The Union Cabinet has approved the addition of four tribes to the list of Scheduled Tribes.
- The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi approved the inclusion of tribes of five states in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category.
- Among the states whose tribes have been included in the list are Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh.
Which tribes are being included?
- Hattee community of the Trans-Giri region of Himachal Pradesh’s Sirmaur district —
- The Hattee community of the Trans-Giri region of Himachal Pradesh’s Sirmaur district was granted the status of ST in the latest decision by the Cabinet.
- The Cabinet approval follows the Registrar General of India’s nod to the proposal for grant of ST status to the Hattee community after rejecting earlier proposals in 1995, 2006 and 2017.
- Narikoravan and Kurivikkaran community from Tamil Nadu.
- Binjhia in Chhattisgarh —
- Binjhia were listed as ST in Jharkhand and Odisha but not in Chhattisgarh.
- Gond community residing in 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh —
- The Cabinet approved a proposal to bring the Gond community residing in 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh, under the ST list from the Scheduled Caste list.
- This includes the five subcategories of the Gond community (Dhuria, Nayak, Ojha, Pathari, and Rajgond).
- Synonyms for 11 tribes in Chhattisgarh and one tribe in Karnataka included in the list —
- So that variations in their spellings and pronunciations do not result in people being left out of beneficiary schemes.
- The Cabinet approved ‘Betta-Kuruba’ as a synonym for the Kadu Kuruba tribe In Karnataka.
- In Chhattisgarh, the Cabinet approved synonyms for tribes like —
- Bharia (variations added include Bhumia and Bhuyian), Gadhwa (Gadwa), Dhanwar (Dhanawar, Dhanuwar), Nagesia (Nagasia, Kisan), and Pondh (Pond), among others.
Scheduled Tribes in India –
- According to the 2011 Census, the Scheduled Tribes account for 104 million representing 8.6% of the country’s population. No community has been specified as Scheduled Tribe in the State of Haryana and Punjab and UTs of Chandigarh, Delhi and Puducherry.
- Government of India set up Ministry of Tribal Affairs in 1999 after the bifurcation of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
- As in the case of the Scheduled Castes, the Plan objective of empowering the tribals is being achieved through a three-pronged strategy of — Social empowerment, Economic empowerment & Social justice.
List of scheduled tribes –
- Article 342 provides for specification of tribal communities or parts of or groups within tribes or tribal communities which are deemed to be Scheduled Tribes in relation to that State or UT.
- In pursuance of these provisions, the list of Scheduled Tribes is notified for each State or Union Territory.
- These lists are valid only within the jurisdiction of that State or UT and not outside. A community declared as a Scheduled Tribe in a State need not be so in another State.
- The inclusion of a community as a Scheduled Tribe is an ongoing process.
How does a community gets a ‘Scheduled Tribe’ status?
- Criteria for inclusion in ST List —
- The criteria presently followed for specification of a community as a Scheduled Tribe are —
- indications of primitive traits; distinctive culture; geographical isolation; shyness of contact with the community at large; and backwardness.
- However, these criteria are not spelt out in the Constitution.
- Process of inclusion —
- The process to include tribes in the ST list begins with the recommendation from the respective State governments.
- These recommendations are then sent to the Tribal Affairs Ministry, which reviews and sends them to the Registrar General of India for approval.
- This is followed by the approval of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes before the list is sent to the Cabinet for a final decision.