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Analysis Of Kurukshetra Magazine (September 2022): Status Of the Schedule Tribes


Kurukshetra is a Monthly Magazine which is issued by the Publications Division of the GOI.

Kurukshetra Magazine is one of the most important and indispensable source for UPSC Civil Services Exam Preparation. Keeping this in mind, here, we come with ”Analysis Of Kurukshetra Magazine” on daily basis, which covers the monthly Kurukshetra Magazine in easy and smooth pointed form, keeping in mind the demand of UPSC aspirants.




  • The Constitution ensures certain protection and benefits for communities deemed as having Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
  • According to the 2011 Census, scheduled Tribes constitute 8.6 per cent of the total population of the country.
  • ST population grew from 6.9 per cent in 1961 to 8.6 per cent in 2011 and 92% of the ST population lives in rural areas.
  • Because of their traditional lifestyles, remoteness of habitations and dispersed population, their socio-economic progress remained skewed on various development parameters.

What does the constitution say about declaring STs?


  • The Constitution only states that STs are specified by the President after consultation with the Governor.
  • It does not define or specify a particular criterion.
  • According to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, the criterion includes
  1. Indication of “primitive” traits,
  2. Distinctive culture,
  3. Geographical isolation,
  4. “Shyness of connect” with the community at large &
  5. “Backwardness”


Development Plans and Programmes for STs


  • The development of tribes of India has remained a central theme in various perspectives Five-Year Plans and Annual Plans.
  • Five Year plans laid emphasis on sustainable economic development, with the focus on reducing inequalities in society based on respect and understanding of their culture and traditions.
  • The Fifth Plan (1974-78) launched the Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP).
    • TSP  aims to bridge the gap between the STs and the general population with respect to all socio-economic development indicators in a time-bound manner.
    • TSP is not applicable to states where tribals represent more than 60% of the population.
    • The Narendra Jadhav Committee was formed by the Planning Commission in 2010 in this regard.
    • As per the recommendations of the committee the earmarking of funds for all Central Ministries/Departments taken together should be at least 8.2% of the total Plan outlay under the TSP.
  • Seventh Plan (1985-90) laid emphasis on the economic development of STs by creating two national level institutions namely,
    • i) Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation (TRIFED) in 1987 as an apex body for State Tribal Development Cooperative Corporations, and
    • (ii) National Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation.
  • The Eighth Plan {1992-97) focused on problems such as suppression of rights, land alienation, non-payment of minimum wages and restrictions on the right to collect minor forest produce, etc.
  • The Annual Plans post 12th FYP through NITI Aayog take care of development needs of STs in States.
  • Niti Aayog issues guidelines for implementing Tribal Sub-Plans by Central Ministries/Departments.


The socio-economic status of the STs


1. Livelihood Development

  • According to the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) survey on poverty line , ST People living below the poverty line in 2011-12 were 45.3 percent and 24.1 percent in the rural and urban areas, respectively.
  • As per the Periodic Labour Force Survey, conducted by NSSO, the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) in usual status (Principal + Subsidiary) for STs during 2017-18 and 2019-20 were 41.8 and 47.1 percent.
  • The India Human Development Survey shows the incidence of poverty is highest among the STs (49.6%), followed by the SCs (32.3%), and then the Muslims (30.6%).

2. Literacy Rate and Education

  • According to the Census figures, the literacy rate for STs in India improved from 47.1 per cent in 2001 to 59 per cent in 2011.
  • Although STs show a declining trend in dropout rates they are still very high – 35.6% in Classes I to V; 55% in Classes I to VIII; and 70.9% in Classes I to X in 2010-11, according to the Statistics Of School Education 2010-2011.
  • Special incentives such as free education in schools, exclusive residential schools for the STs are provided to address the issue of dropout.
  • Special focus is laid on STs under schemes such as Mid Day meal scheme, Navodaya Vidyalaya etc.
  • The Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs is setting up Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) under every block with more than 50% Schedule Tribe (ST) population and at least 20,000 tribal persons by the year 2022.
    • These are being set up by grants provided under Article 275(1) of the Constitution.
    • The objective of EMRS is to provide quality middle and high level education to Scheduled Tribe (ST) students in remote areas, and to have access to the best opportunities in education at par with the non ST population.
  • By focusing on specific intervention to cater to the educational needs of STs, their quality of life is expected to improve to the level of the rest of the social groups and a visible impact by the 2021 Census.

 3. Entrepreneurship and Skill Development

  • Enabling entrepreneurial atmosphere along with skill development initiatives to ensure gainful absorption of educated ST persons are crucial for their development.
  • Under Skill India Mission, the Union Ministry of Skill Development has been delivering short-term skills through Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana , Jan Shikshan Sansthan Scheme, National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme, and long-term skills through Craftsman Training Scheme  and Industrial Training Institutes to the youth belonging to all section of the society including tribal community.
  • All of the above schemes have the mandatory provision of utilisation of funds for tribals through Scheduled Tribes (ST) component.
  • While resources are not an issue, the prime concern is how to encourage the participation of youth, employable STs in various vocations by mapping their needs and aspirations.


Way Forward


  • Plans and Programmes of the government have continuously facilitated the socio-economic development of ST population. However, the achievement is skewed across States.
  • Government needs to popularise a tribal specific participatory self-governance system where the STs will choose their own destiny by managing their own  resources and empowering themselves in the tribal-participative and tribal managed development process.
  • More focus should be given to the need based training and skill upgradation.
  • Intra-departmental cooperation, coordination and convergence are required for the effective implementation of schemes dedicated to the upliftment of the STs.
  • Social and political mobilisation has led to the increase of number of STs. As the number of communities demanding ST status expands, it brings the criteria of the recognition and the legitimacy of the process under scrutiny.

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