In February 2022, Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNTs (SEED) was launched by the Union Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment. The implementation of the scheme is still pending as the categorisation of communities, to be covered under the scheme, is yet to be completed.
- In February 2022, Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNTs (SEED) was launched by the Union Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment.
- The implementation of the scheme is still pending as the categorisation of communities, to be covered under the scheme, is yet to be completed.
- None of the applications received so far on the SEED’s online portal has been approved yet. The applications are still being reviewed at the state and district levels.
What is the reason behind the delay in implementation?
- Inconsistencies in terms of categorisation of DNTs have been hindering the process of SEED applications.
- The categorisation of these communities by the Idate Commission left room for inaccuracies as outlined by the commission in its 2018 report.
- Idate Commission was formed by the Government of India in 2015 to study and prepare state-wise lists of different castes of DNTs.
- For instance, some communities such as the Banjara were under the SC list in Delhi, the ST list in Rajasthan and the OBC list in Uttar Pradesh.
- The categorisation of DNTs, NTs and SNTs is essential for the implementation of SEED because there is no schedule in the Constitution providing for their reservation.
Denotified Nomadic Tribes (DNTs) –
- DNTs are the tribes which were notified as criminal tribes under Criminal Tribes Act, 1871, by the British colonial government.
- Under this Act, millions of nomadic and semi-nomadic communities were declared criminals and put under continuous surveillance.
- After decades of facing horrors of this racial Act, they were denotified by the Government of independent India on August 31, 1952.
- Every year this day is celebrated as Vimukti Diwas or Liberation Day by DNTs across the country.
- After denotification in 1952, some of these communities were included in Scheduled Tribe (ST), Scheduled Caste (SC) and Other Backward Caste lists because they come from diverse social backgrounds.
- The DNTs are a heterogenous group engaged in various occupations such as transport, key-making, salt trading, entertaining — acrobats, dancers, snake charmers, jugglers — and pastoralists.
Difference between Nomadic, Semi-nomadic and DNTs –
- The nomadic tribes maintain constant geographical mobility while semi-nomads are those who are on the move but return to fixed habitations once a year, mainly for occupational reasons.
- All nomadic tribes are not DNTs, but all DNTs are nomadic tribes.
- There are nearly 1,500 nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes and 198 denotified tribes, comprising 15 crore Indians, according to the Renke Commission (2008).
- These tribes remain socially and economically marginalised even now, depriving many of them of basic human rights.
Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNTs (SEED) –
- The Union government decided to create an umbrella scheme for the empowerment of the above-mentioned communities.
- Accordingly, the Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNTs, SNTs &NTs (SEED) was launched in February, 2022.
- The scheme has been formulated with four components that affect their livelihood.
- The four components of the SEED scheme are –
- Educational Empowerment – Free coaching to students from these communities for Civil Services, entry to professional courses like medicine, engineering, MBA, etc.
- Health Insurance – Through Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana of National Health Authority
- Livelihoods – To support income generation,
- Housing – Through Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana
- Expenditure of Rs 200 crore to be spent over five years 2021-22 to 2025-26.
- One important feature of this scheme is the online portal which has been developed by the Department.
- This portal will ensure seamless registration and will also act as a repository of the data on these communities.