog to complete the task of identifying de-notified, nomadic and semi-nomadic communities, especially as they move from place to place in search of a livelihood.
  2. These communities are hard to reach, less visible, and therefore, frequently left out.
  3. The committee will follow up on the work of the Renke Commission and the Idate Commission.
  4. A Welfare Development Board will also be set up under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to design and implement programmes for these hard-to-reach communities.

Why such move?

  1. These communities once branded as criminals under the colonial Criminal Tribes Act of 1871, the communities were ‘denotified’ in 1952.
  2. They continue to face stigma till this day.
  3. To this end, the condition of the denotified, nomadic and semi-nomadic communities merits special attention.
  4. The communities which have not been categorised as SC/ST/OBC do not get access to any welfare schemes.
  5. The earlier commissions — Renke and Idate — had tried to identify and list these communities.
  6. The major recommendations of the commissions have not been implemented till date.
Jan, 18, 2019

[op-ed snap] Why isolation of indigenous groups is crucial today

Note4students

Mains Paper 1: Indian Society | Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Basics knowledge of indigenous groups.

Mains level: The news-card analyses the need for the isolation of the indigenous groups, in a brief manner.


Context

  • The remote, coral-fringed North Sentinel Island made headlines last year, after an American Christian missionary’s covert expedition to convert its residents—the world’s last known pre-Neolithic tribal group—ended in his death.
  • The episode has cast a spotlight on the threats faced by the world’s remote indigenous groups.

Sentinelese tribe: most isolated tribe

  • The Sentinelese people targeted by the slain evangelist John Allen Chau are probably the most isolated of the world’s remaining remote tribes.
  • These people are keen to stay that way.
  • They shoot arrows to warn off anyone who approaches their island, and attack those, like Chau, who ignore their warnings.
  • However, this has not always been like this. When Europeans first made contact with the Sentinelese, the British naval commander Maurice Vidal Portman described them in 1899 as “painfully timid.
  • Tribes like the Sentinelese have learned to associate outsiders with the ghastly violence and deadly diseases brought by European colonization.

Effect of British colonialism on indigenous tribes

  • British colonial excesses whittled down the aboriginal population of the Andaman Islands, which includes North Sentinel Island, from more than two dozen tribes 150 years ago to just four today.
  • The tribes that escaped genocide at the hands of the colonizers did so largely by fleeing to the most inaccessible parts of jungles.

No Contact policy

  • After the decimation of indigenous peoples under colonial rule, the countries where isolated tribes remain—including Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, India, and Peru—have pursued a “no contact” policy.
  • This policy is anchored in laws that protect indigenous people’s rights to ancestral lands and to live in seclusion, and reinforced by an international convention obligating governments to protect these communities’ lands, identities, penal customs, and ways of life.

Is there a need to reverse the no contact policy?

  • It is illegal for outsiders to enter India’s tribal reserves.
  • But the threat to the Sentinelese people and to all isolated tribes is far from neutralized, as some have taken Chau’s death as an opportunity to argue that we should reverse the policies protecting isolated tribes.
  • The reasons for some could be of good intentions such as to provide access to modern technology, education, and health care but for others it is not.
  • For example, Brazil’s new far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has threatened to repeal constitutional safeguards for aboriginal lands in order to expand developers’ access to the Amazon rainforest.

Why the need for isolation?

  • The first waves of European colonization caused a calamitous depopulation of indigenous societies through violence and the introduction of infectious diseases, like smallpox and measles, to which the natives had no immunity.
  • In Brazil, three-quarters of the indigenous societies that opened up to the outside world have become extinct, with the rest suffering catastrophic population declines.
  • Over the last five centuries, Brazil’s total indigenous population has plummeted from up to 5 million to fewer than 900,000 people, with the introduction of constitutional protections for indigenous territories in the late 1980s aimed at arresting the decline.
  • In the Andaman chain, of the four tribes that survive, the two that were forcibly assimilated by the British have become dependent on government aid and are close to vanishing.
  • Indigenous communities’ combined share of the world population is now at just 4.5%.

Will the isolation help increase their population?

  • Leaving secluded tribes alone is no guarantee that they will survive.
  • These highly inbred groups are already seeing their numbers dwindle, and face the spectre of dying out completely.
  • But they will probably die faster if we suddenly contact them.

Consequences of Extinction of these isolated tribes

  • These tribes might be isolated, but their demise will have serious consequences.
  • With their reverence for and understanding of nature, such groups serve as the world’s environmental sentinels, safeguarding 80% of global diversity and playing a critical role in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • When the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami struck, more than a quarter-million people died across 14 countries, but the two isolated Andaman tribes, which rely on traditional warning systems, suffered no known casualties.
  • However, the indigenous societies have been pitted against loggers, miners, crop planters and other interlopers.
  • In the last 12 years alone, according to satellite data, Brazil’s Amazon Basin has lost forest cover equivalent in size to the entire Democratic Republic of Congo.

Conclusion

  • Indigenous people are an essential element of cultural diversity and ecological harmony.
  • They are also a biological treasure for scientists seeking to reconstruct evolutionary and migratory histories.
  • The least the world can do is to let them live in peace in the ancestral lands that they have honoured and preserved for centuries.
Jan, 04, 2019

[pib] Cabinet approves revision in list of Scheduled Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Tribes mentioned in the newscard

Mains level: Not Much


News

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the introduction of an amendment bill namely in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950 so as to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) of Arunachal Pradesh.

Changes will be made in list of STs of Arunachal Pradesh

  • Deletion of ‘Abor’ in serial No. 1, as it is the same as ‘Adi’ in Serial No. 16.
  • Replace Tai Khamti’ instead of ‘Khampti’ at serial No. 6.
  • Inclusion of ‘Mishmi-Kaman’ (Miju Mishmi), Idu (Mishmi) and Taraon (Digaru Mishmi) in serial No. 8.
  • Inclusion of Monpa, Memba, Sartang, Sajolong (Miji) in serial No. 9 in lieu of ‘Momba’.
  • Inclusion of ‘Nocte’, “Tangsa’, Tutsa’, ‘Wancho’ in lieu of ‘Any Naga Tribes’ in serial No. 10 in list of Scheduled Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh.

Rationale behind the proposed Amendments

  • Deletion of Abor – Removal of duplication
  • Replace Khampti – There is no tribe called ‘Khampti’
  • Inclusion of Mishmi-Kaman, Idu and Taraon – Existing entry is only of ‘Mishmi’.  There is reportedly no such community.
  • Inclusion of Monpa, Memba, Sartang, Wancho – Existing entry is of ‘Any Naga Tribes’.  These are reportedly the only Naga tribes in the State.
  • Inclusion of Nocte, Tangsa, Tutsa, Wancho – Existing entry is of ‘Any Naga Tribes’.  These are reportedly the only Naga tribes in the State.
Dec, 08, 2018

[op-ed snap] End this long trauma

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | mechanisms, laws, institutions & Bodies constituted for the protection & betterment of these vulnerable sections

From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: De-notified and Nomadic Tribes

Mains level: Need of amending Habitual Offenders Act (HOA)


Context

Denotified Tribes in India

  1. The term, ‘De-notified and Nomadic Tribes’, can be traced to the Criminal Tribes Act (CTA) of 1871
  2. The colonial government notified nearly 200 tribal communities to be hereditary criminals, cementing their social identity as outcasts and subjecting them to constant harassment by the administration
  3. After India gained Independence, these tribes were ‘de-notified’ from the list of Criminal Tribes, and, hence, the term
  4. Fifteen crore individuals, better known as the Denotified Tribes (DNT) of India, continue to be considered ‘criminal by birth’

Name changed to Habitual Offenders Act (HOA) 

  1. The CTA allowed for close supervision and control over the mobility of the tribes which were notified by the provincial governments
  2. The Act was amended in 1897, 1908 and 1911 to give sweeping powers to the authorities, some as draconian as allowing the state to remove any child of the age of six and above from its ‘criminal’ parents
  3. Along with the introduction of laws such as the Forest Acts and the Salt Tax Act, the British threw a noose around the the lives of DNTs using stringent regulations
  4. It is only in independent India that the need was felt to shift the collective burden of criminality to the individual, which led to the CTA being repealed and the Habitual Offenders Act (HOA) being enacted in various States
  5. Not all States enacted it, Currently, a variant of the HOA Model Bill as proposed by the Union Government then stands enforced in 10 States across the country, having been enacted in many more
  6. However, the HOA functioned as a mere extension of the CTA

No change in sufferings

  1. Nomadic and semi-nomadic communities continued to face harassment at the hands of law enforcement agencies
  2. Certainly, the mere repeal of the CTA could not change the mindset of government officials or members of society
  3. The fact is that even in the 21st century, DNTs continue to face ostracisation by society at large
  4. Given their centuries-old tradition of constant movement, they often do not possess any residential proof, which leaves them out of the majority of the government’s developmental schemes
  5. Those deemed eligible for such schemes were randomly grouped under the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes or Other Backward Classes categories
  6. As a result, most members of the DNTs continue to be out of the orbit of steps being taken to end discrimination

Steps taken to end discrimination

  1. The first National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Tribes (NCDNT) was constituted in 2003 and reconstituted two years later under the chairpersonship of Balkrishna Renke, which submitted its report in 2008
  2. The recommendations found an echo in the Idate Commission, constituted with the similar mandate in 2015, and currently withholding public release of its report
  3. The NCDNT report clearly recommends repealing the various HOAs

Way forward

  1.  A mere repeal of the law will not address their need for establishing society-wide changes to gain access to political-social-economic welfare
  2. Thus, the repeal of the HOA has to be accompanied by a slew of legal reforms to address the multitude of issues DNT communities face
  3. Their unique lifestyle requires positive affirmation and development policies that cater to their long-standing and overlooked needs
  4. It should be the duty of the government to be proactive and reach out to the DNTs since the latter would understandably refrain from seeking state help
Nov, 22, 2018

Who are the Sentinelese?

Note4students

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: Sentinelese Tribe, PVTGS

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


News

Sentinelese Tribals

  1. The Sentinelese, a negrito tribe who live on the North Sentinel Island of the Andamans, have not faced incursions and remain hostile to outsiders.
  2. The inhabitants are connected to the Jarawa on the basis of physical, as well as linguistic similarities.
  3. Based on carbon dating of kitchen middens by the Anthropological Survey of India, Sentinelese presence was confirmed in the islands to 2,000 years ago.
  4. Genome studies indicate that the Andaman tribes could have been on the islands even 30,000 years ago.

How are they protected?

  1. The Govt. of India issued the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation, 1956 to declare the traditional areas occupied by the tribes as reserves.
  2. It prohibited entry of all persons except those with authorisation.
  3. Photographing or filming the tribe members is also an offence. The rules were amended later to enhance penalties.
  4. But restricted area permits were relaxed for some islands recently.

Have they made contact?

  1. The Sentinelese have been fiercely hostile to outside contact.
  2. But in 1991 they accepted some coconuts from a team of Indian anthropologists and administrators.
  3. Some researchers argue that the Sentinelese have been mostly left alone even from colonial times, unlike other tribes such as the Onges, Jarawas and Great Andamanese, because the land they occupy has little commercial attraction.

How many are there?

  1. From 1901 to 1921 they were estimated to be 117 people.
  2. In 1931, the number dropped to 50, a figure used for the 1961 Census too.
  3. In 1991 their head count was put at 23. Census 2001 counted 39 inhabitants.
Nov, 17, 2018

[pib] Aadi Mahotsav

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Mechanisms, laws, institutions & Bodies constituted for the protection & betterment of these vulnerable sections

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Aadi Mahotsav

Mains level:  Tribal development


News

  • Aadi Mahotsav is a National Tribal Festival being organized in New Delhi by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED to celebrate, cherishes and promote the spirit of tribal craft, culture, cuisine and commerce.

Aadi Mahotsav

  1. Theme: A Celebration of the Spirit of Tribal Culture, Craft, Cuisine and Commerce”.
  2. The Mahotsav will comprise of display and sale of items of tribal art and craft, tribal medicine & healers, tribal cuisine and display of tribal folk performance.
  3. Tribal artisans, chefs, folk dancers/musicians from 23 States of the country shall participate and provide glimpse of their rich traditional culture.
  4. The festival will feature exhibition-cum-sale of tribal handicrafts, art, paintings, fabric, jeweler and much more through 100 stalls.
  5. Over 200 tribal artisans and artists from different States creating a Mini-India will be participating in the festival.
Sep, 14, 2018

[pib] First Tribal Circuit Project under Swadesh Darshan Scheme in Chhattisgarh

Note4Students

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

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Swadesh Darshan Scheme

Mains level: Expanding tourism in Tribal areas


News

Context

  1. The Minister of State for Tourism will inaugurate the project for Development of Tribal Circuit in Chhattisgarh under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme.
  2. This is the second project under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme being inaugurated in the country.

Particulars of the Project

  1. The project covers thirteen sites in Chhattisgarh i.e. Jashpur, Kunkuri, Mainpat, Kamleshpur, Maheshpur, Kurdar, Sarodadadar, Gangrel, Kondagaon, Nathiya Nawagaon, Jagdalpur, Chitrakoot, Tirthgarh.
  2. Chhattisgarh is known for its exceptional scenic beauty and uniquely rich cultural heritage and has always been synonymous with tribes and tribal culture.
  3. The project aims to acknowledge the sovereignty of tribes, promote the rich and diverse primitive assets in the state.
  4. Major components sanctioned include eco log huts, craft haats, souvenir shops/ kiosk, tourist reception & facilitation centres, open amphitheatre, tribal interpretation centres, workshop centres, tourist amenities centres etc.
  5. These components are perceived to improve existing tourist facilities and enhance the overall tourist experience thereby help in getting more visitors which in return will increase job opportunities in the area.

Back2Basics

Swadesh Darshan Scheme

  1. Swadesh Darshan Scheme is one of the flagship schemes of the Ministry of tourism, for development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritized manner.
  2. The scheme was launched in 2014 -15 as a Central Sector Scheme.
  3. It aims for integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits in the country.
  4. “Development of North East Circuit: Imphal & Khongjom” is the first project implemented under the Scheme.
  5. Development of Tribes and Tribal Culture is one of the prime areas of focus for the Ministry of Tourism.
  6. Under the tribal circuit theme of the scheme the Ministry has sanctioned 4 projects to Nagaland, Telangana and Chhattisgarh for Rs. 381.37 Crores.
Jul, 23, 2018

Niti Aayog nod to panel for denotified, semi-nomadic, nomadic tribes

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | mechanisms, laws, institutions & Bodies constituted for the protection & betterment of these vulnerable sections

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Denotified, Semi-Nomadic, Nomadic Tribes

Mains level: Fifth and sixth schedules of the Constitution and their role in tribal development


News

A permanent commission for vulnerable tribes

  1. The NITI Aayog has backed a proposal by a panel constituted by the Ministry of Social justice and Empowerment to set up a permanent commission for Denotified (DNT), Semi-Nomadic (SNT), and Nomadic Tribes (NT)
  2. NITI Aayog has also offered to set up a working group to come up with policy suggestions on many issues of the communities found by the ministry panel to be the “most deprived”
  3. The ministry has set up a panel under Bhiku Ramji Idate on DNT, SNT, and NT communities

Recommendations of Idate Panel

  1. The Idate Commission said such a permanent commission should have a prominent community leader as its chairperson, and a senior Union government bureaucrat, an anthropologist, and a sociologist as members
  2. Some of the major recommendations of the panel include
  • granting Constitutional protection to these communities under a separate third schedule after Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes,
  • making them eligible for reservation
  • extending the protective cover of Prevention of Atrocities Act to them

Back2Basics

Denotified, Semi-Nomadic and Nomadic Tribes

  1. Denotified tribes are those that were labelled as criminals through a legislation by the British government and were denotified post-independence
  2. The Nomadic tribes maintain constant geographical mobility
  3. Semi-nomads are those who are on the move but return to fixed habitation once a year, mainly for occupational reasons
  4. The DNT, NT, SNT communities have been identified as the most marginalised by several commissions set up since Independence
  5. From these communities 90 percent or more members are landless
Jul, 02, 2018

[pib] PM meets members of Mission Shaurya Team

Note4students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Mission Shaurya, Mission Shakti

Mains level: Not Much 


News

Mission Shaurya

  1. PM met a group of ten tribal students from Maharashtra.
  2. The students were a part of a team of the “Mission Shaurya” initiative of the Adivasi Vikas Vibhag of the Maharashtra State Government.
  3. Under this expedition, 10 tribal students from “ashram shalas” (residential schools) in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra were selected for Mt. Everest summit trek.
  4. Five students out of this group successfully scaled Mt. Everest in May 2018.
  5. Maharashtra government has also announced Mission Shakti to impart special training and prepare tribal students for the Olympics 2024.
Jun, 28, 2018

[pib] Conservation of PVTGs of Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Note4students

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


 News

  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
May, 01, 2018

Denotified nomadic tribes may come under SC/ST Act

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | mechanisms, laws, institutions & Bodies constituted for the protection & betterment of these vulnerable sections

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Denotified Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes, SC/ST Act

Mains level: Situation of tribes in India and measures needed for their upliftment


News

Nomadic tribes to get benefits of SC/ST act

  1. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is considering a recommendation by a government panel on extending the Atrocities Act to members from Denotified Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes
  2. The National Commission for Denotified Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes has in its report called them “poorest of the poor, most marginalized and most downtrodden communities” who are subject to “social stigma, atrocity, and exclusion”

Idate commission report

  1. The Idate Commission has recommended a Constitutional amendment so that Scheduled NT/ DNT/ SNT can be added as a third category after Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Act
  2. The commission was constituted in January 2015 for a three-year temporary term, following which it had to submit its report identifying these communities state-wise, assessing their development status, and recommending ways to uplift them
  3. In its report, the commission has noted that entire communities were branded as criminals under the colonial rule through enforcement of the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871
  4. Despite the repeal of the Act after Independence, subsequent legislation has forcibly alienated them from their traditional occupations and habitations
Apr, 27, 2018

[pib] Van Dhan Scheme

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Van Dhan Scheme, TRIFED

Mains level: Schemes for tribal development


News:

  • The Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi launched the Van Dhan Scheme of Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED at Bijapur, Chattisgarh.  
  • The establishment of “Van Dhan Vikas Kendra” is for providing skill upgradation and capacity building training and setting up of primary processing and value addition facility. 
  • Under Van Dhan, 10 Self Help Groups of 30 Tribal gatherers is constituted.  They are then trained and provided with working capital to add value to the products, which they collect from the jungle. 
  • Training and technical support is provided by TRIFED.  It is proposed to develop 30,000 such centres in the country.
  • Value addition assumes critical importance in ensuring remunerative prices to the tribals in this approach. Three stage value additions would be the corner stone for enhancing incomes of the tribals under the scheme. 
  • The grass root level procurement is proposed to be undertaken through Self Help Groups associated with implementing agencies. 
  • The Van Dhan Vikas Kendras will be important milestone in economic development of tribals involved in collection of MFPs by helping them in optimum utilization of natural resources and provide sustainable MFP-based livelihood in MFP-rich districts.
Apr, 25, 2018

[pib] Declaration of Scheduled Areas in Rajasthan under Fifth Schedule

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of India

Mains level: Importance of 5th & 6th schedules


News:

  • The Union Cabinet has given approval to the declaration of Scheduled Areas in respect of Rajasthan under Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of India.
  • The promulgation will ensure that the Scheduled Tribes of Rajasthan will get benefits of protective measures available under the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of India.
  • As per paragraph 6(1) of the Fifth Schedule {Article 244(1)} to the Constitution of India, the expression ‘Scheduled Areas’ means ‘such areas as the President may by order declare to be Scheduled Areas’. 
  • In accordance with the provisions of paragraph 6(2) of the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution, the President may at any time by order increase the area of any Scheduled Area in a State after consultation with the Governor of that State.
Apr, 01, 2018

[pib] State Governments instructed to develop primers in regional as well as local tribal languages

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Aadi Mahotsav

Mains level: Schemes for tribal development


News

Related Ministry/Department: Ministry of Tribal Affairs

  • Ministry of Tribal Affairs has asked the State Governments to develop bilingual primers containing text both in regional and local tribal languages through Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs), which would help to integrate traditional wisdom with educational methods to empower tribal students.  
  • The traditional wisdom is an integral part of tribal cultural heritage. Ministry of Tribal Affairs is committed to preserve, protect and promote the rich tribal heritage including art & artifacts, handicraft, sports, tribal medicines, traditional medicinal practices etc. 
  • Government supports Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs) established in State, to work as a body of knowledge & research more or less as a think tank for tribal development.
  • Funds are provided to TRIs under the Scheme ‘Support to TRI’ for various activities including construction of museum, library, language primers
  • Ministry of Tribal Affairs, in association with Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd. (TRIFED), organized a National Tribal Festival i.e ‘Aadi Mahotsav’ from 16th November, 2017 to 30th November, 2017.
  • National level tribal festival / carnival is organized by the Ministry to showcase glimpses of rich cultural heritage of tribal people across the country through unique forms of folk dances, songs, cuisine, exhibition and demonstration of traditional skill in painting, art and craft, medicinal practices etc.
Jan, 08, 2018

Mankidia denied habitat in Simlipal

Image source

Note4students

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, Similipal Tiger Reserve, Forest Rights Act, Mankidia, Bondas, Didai, Hill Khadia and Paudi Bhuyan tribes

Mains level: Schemes for development of Tribes and issues in their implementation


News

Not getting benefits of Forest Rights Act

  1. Mankidia, one of the 13 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) in Odisha, were denied habitat rights inside the Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR)
  2. There are provisions related to this in the historic Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006

Forest department’s reasoning

  1. The State Forest Department has objected on grounds that tribals could be attacked by wild animals, especially tigers
  2. Habitat rights would also create barriers for free movement of tigers and other animals

How this would affect Mankidia tribe?

  1. Mankidia, a marginalised group that critically depends on making rope with siali fibre that’s richly available in Similipal, would now be deprived of the non-timber forest produce

Definition of Habitat

  1. ‘Habitat’ as defined under Section 2(h) of the FRA (Forest Rights Act) includes the area comprising the customary habitat and such other habitats in reserved forests and protected forests of primitive tribal groups and pre-agricultural communities and other forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes

Tribes in Odisha

  1. In Odisha, processes have been initiated for according habitat rights to PVTGs such as Bondas, Didai, Hill Khadia and Paudi Bhuyan

Back2Basics

Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups

  1. Particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG) (earlier: Primitive tribal group) is a government of India classification created with the purpose of enabling improvement in the conditions of certain communities with particularly low development indices
  2. PVTGs have some basic characteristics -they are mostly homogenous, with a small population, relatively physically isolated, social institutes cast in a simple mould, absence of written language, relatively simple technology and a slower rate of change etc.
  3. In 1973, the Dhebar Commission created Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs) as a separate category, who are less developed among the tribal groups
  4. PVTGs are scattered in different geographical areas of the country
  5. The Scheme for Development of Primitive Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs), came into effect from April 1,2008
  6. The Scheme defines PVTGs as the most vulnerable among the Scheduled Tribes and the Scheme therefore seeks to prioritise their protection and development
  7. It identifies 75 PVTGs
  8. Activities supported under the scheme include housing, land distribution, land development, agricultural development, cattle development, construction of link roads, installation of non conventional sources of energy, social security, etc
Sep, 15, 2016

End sterilisation camps, says Supreme Court

  1. Supreme Court directed the Centre to finalise the National Health Policy by December 31, 2016, and end mass sterilisation camps
  2. The poor and tribal men and women cannot be reduced to mere statistics in the country’s population control campaigns
  3. It blamed the Centre for passing the buck to the States for the increasing number of sterilisation deaths in mass camps
  4. The Centre has failed in its duty to effectively monitor sterilisation – a programme of national importance
  5. Mass sterilisation camps were perverse products of the Centre’s population control campaigns driven by informal targets and incentives
  6. They infringe on the reproductive freedoms of the most vulnerable groups of society whose economic and social conditions make them easy targets to coercion
Apr, 20, 2016

Tribals allowed to pay homage


 

  1. Context: Adilabad Police will permit Gond Adivasis to pay homage to the Indervelli police firing victims
  2. The restrictions on Adivasis paying homage at the Indervelli column were relaxed last year after 33 years of the incident
  3. Indervelli incident: The infamous incident left over 60 Gonds dead in police firing in 1981
  4. It is supposed to have injected life into a nascent and struggling extremist outfit called the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (People’s War)
Mar, 10, 2016

Tribals oppose fresh bid for bauxite mining in Niyamgiri hills

  1. Context: Odisha govt’s fresh bid to go for bauxite mining in Niyamgiri hills despite rejection by the Gram Sabhas
  2. News: The State govt petitioned the SC for holding a fresh Gram Sabha in the Niyamgiri area
  3. Govt. wants state-owned Odisha Mining Corporation to undertake mining at Niyamgiri hills
  4. Challenge: The Dongaria Kondh tribals considers Niyamgiri hills as their God
Feb, 18, 2016

Chhattisgarh govt cancels tribal rights over forest lands

  1. Context: Forest rights of tribals over their traditional lands in Ghatbarra village of Surguja district have been taken away by the Chhattisgarh government
  2. Why? to facilitate coal mining of Prasa East and Kete Besan coal block
  3. FRA Provision: Forest Rights Act allows government to divert forest lands for other purposes only after prior consent of the tribals through gram sabhas
  4. First of its kind: It is the first such order to come to light in India, where community rights of tribals have been cancelled after being granted through the process laid down in the FRA
Dec, 03, 2015

Implementation of recommendation of Prof. Xaxa Committee

  1. The Committee was set up by the PMO on 14th Aug, 2013.
  2. To look into the current socio-economic, health and educational status of tribals in the country.
  3. To suggest policy initiative as well as effective outcome-oriented measures to improve development indicators and strengthen public service delivery to STs and other tribal population.
Nov, 03, 2015

11th National Tribal Crafts Mela 'Aadishilp'

TRIFED, under Ministry of Tribal Affairs, is the only apex body of GOI, which is engaged in the development and marketing of traditional tribal products.

  1. Crafts Mela has been organised by Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED).
  2. More than 90 tribal artisans from all over the country are going showcase their unique and exquisite tribal artefacts.
  3. Objective of Aadishilp is provide tribal artisans a platform to showcase their talents through their valuable products to urban India.
  4. Mela will showcase hand crafted items, handloom products, bamboo products, dry flowers, tribal jewellery, Dhokra craft, tribal paintings etc.
Oct, 31, 2015

Return of Bru tribal refugees to Mizoram still uncertain

  1. Bru or Reang families left Mizoram in 1997 in the wake of ethnic violence to take shelter at Kanchanpur in north Tripura.
  2. Effort of the Union Home Affairs Ministry to end the impasse over relocation of more than 30,000 Mizoram Bru tribal refugees has failed.
  3. The problem arose as the Mizoram government reiterated its decision to check the credentials of evacuees before paving the way for their return.
Oct, 17, 2015

First National Tribal Carnival to be held in Delhi

Purpose of this carnival is to showcase and promote various facets of tribal culture on a large scale.

  1. The underlying idea is to preserve and promote various facets of the tribal life relating to culture, tradition, customs and their skills.
  2. To expose it to the general population with a view to utilizing the potential for overall holistic development of the Scheduled Tribes.
  3. Activities liked displaying documented traditional socio-culture aspects, collection of art/artifacts, cultural performances, demonstration of skills.
  4. The thematic panel discussion on issues like tribal health, education, skill development and culture with experts in the relevant field.

Ministry of Tribal Affairs shall initiate a “Tribal Carnival” with cultural troupes from various tribal communities of different States. 

Jul, 29, 2015

Kerala to settle Sabarimala’s nomadic tribes

  1. The Kerala government will provide rehabilitation with improved basic facilities to nomadic tribals in the Sabarimala forests.
  2. These families are living in a poor condition in the forests.
  3. The district administration would provide education as well as medical facility at tribal hamlets.
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