Commitment to Community Forest Rights titles, sustainable mining for the betterment of the tribals, and equality for the deprived – Government of India

Central Hall, Parliament House : 31.01.2017
The Hindu, January 31, 2017 | To read the full text of the President’s address to the joint session of Parliament, click here or download it from the President’s official website: President’s Address to Parliament (PDF, 0.19 MB)


Honourable Members,

30. Social and economic equality for the deprived and disempowered sections is the first promise of our constitution. My government is committed to fulfil this promise.

31. Through the Stand-up India initiative, my government plans to empower over two and a half lakh Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women entrepreneurs. For promoting entrepreneurship, the National Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Hub has been launched, with an initial allocation of Rs. 490 crore.

32. Under the Forest Rights Act, about 16.5 lakh Individual Forest Rights titles have been granted over an area of 55.4 lakh acres of forest land. Further, Community Forest Rights titles have been distributed over an area of about 47 lakh acres of forest land.

33. The location of our mineral wealth largely coincides with tribal habitations in our country. The Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana will serve the dual purpose of ensuring sustainable mining activity as well as local area development for the betterment of the tribals and the poor inhabitants in the mining areas. District Mineral Foundation is a novel initiative in this regard.

34. My government has increased the allocation under the Tribal sub-plan. Fourteen different sectors have been identified under the Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana for the empowerment of tribals. 100 out of the 300 clusters envisaged under the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban Mission, will be developed in tribal areas.

Source: Full text of the President’s address to the joint session of Parliament – The Hindu
19 April 2021

“Education has to liberate a person from narrow world view and the boundaries of caste, community, race and gender. Teachers have been entrusted with the responsibility of moulding the young minds to understand the world and make it better.” – Shri Pranab Mukherjee, President of India (National Award 2014 to Teachers)

Diversity, plurality and tolerance are “core values of our civilisation”: Rashtrapati Bhavan >>

Source: Press Information Bureau (Government of India, 5 September 2015)
19 April 2021

Express News Service, New Delhi, , August 9, 2014

The Ministry of Rural Development on Friday launched its flagship Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission, which is aimed at providing urban amenities in rural areas.

Launching the scheme, Union Rural Development Minister Nitin Gadkari said the government was committed to providing good amenities, jobs and infrastructure in rural areas on a priority basis. He said by providing basic facilities to all the stakeholders in the rural areas, the problem of migration could be tackled effectively. […]

In the first phase, Rs 100 crore will be spent on the scheme in three identified projects in Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh and Sangli and Buldhana districts of Maharashtra. The mission was a promise made by the BJP in its 2014 Lok Sabha election manifesto.

Source: Centre launches its flagship Rurban mission; identifies 3 projects | The Indian Express
Date Visited: Sun May 21 2017 17:12:48 GMT+0200 (CEST)

Learn more

“The British established mode of forest governance imposed restrictions on local forest-dwelling communities. In 1860, the Company withdrew all access rights for using the forests (food, fuel, medicine and selling forest products) since the forests and forest-dwelling communities provided refuge to the rebels during the Sepoy Mutiny.” – Bharat Rural Livelihoods Foundation >>

“Tribal population was spread all over India and most of them occupied wild tracts, hilly and forested areas, away from more civilized centers. In 1880 their population was estimated at about seventy million. They had existed for centuries with their own social traditions and beliefs and subsisted on natural resources. They had preserved their near isolation and way of life until the British administration and policies made inroads into their territories.” Subha Johari in “Tribal Dissatisfaction Under Colonial Economy of 19th Century>>

“Tribal communities have proven that they are the best guardians of the forest and die-hard conservationists”: Illegal mining destroys the life and culture of the conservators of forests >>

“Even though they are responsible for protecting the largest part of the global forest heritage […] a third of indigenous and community lands in 64 countries are under threat due to the lack of land tenure rights.” – Pressenza Rio de Janerio in “Indigenous people are heading to CoP26: ‘There is no solution to the climate crisis, without us’” (Down To Earth, 1 November 2021) >>

Learn more about colonial policies, the Forest Rights Act, its importance for ecology, biodiversity, ethnobotany and nutrition, and about the usage of Adivasi (Adibasi) communities in different states of India: in legal and historical records, in textbooks, scholarly papers and the media >>

Tip: to find out more on the above issues, type a combination of search terms in the search field below

Find up-to-date information provided by, for and about Indian authors, researchers, officials, and educatorsMore search options >>
Search tips: in the search field seen here, type the name of any tribal (Adivasi) community, region, state or language; add keywords of special interest (childhood, language, sacred grove, tribal education, women); consider rights to which Scheduled Tribes are entitled (FRA Forest Rights Act, protection from illegal mining, UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, right to education, Universal Declaration of Human Rights); specify any other issue or news item you want to learn more about (biodiversity, climate change, ecology, economic development, ethnobotany, ethnomedicine, global warming, health, nutrition and malnutrition, rural poverty)

For a list of websites included in a single search, click here. To search Indian periodicals, magazines, web portals and other sources safely, click here. To find publishing details for Shodhganga’s PhD search results, click here >>

“We shall first have to give up this hubris of considering tribes backward. Every tribe has a rich and living cultural tradition and we must respect them.”

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on India’s Constitutional obligation to respect their cultural traditions
Gandhiji at Prayer Time, Parnakuti, Poona (1944) by Chittaprosad, the great advocate of the rights of workers and revolutionary artists. | Learn more in “Gandhi, Secularism, and Cultural Democracy” by Vinay Lal >>
Gandhian social movement | Constitution >>

“Air is free to all but if it is polluted it harms our health… Next comes water… From now on we must take up the effort to secure water. Councillors are servants of the people and we have a right to question them.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi, Ahmedabad address on 1 January 1918; quoted by his grandson, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, in “On another New Year’s Day: Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘khorak’ a 100 years ago” (The Hindu, 1 January 2018)

Sardar Patel signing the Constitution
Photo: The Better India >>
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1891-1956) was independent India’s first Minister of Law and Justice, and the chief architect of the Constitution of India. – Wikipedia

“The Indian constitution had to empower the state to enter into the realm of Indian society and transform it by eradicating deeply embedded economic, political and social hierarchies.” – “The Foreign and the Indigenous in the Indian Constitution: Constitution Day talk” by Arun Thiruvengadam (Centre for Law and Policy Research, Bangalore, 2 December 2015)

“Tribals are subject to oppression and cruelty even after independence and still picked up by the investigating officers to cover up shoddy investigations. […] The only recourse available to us is to faithfully abide by and give life to the constitutional ideals which Dr Ambedkar helped formulate, and use those to bring transformative change in the minds and perceptions of the society.” – Supreme Court Judge Justice D.Y. Chandrachud (The Wire, 7 December 2021)

“The constitution would outlaw all forms of discrimination, abolish untouchability and guarantee the right to freedom of religion. It also included a system of reservations or affirmative action for Dalits and India’s indigenous peoples, the Adivasis.” – Listen to “How an ‘untouchable’ inspired a force of resistance against inequality in India” on CBC Radio Ideas (6 October 2020) | Guests in this episode:
Ananya Vajpeyi is a scholar and a writer at New Delhi’s Center for the Study of Developing Societies. She is the author of The Righteous Republic: The Political Foundations of Modern India.
Anupama Rao is a historical anthropologist at Barnard College. She is the author of The Caste Question: Dalits and the Politics of Modern India.
Ramachandra Guha is a historian based in southern India, and author and editor of many books including Gandhi: The Years that Changed the World, 1914-1948 and Makers of Modern India.
Suraj Yengde is a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School as well as a fellow with Harvard University’s Department of African and African-American Studies. He is the author of Caste Matters and co-editor of The Radical in Ambedkar: Critical Reflections. 

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