11 Measures Regarding Tribal Development in India

The chief measures regarding tribal development are as follows:

1. Constitutional Provisions and Safeguards:

The Constitution of India provides for the special provisions relating to Scheduled Tribes. Article 342 lays down that the President may by public notification, specify the tribes or tribal communities or part of or groups within tribes or tribal communities or parts which shall for the purpose of this Constitution deemed to be Scheduled Tribes….”.According to this provision, President of India has specified these communities through Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) order, 1950 S.R.0.570

Article 164 provides for a Ministry of Tribal Welfare in each of the State of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa which have large concentration of Scheduled Tribes population. These Ministries are required to look after the welfare of the Scheduled Tribes in their respective States.

Article 244 provides for the inclusion of a Fifth Schedule in the Constitution for incorporating provisions for the administration of Scheduled Areas and Tribes of the States which have sizeable tribal population (other than those of Assam)

Article 275 provides for the grant of special funds by the Union Government to State Government for promoting the welfare of Scheduled Tribes and providing them with a better administration. ,

2. Representation in Legislatures and Panchayats:

The Constitution of India prescribes protection and safeguards for Scheduled Tribes with the object of promoting their educational and economic interests. Under Article 330 and 332 of the Indian Constitution, seats have been reserved for Scheduled Tribes in Lok Sabha and state Vidhan Sabhas.

Following the introduction of Panchayati Raj, Suitable safeguards have been provided for proper representation” of the members of the Scheduled Tribes by reserving seats for them in the Gram Panchayats, Block Panchayats, District Panchayats etc.

3. Reservation in the Service:

Government has made provisions for their adequate representation in the services. To facilitate their adequate representation certain concessions have been provided, such as :

(i) Exemption in age limits,

(ii) Relaxation in the standard of suitability

(iii) Inclusion at least in the lower category for purpose of promotion is otherwise than through qualifying examinations.

4. Administration of Scheduled and Tribal Areas:

‘Scheduled Areas’ have been declared in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan. The scheme of administration of’ Scheduled Areas under the Fifth Schedule visualises a division of responsibility between the State and Union Governments. The State Governments have been given the responsibility of screening the legislations which are unsuitable for extension to the tribal areas. They are also responsible for framing rules for the prevention of exploitation of the tribals by the money-lenders. They implement schemes for the welfare of the tribals living within its boundary.

The Union Government provides guidelines in regard to the administration of Scheduled Areas. It also provides necessary funds that are required to raise the standard of administration and for the improvement in the quality of life of the tribal communities. The Union Government also has the power to give directions to the State Governments about matters relating to the welfare of the Scheduled Tribes.

5. Tribes’ Advisory council:

The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution provides for the setting up a Tribes’ Advisory Council in each of the States having Scheduled Areas. According to this provision, Tribes’ Advisory Councils have been set up so far in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan and West Bengal. The duty of these Councils is to advise the Government on such matters concerning the welfare of Scheduled Tribes and development of Scheduled Areas. Advisory Boards for the Scheduled Tribes have been set up in Assam, Kerala and Mysore to advise the State Governments. Tribes’ Advisory Committees have also been formed in the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Island, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura.

6. Commissioner for the Scheduled Castes and Tribes:

Under Article 338 of Indian Constitution a Commissioner has been appointed by the President of India. The main duty of the Commissioner is (i) to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes under the Constitution and (ii) to report the President on working of these safeguards.

7. Welfare Department in the States:

Under Article 164 (i) of the Constitution there is a provision of Welfare Department in the States of Indian Union. In Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa, Welfare Departments in the charge of a Minister have been set up. Welfare Departments have been set up in these States as well us in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Kerala; Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura.

8. Educational Facilities:

Measures to provide educational facilities have been taken by the Government .Emphasis is being laid on vocational and technical training. According to these measures, concessions, stipends, scholarships, books, stationery and other equipments are provided. Residential schools have been set up for them.

9. Scholarships:

The Central Government awards scholarships to deserving students for higher studies in foreign countries. Seventeen and half per cent of the merit scholarships are granted by the Centre, to deserving students of lower income groups.

10. Economic Opportunities:

A large number of tribal people practice shifting cultivation. This problem is in acute form in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Manipur and Tripura. A scheme to control shifting cultivation has been started.

Besides this, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh have launched schemes to improve irrigation facilities to reclaim waste land and to distribute it among members of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes. In addition, facilities for the purchase of livestock, fertilizer, agricultural equipment, better seeds are also provided to them. Cattle breeding and poultry farming are also being encouraged among these people.

The Governments of different States are encouraging the development of cottage industries by providing loans and subsidies through various schemes. Multipurpose co-operative societies which provide credit in cash and kind to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have been established in various States such as Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Orissa etc.

11. Tribal Research Institute:

Tribal and Harijan Research Institutes, which undertake intensive studies of tribal arts, culture and customs have been set up in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan and West Bengal.

The Indian Constitution has made important provisions for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes. The Central Government and State Governments have made incessant effort in the direction of tribal welfare. Special programmes for their welfare and development have been undertaken in the successive Five Year Plans.

The primary objective of Community Development Programme was to achieve rural development. This was envisaged by making available the required services at the doors of people. But there were remote inaccessible areas and there was almost total absence of additional infrastructural facilities. Therefore, special efforts and greater financial investment were required to extend the services available under the Community Development Programmes to tribal areas. Initially 43 such blocks were selected for the purpose soon it was realised that it would not be possible to sustain such an intensive development approach for a long.

The Tribal Development Blocks were introduced for the developments of tribal areas. These Tribal Development Blocks were expected to have their role in matters of economic developments, education, health and communication. By the end of Third Five Year Plan there were more than 500 such Tribal Development Blocks serving around 40 per cent of the total tribal population, in the country. But no further expansion of the TDBs to other areas of tribal concentration took place after the Third Five Year Plan.

In the Fourth Five Year Plans, a series of programme such as Small Farmers Development Agencies (SFDA), Marginal Farmers and Agricultural Development Agencies were conceived and implemented.

The above mentioned programmes were introduced on an experimental basis in tribal areas. The Tribal Development Agencies were identified on the same pattern as that of the Small Farmers’ Development Agencies. Each Tribal Development Agency covered a group of Tribal Development Blocks.

During Fourth Plan, six Tribal Agencies were started and anthers two were added during the Fifth Plan. These Agencies were expected to incorporate elements of economic development, social services and other progressive measures. In actual practice the TDAs could not do anything other than agricultural development and construction of roads. But the experience gained from the TDAs provided valuable means for evolving better policies and programmes for the development of Scheduled Tribes.

The approach and strategy for tribal development was, revised comprehensively on the eve of Fifth Five Year Plan. It was thought as recommended by the Shilo Ao Committee that Tribal Development Blocks as an instrument of tribal development were unsuitable to tackle complex tribal problems. Besides, the situation in tribal areas in terihs of resources, target groups, local priorities were different from non-tribal areas. Even within the tribal areas, problems faced by all the tribal people are not uniform in nature.

To tackle the complex and diverse tribal problems effectively, a comprehensive programme of development known as Tribal Sub-Plan was prepared under the Fifth Five Year Plan. Accordingly, all areas with more than 50 per: cent tribal population were treated as Sub-Plan areas. A development block was taken as the smallest unit of development under this new strategy. This unit is known as the Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP).

The Tribal Sub-plan Approach includes:

(a) Integrated Tribal Development Projects comprising generally administrative units like sub-divisions / Districts / Tehsils with 50 per cent or more Scheduled Tribe population.

(b) Pockets of tribal concentration having a total population of 10,000 or more and a ST population of 50 per cent or more.

(c) Primitive Tribal Group Projects. The Tribal Sub- Plan continued as the main instrument for the development of STs. The Sixth Plan attached primary importance to poverty alleviation among the STs. Effort was made under TSP to raise at least 50 per cent of tribal population above poverty line. The major objectives of the tribal development have remained as follows:

(i) To take up family oriented programmes in order to raise productivity levels of the beneficiary families in the fields of agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, small scale industries etc.

(ii) To liberate tribals from the exploitation of land grabbing, money-lending, debt- bondage, forest-labour etc.

(iii) To improve the quality of life through education and training programmes and

(iv) To provide infrastructural Facilities in tribal areas. The Tribal Sub-plan is financed through the resources

Drawn from:

(i) State plans

(ii) Special Central assistance of Ministry of Home Affairs (now Ministry of Welfare).

(iii) Central and Centrally sponsored programmes, and

(iv) Institutional finance.

The ITDAs and the Modified Area Development Approach (MADA) continued further. During the Seventh Five Year .Plan clusters having a total population of 5000 with SO per cent or more ST population were identified. The Seventh Plan period also witnessed the extension of TSP benefits to all the tribals beyond the ambit of ITDPs, MADA cluster groups or Primitive Groups. .During this period ITD pattern was allowed to continue. Better coordination was sought between various agencies and social services were accorded priority. Large Scale Agricultural Societies (LAMPS) in tribal areas were strengthened through widening the base.

The Eighth Plan began with the realisation that the resource base and the socio- cultural heritage of STs is being eroded through a combination development intervention, commercial exploitation and ineffective legal and administrative system. The Eighth Plan envisaged effective tackling of exploitative practices in the tribal areas such as alienation of land, right to collection of forest products, ensuring full rehabilitation of tribals displaced due establishment of projects, special focus of programmes to deal with education and health needs of tribal women.

Right from the inception of the Integrated Rural Development Programme in 1978-79, special emphasis was laid on coverage of ST and SC families. Efforts “have been made for wage employment expansion under various programmes, for example, JRY. The guideline of Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana provides special safeguards for SCs and STs. Under JGSY 22.5% of annual allocation is earmarked for SC/ST individual beneficiary scheme.

The Constitution of India provides for a number of safeguards for the ST» mainly to facilitate the implementation of the ‘Directive principles’ contained in Article 46 of the X Constitution. The important safeguards provided in the Constitution include Article 46 {promotion of Educational and Economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections, 330 (Reservation of seats for SCs and STs in the House of people, 332 (Reservation of seats for SCs and STs in the legislative Assemblies of the states, 335 (claims of the SCs and STs to service and posts etc.

Programmes for which Central assistance is given can be divided into three groups namely education, economic upliftment and health. The services provided to tribals under these programmes are free education, provision for educational equipment, Ashram schools, scholarship etc.

Increasing the welfare of the socially and economically disadvantaged groups, including the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, backward classes, handicapped and disabled, women and children is one of the objectives of Ninth Plan.

Submitted by : Professor George, Category : Tribes, Tag : Upliftment of Tribes in India