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Kurukshetra (September 2022): Livelihood Opportunities for Scheduled 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.


Livelihood Opportunities for Scheduled Tribes: Introduction


  • Tribals inhabit two distinct geographical areas viz. the Central India and the North- Eastern Region.
  • More than half of the Scheduled Tribe population is concentrated in Central India, i.e,, Madhya Pradesh (14.69 percent), Maharashtra (10.08 percent), Orissa (9.2 percent), Rajasthan (8.86 percent), Gujarat (8.55 percent), Jharkhand (8.29 percent) and Chhattisgarh (7.5 percent).
  • Substantial tribal population still depends on the small farming, forest and forest based livestock for their livelihood, some of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) earlier known as Primitive Tribal Groups live in the forest and peripheries of forest and mountain regions as hunters, food gatherers, pastoralists and small farmers.


Livelihood Opportunities for Scheduled Tribes: Pre Independence


  • The tribals before Mughal and British rule were considered to be an equal part of society and were fully involved in kingships, land and forest politics, tributary relationships with other groups, particular occupational specialisations including commerce and war.
  • However colonisation of India by Europeans transformed their life, with outsiders exploiting them for their resources.
  • The concept of private property began with the Permanent Settlement, 1793 and establishment of the Zamindari system gave control over territories, including tribal territories, to feudal lords for the purpose of revenue collection by the British.
  • The forced eviction of tribal communities from forest was initiated for timber economy and other revenue resources.
  • The Indian Forest Act, of 1927, provided that any forest area or wasteland that was not privately owned could be marked as reserved areas, no particular system or settlement rights were formulated for tribal communities living in forests in India.
  • The British legislation and invasive policies affected tribal habitations in India particularly their livelihood posing a challenge for the Government of independent India.


Livelihood Opportunities for Scheduled Tribes: Post Independence


  • The Panchsheel policy of 1952 has provided five principles for guiding the administration of tribal welfare.
  • Article 275 of the Constitution mandates a special financial grant for programmes for the social and economic welfare of the tribal population living in scheduled areas.
  • The Second Five-Year Plan focused on development of communication, education, health and culture in tribal areas.
  • Third Five-Year plan envisaged for economic rehabilitation of persons engaged in shifting cultivation, working of forests through cooperatives and formation of multi-purpose cooperatives for meeting the credit requirements of tribal agriculturists and artisans.
  • The Fourth-Year Plan focused on intensive development of areas with large concentrations of tribal population. Accordingly, programmes for increasing agricultural production,livestock production and diversifying and modernising the occupational pattern of landless labourers were given priority.
  • During the Fifth-Five year plan, Tribal Sub-plan was incorporated for 16 States and two Union Territories. These programmes were funded through provisions in the State plans, and Central assistance.
  • Sixth Five Year Plan focused on poverty alleviation  and envisaged developmental effort in the identified areas with pooled resources from centre, states and financial institutions. The Large Area Multipurpose Societies (LAMPS) were set up to provide credit and marketing facilities.
  • Seventh Five-Year Plan, focused on the development of folk and tribal arts, especially those which were facing extinction such as the folk art of the Himalayan regions, and that were threatened ecologically as well as culturally. Special attention was given towards children, pregnant women and nursing mothers, under the direct nutrition intervention schemes like Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP) and Mid-Day Meals Programme (MDM).
  • During the Eighth Five-Year Plan the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation through the State Tribal Development Cooperative Corporations had started managing collection and marketing of minor forest produce to ensure reasonable returns to tribals.
  • The Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs was set up during the ninth five year plan to exclusively work for the tribal development in the country.
  • 10th,11th and 12th Five Year plans were implemented by the Tribal Affairs Ministry.


Livelihood Opportunities for Scheduled Tribes: Present Initiatives


Institutional Support for Development and Marketing of Tribal Products/Produce

Under the scheme, Grants-in-aid are released to State Tribal Development Cooperative Corporations (STDCCs) and Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd. (TRIFED) which is a multi-State Cooperative under MoTA.

Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP)

The scheme ensures fair returns to MFP gatherers mainly through MSP for identified MFP collected by them along with necessary infrastructure at local level.

Van Dhan Vikas Karyakram (VDVK)

  • VDVK is an initiative under the Scheme ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Development of Value Chain for MFP’targeting livelihood generation for tribals by harnessing the wealth of forest i.e. Van Dhan.
  • The programme aims to tap into traditional knowledge and skill sets of tribals by adding technology & IT to upgrade it at each stage and to convert the tribal wisdom into a viable economic activity.

Equity Support To National/State Scheduled Tribes Finance And Development Corporation (NSTFDC/STFDCs)

  • NSTFDC a fully owned Public Sector Enterprise of Government of India, is provided with 100% equity share capital contribution by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
  • NSTFDC is a Not-for-Profit company having licence under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 to provide concessional financial assistance to scheduled tribes for their economic and educational development.


Livelihood Opportunities for Scheduled Tribes: Schemes for self-employment of Scheduled Tribes BY NSTFDC


NSTFDC implements following schemes for self-employment of Scheduled Tribes:
  • Term Loan scheme: NSTFDC provides Term Loan for any viable income generation scheme costing upto ₹25.00 lakhs per unit.
  • Adivasi Mahila Sashaktikaran Yojana (AMSY): Under the scheme, Scheduled Tribes women can undertake any viable income generation activity costing upto ₹ 1 lakh per unit.
  • Micro Credit Scheme for Self Help Groups: The Corporation provides loan ₹5 Lakhs per Self Help Group (SHG) and upto ₹50,000/- per member.
  • Adivasi Shiksha Rrinn Yojana (Education Loan): Under this scheme, financial assistance upto ₹10.00 lakh at concessional rate of interest of 6% per annum is provided to ST students for pursuing professional/ technical education including Ph.D. in India.


Livelihood Opportunities for Scheduled Tribes: What are State Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation(SSTFDC)?


The STFDCs are catering to STs in various States and are provided assistance in the form of contribution towards share capital by this Ministry. The ratio of its contribution is in the share of 51:49 between State and Government and Central Government. The main objectives of the scheme are :-

  • Identification of eligible ST families and motivating them to undertake economic development schemes.
  • Sponsoring those schemes to financial institutions for credit support.
  • Providing financial assistance in form of margin money on low rate of interest
  • Providing necessary linkage/ tie-up with other poverty alleviation programmes.

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