The main criteria adopted for identification of ‘Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups’ (PVTG) – Government of India

The Dhebar commission (1960) and the Shilu Ao (1969) team recommended the Government of India that primitive tribal communities should be taken as a special category for which special programmes would have to be initiated as quickly as possible for their all-round development. (Sibi Zacharias, 2003). As part of tribal sub plan, seventy five tribal groups have been categorised as ‘Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups’ (PVTG) in India. The main criteria adopted for identification of such tribe are: (i) Pre- agricultural level of technology, (ii) Very low level of literacy, and (iii) Stagnant or declining population. As these tribes are in a very poor state of economy, a separate special Central assistance is provided to the state for their development. Total primitive tribal population in India is 27, 68322 and in Kerala is 20,186 (2001 Census).

Source: Role of gender and social capital in sustainable livelihood promotion of Kadar tribe in Kerala; PhD thesis by Sujeesh, M.K, The Gandhigram Rural Institute, 2014, Introduction, p. 4
Date visited: 25 April 2021

“Gandhi’s logic and rationale were irrefutable. Colonialism had impoverished and killed India’s poor. This was literally true, for countless millions had died in famines which had started as a drought but became mass-killers because of merciless taxation and exploitation. Freedom from British rule meant nothing if it did not liberate Indians from hunger and give them an improved life. A leader had to identify completely with the poor, not through the easy means of a sermon but by sacrificing comfort and forsaking the temptations of money. This was the minimum, non-negotiable condition.”

Source: “The Rediscovery of Nehru: How Nehruvians revised their idol” by MJ Akbar (, 13 August 2021)
Date Visited: 3 October 2021

On India’s 73rd Independence Day, we need to grapple with the shameful fact that over one-third of the world’s malnourished live in India. In Outlook this week, our I-Day special cover story asks- what about azadi from hunger?
Poshan​ #OutlookThisWeek​
Posted: Aug 15, 2019 on >>
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Discussing the challenge ahead for millions of India in the foreseeable future:
How to bring down the rate of stunting and wasting to single digit rates? [5:35] >>

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“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)

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This entry was posted in Adverse inclusion, Colonial policies, Democracy, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Gandhian social movement, Government of India, History, Misconceptions, Modernity, Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG), Quotes, Resources, Rural poverty. Bookmark the permalink.