eBook | Constitutional obligations towards communities “suffering from extreme social, educational and economic backwardness” and “untouchability” – Government of India

Jawaharlal Nehru >>
Photo © Indian Express

Nehru was fascinated by the spontaneity of tribal culture and their capacity of joy and heroism in spite of their appalling poverty, destitution, and ignorance. […] In Nehru’s view, the process of modernization must not be taken as forcing a sudden break with the tribals past but help them build upon it and grow by a natural process of evolution.” – Dr. Chittaranjan Mishra in “Tribal Philosophy and Pandit Nehru” (Odisha Review, November 2017) | Learn more >>

Welcome to NCST – National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

The framers of the Constitution took note of the fact that certain communities in the country were suffering from extreme social, educational and economic backwardness arising out of age-old practice of untouchability and certain others on account of this primitive agricultural practices, lack of infrastructure facilities and geographical isolation, and who need special consideration for safeguarding their interests and for their accelerated socio-economic development. These communities were notified as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as per provisions contained in Clause 1 of Articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution respectively.

Socio Economic Development
For the Socio-economic and overall development of the Tribal people, special provisions and safeguards have been provided in the Constitution of India and some initiative have also been taken by the Government of India, including Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) strategy. The Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) strategy was aimed for the rapid socio-economic development of tribal people. The funds provided under the Tribal Sub Plan of the State have to be at least equal in proportion to the ST population of each State or UTs. Similarly Central Ministries/Departments are also required to earmark funds out of their budget for the Tribal Sub-Plan. As per guidelines issued by the Planning Commission, the Tribal Sub Plan funds are to be non-divertible and non-lapsable. The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes is vested with the duty to participate and advise in the planning process of socio-economic development of STs, and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any State.

Some excerpts | To download the full PDF document, click here >>

1.1 Since the beginning of the Planning process, efforts have been made to ensure that the tribal people were included in the growth process. However, the strategy changed with each Five Year Plan as new lessons were learnt from various developmental efforts. […]

Programmes and important aspects related to Scheduled Tribes >>
which includes 16 “Centrally Sponsored Schemes” [see article 7] and a commitment “to overall development of the people belonging to Scheduled Tribes and to project the rights of such people and preserve and promote tribal culture and heritage has recently taken up a number of new initiatives towards their development’. [see article 9] besides an “Umbrella scheme for Education of ST Children” including “Establishing and strengthening of Ashram Schools [see article 9]; concluding with two more important regulations:
“Scheduled Tribe claims on migration” [see article 16.2] “Scheduled Tribe claims after marriage and status of their children” [see article 16.3]:
The guiding principle is that no person who was not a Scheduled Tribe by birth will be deemed to be a member of Scheduled Tribe merely because he or she has married a person belonging to a Scheduled Tribe. Similarly a person who is a member of a Scheduled Tribe would continue to be a member of that Scheduled Tribe, even after his or her marriage with a person who does not belong to a Scheduled Tribes. However, status of the children born out of such marriages would depend on the particular caste status of the father.”

Source: Welcome to NCST [National Commission for Scheduled Tribes]
URL: https://www.ncst.gov.in/index.php
Date visited: 31 May 2020

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

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Secretary, Tribal Cultural Heritage in India Foundation (2010-2022)
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