updated on May 1st, 2019
Rights Of SCs And STs
The Constitution contains various provisions which provide for several rights and safeguards for the scheduled castes (SCs) and the scheduled tribes (STs). While most of these provisions are common to both SCs and STs, some are exclusively meant for either of these two.
The constitutional rights and safeguards of SCs and STs can be classified into the following categories:
- Social Rights and Safeguards
- Educational/Economic Rights and Safeguards
- Service Rights and Safeguards
- Political Rights and Safeguards
- Administrative Rights and Safeguards
1. Social Rights and Safeguards
- Untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden (Article 17).
- Traffic in human beings and forced labour are prohibited (Article 23).
- The State is empowered to throw open Hindu religious institutions of a public character to all classes and sections of Hindus (Article 25(2)(b)).
- The right to move freely throughout the territory of India and the right to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India can be restricted on the ground of the protection of interests of the STs (Article 19(5)).
2. Educational/Economic Rights and Safeguards
- The State shall promote with the special case the educational and economic interests of the SCs and STs and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation (Article 46).
- The State is empowered to make any special provision for the advancement of the SCs and STs (Article 15(4)).
- The State is empowered to make any special provision for the SCs and STs regarding their admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions (whether aided or unaided by the State), except the minority educational institutions (Article 15(5)).
3. Service Rights and Safeguards
- The State is empowered to provide for reservation in promotions (with consequential seniority) to any services under the State in favour of the SCs and STs (Article 16(4-A)).
- The claims of the SCs and STs shall be taken into consideration (consistently with the maintenance of efficiency of administration) in making appointments to the public services of the Centre and the states (Article 335).
- While taking into consideration the claims of SCs and STs in making appointments to the public services of the Centre and the states, the consultation with the respective Public Service Commission (UPSC or SPSC) shall not be required (Article 320(4)).
4. Political Rights and Safeguards
- Seats shall be reserved for the SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha (Article 330).
- Seats shall be reserved for the SCs and STs in the State Legislative Assemblies (Article 332).
- The reservation of seats for the SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha and State Legislative
Assemblies shall cease after seventy years from the commencement of the Constitution (Article 334). The 95th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2009 has extended this reservation for a further period of ten years (i.e., upto 2020).
- Seats shall be reserved for the SCs and STs in every Panchayat (i.e., at all the three levels) (Article 243-D(1)).
- The offices of the Chairpersons in the Panchayats at the village or any other level shall be reserved for the SCs and STs (Article 243-D(4)).
- The reservation of seats and offices of Chairpersons for the SCs and STs in the Panchayats shall cease after seventy years from the commencement of the Constitution (Article 243-D(5)).
- Seats shall be reserved for the SCs and STs in every Municipality (Article 243-T(1)).
- The offices of Chairpersons in the Municipalities shall be reserved for the SCs and STs (Article 243-T(4)).
- The reservation of seats and offices of Chairpersons for the SCs and STs in the Municipalities shall cease after seventy years from the commencement of the Constitution (Article 243-T(5)).
5. Administrative Rights and Safeguards
- The provisions of the Fifth Schedule shall apply to the administration and control of the Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes in any state other than the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram (Article 244(1)).
- The provisions of the Sixth Schedule shall apply to the administration of the tribal areas in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram (Article 244(2)).
- The president is required to appoint a commission to report on the administration of the scheduled areas and the welfare of the STs in the states. He can appoint such a commission at any time but compulsorily after ten years of the commencement of the Constitution (Article 339(1)).
- The executive power of the Centre extends to the giving of directions to a state with respect to the drawing up and execution of schemes for the welfare of the STs in the state (Article 339(2)).
- The Centre should pay grants-in-aid to the states for meeting the costs of schemes of the welfare of the STs and for raising the level of administration in the scheduled areas (Article 275(1)).
- A minister in charge of tribal welfare should be appointed in the states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Odisha. He may also be put additionally in charge of the welfare of the SCs (Article 164(1)).
- The President should set up a National Commission for the SCs to investigate and monitor all matters relating to the constitutional and legal rights and safeguards for the SCs and to report to him (Article 338).
- The President should set up a National Commission for the STs to investigate and monitor all matters relating to the constitutional and legal rights and safeguards for the STs and to report to him (Article 338-A).
The legislations which contain the rights and safeguards for the SCs and STs are as follows:
- Protection of Civil Rights Act (1955) prescribes punishment for the preaching and practice of “untouchability”and for the enforcement of any disability arising therefrom. It provides penalties for preventing a person, on the ground of untouchability, from enjoying civil rights i.e., rights accruing to a person on account of the abolition of untouchability.
- Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act (1989) prevents the commission of offences of atrocities against the SCs and STs by persons other than the SCs and STs. It also provides for the establishment of special courts for speedy trial of such offences. Further, it makes provision for the relief and rehabilitation of the victims of such offences.
- Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act (1976) freed unilaterally all the bonded labourers from bondage with simultaneous liquidation of their debts. It provides for the identification and release of bonded labourers and rehabilitation of freed bonded labourers.
- Minimum Wages Act (1948) provides for fixation, review, revision and enforcement of minimum wage in respect of notified employments.
- Legal Services Authorities Act (1987) provides for free legal services to the SCs and STs.
- Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act (2013) seeks to prohibit employment of individuals as manual scavengers by prescribing stringent punishment, including imprisonment upto five years. It also has provisions for rehabilitation of manual scavengers and their families. This new law overrides the old Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act (1993). This means that the 1993 Act would become practically infructuous.
- Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act (2006) provides for reservation of 15% for the students belonging to the SCs and 7.5% for STs in central educational institutions (other than those exempted under the Act).
- Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act (2006) seeks to recognise and vest the forest rights and occupation in forest land in forest dwelling STs and other traditional forest dwellers who have been residing in such forests for generations but whose rights could not be recorded.
- Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (1996) (PESA) is aimed at the preservation of the customs, practices, and resources of the STs. It provides for reservation to the STs in the Panchayats.
- The following other legislations contain certain rights and safeguards for the STs:
(i) Indian Forest Act (1927)
(ii) Forest (Conservation) Act (1980)
(iii) State Acts relating to the prevention of alienation and restoration of land belonging to the STs. In some states, such provisions exist in the Land Revenue Code.
(iv) State Acts regulating money-lending to the STs.
NATIONAL TRIBAL POLICY
A draft National Tribal Policy was formulated in 2006. It covers all important issues that concern tribals. Its objectives are as follows:
- Preservation of traditional and customary systems and regime of rights and concessions enjoyed by different ST communities
- Preventing alienation of land owned by STs and restoring possession of wrongfully alienated lands
- Protection and vesting of rights of STs on forest lands and other forest rights
- Providing a legislative frame for rehabilitation and resettlement in order to minimise displacement
- Empowerment of tribal communities to promote self-governance and self-rule
- Protection of political rights to ensure greater and active participation of tribals in political bodies at all levels
- Reducing and removing the gap in the HDI of the tribal population and the general population
- Ensuring access to health care services, safe drinking water and improved sanitation
- Increase the participation of STs in sports and culture at local, district state and National levels
- Promotion and development of tribal handicrafts and organic and ethnic products
- Arresting the increasing demand from new communities for inclusion in the list of STs by rationalising the process of scheduling
- Focussing on the development of Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs), which are to be renamed as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups
- Development of nomadic and semi-nomadic Tribes through need based specific programmes
- Conservation and protection of the intellectual property regime of STs
Welfare Of Scs
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJ&E) is implementing various schemes and programmes for the welfare and development of Scheduled Castes (SCs). These are explained below:
A. Schemes of Educational Empowerment
1. Post-Matric Scholarship for Scheduled Caste Students The Scheme is the single largest intervention by Government of India for educational empowerment of scheduled caste students. The scheme is in operation since 1944.
The objective of the scheme is to provide financial assistance to scheduled caste students studying at post matriculation or post-secondary stage to enable them to complete their education.
The financial assistance includes maintenance allowance, reimbursement of the non-refundable compulsory fee charged by educational institutions, Book Bank facility and other allowances. The scholarships are available for studying in India only and are awarded by the Government of the States/Union Territories to which the applicant actually belongs.
The scheme was revised in the year 2010 with the following main modifications:-
(i) Revision of income ceiling (of parents/guardians from all sources) from existing ₹ 1 lakh p.a. to ₹ 2 lakh p.a.;
(ii) Regrouping of courses; and
(iii) Revision of maintenance and other allowances.
2. Pre-Matric Scholarship for Children of Those Engaged in ‘Unclean’ Occupations The the scheme was started in 1977-78. Initially, the scheme covered only hostellers. Subsequently, in the year 1991 day scholars were also brought within the purview of the scheme. Under the scheme financial assistance is provided for pre-matric education to children of the following target groups, viz. (i) scavengers of dry latrines, (ii) tanners, and (iii) flayers.
The salient features of the scheme are :
(i) Assistance under the scheme consists of two components, viz.
(a) Monthly Scholarship (for 10 months), and
(b) Annual Ad hoc Grant (to cover incidental expenses like stationery, uniform, etc.).
(ii) There is no income ceiling or caste restriction for eligibility.
(iii) There are special provisions for students amongst the target group with disabilities.
(iv) The scheme is implemented through state governments.
The ‘object’ and ‘conditions of eligibility’ of the scheme have been modified in 2011, to do away with the condition which restricts the scholarship to the children of only existing manual scavengers. The condition of giving annual certificate by the manual scavengers has been done away with. More students are likely to be benefitted under this scheme after these changes.
3. Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatrawas Yojana The objective of the scheme is to provide hostel facilities to SC boys and girls studying in middle schools, higher secondary schools, colleges, and universities.
The State Governments/Union Territory Administrations and the Central & State Universities/institutions are eligible for central assistance, both for fresh construction of hostel buildings and for expansion of the existing hostel facilities while NGOs and deemed universities in the private sector can avail the benefit only for the expansion of their existing hostel facilities.
In addition to the admissible central assistance under the Scheme, one-time grant of ₹ 2500 per student would also be provided for making provisions of a cot, a table and a chair for each student.
4. Upgradation of Merit of SC Students The objective of this scheme is to upgrade the merit of Scheduled Caste students, studying from Class IX to Class XII, by providing them the facilities for education in residential schools. It is being done by (i) removing their educational deficiencies, (ii) facilitating their entry into professional courses by upgrading their merit, and (iii) generating self-confidence and self-reliance in them.
The salient features of the scheme are:
(i) 100% Central assistance to the States/UTs through a packaged grant of 15,000 per student per year.
(ii) Special allowances like reader allowance, transport allowance, escort allowance, etc. are given to students with disability.
5. Pre-matric Scholarship for SC Students Studying in IX and X The Scheme has been introduced in 2012. The objectives of the scheme are:
(i) To support parents of SC children for the education of their wards studying in classes IX and X so that the incidence of drop-out, especially in the transition from the elementary to the secondary stage is minimized, and
(ii) To improve the participation of SC children in classes IX and X of the pre-matric stage, so that they perform better and have a better chance of progressing to the post-matric stage of education.
The salient features of the scheme are as follows :
(i) Assistance under the scheme consists of two components, viz.
(a) Monthly Scholarship (for 10 months), and
(b) Annual Ad hoc Grant (to cover incidental expenses like stationery, uniform, etc.).
(ii) Parent/Guardian’s income should not exceed ₹ 2 lakh per annum.
(iii) There are special provisions for students amongst the target group with disabilities.
(iv) The scheme is implemented through state governments.
6. Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowships for SC Students The scheme provides financial assistance to Scheduled Caste students for pursuing research studies leading to M. Phil., Ph.D. and equivalent a research degree in universities, research institutions, and scientific institutions.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) is the nodal agency for implementing the scheme. Two thousand Research Fellowships (Junior Research Fellows) per year are awarded to Scheduled Caste Students. The number of fellowships was increased from 1333 to 2000 in 2010-11. In the case of nonavailability of the adequate number of Scheduled Caste candidates, the number of fellowships not availed during a year will be carried forward to the next academic session.
7. Scholarship Scheme of Top Class Education for SC Students The objective of the scheme is to promote qualitative education amongst SC students, by providing full financial support for pursuing studies beyond twelfth class. The salient features of the scheme are:
(i) There are 229 institutions of excellence spread all over the country in the list of notified institutions. Notified institutions include all IIMs, IITs, NITs (earlier known as RECs), Commercial Pilot License training institutes and reputed Medical/Law and other institutes of excellence. Maximum 1,250 fresh scholarships can be given each year.
(ii) All the Government notified institutes (of IITs, NITs, and IIMs) are allotted 12 awards/scholarships each, whereas the Commercial Pilot License training institutes are allotted two awards each.
(iii) Courses of study covered are Engineering, Medicine/Dentistry, Law, Management, Hotel Management, Fashion Technology, and other streams.
(iv) SC students whose total family income is up to 4.50 lakh per annum are eligible for the scholarship w.e.f the academic year 2012-13.
8. National Overseas Scholarship for SC, etc Candidates The National Overseas Scholarship is meant to provide assistance to selected Scheduled Caste, de-notified, nomadic, semi-nomadic tribes, landless agricultural laborers and traditional artisans students for pursuing higher studies of Master level courses and Ph.D. programmes abroad in specified fields of study.
The scheme provides for fees charged by institutions as per actual, monthly maintenance allowance, passage visa fee and insurance premium, etc. annual contingency allowance, incidental journey allowance. Only one child of the same parents/guardians are eligible to get benefit under the scheme. The prospective awardees should not be more than 35 years of age. The total number of awards to be given each year is 30 and 30% of the awards have been earmarked for women candidates. Financial assistance under the Scheme is provided for a maximum period of four years for Ph.D. and three years for the Master’s programme. The income ceiling from all sources of the employed candidate or his/her parents/guardians should not be more than ₹ 25,000 per month.
Free Coaching for SC Students The objective of the scheme is to provide quality coaching for–Group ‘A’ and ‘B’ examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), the Railway Recruitment Boards (RRB) and the State Public Service Commissions; Officers’ Grade Examinations conducted by Banks, Insurance Companies and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and; Finishing course/job-oriented courses for employment in the private sector like IT, Biotechnology, etc. in need of soft skill as well. The scheme is implemented through the reputed coaching institutions/centers run by the State Governments/UT Administrations, Universities and the private sector Organisations.
B. Schemes of Economic Empowerment
1. Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP) The Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes evolved in 1979 has been renamed as Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP). The strategy of Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP) is one of the most important interventions through the planning process for social, economic and educational development of Scheduled Castes and also for improvement in their working and living conditions.
The Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP) is not a scheme by itself. It is an umbrella strategy to ensure the flow of targeted financial and physical benefits from all the general sectors of development for the benefit of Scheduled Castes. Under this strategy, States/UTs and Central Ministries are required to formulate and implement Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP) as part of their Annual Plans by earmarking resources in proportion to their share in the total population.
At present, 27 States/UTs having sizeable SC populations are implementing Scheduled Castes Sub- Plan. The Ministry regularly impresses upon the States to ensure adequate allocations under Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan during interactions with them. As an incentive, 25% Special Central Assistance is released to States/UTs on the basis of percentage allocation made by them under Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan as compared to the share of Scheduled Castes population in the total population.
2. Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP) The Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP) is a central sector scheme, started in 1980, under which 100% grant is given to the States/UTs, as an additive to their Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP). The main objective is to give a thrust to family-oriented schemes of economic development of SCs below the poverty line. The Central assistance under the scheme is released to States/UTs on the basis of the following criteria:
Criteria for Release of Funds to States/UTs Under SCA to SCSP
|(i)||SC Population of the States/UTs||40%|
|(ii)||Relative backwardness of the States/UTs||10%|
|(iii)||Percentage of SC families in the States/UTs covered by composite |
economic development programmes in the State Plan to enable
them to cross the poverty line
|(iv)||Percentage of SCSP to the Annual Plan as compared to SC |
population percentage of the States/UTs
The salient features of the scheme are mentioned below:
(i) Funds under the scheme are provided as an additive to States/UTs implementing SCSP.
(ii) The main thrust is on the economic development of SC population in order to bring them above the poverty line through self-employment or training.
(iii) Amount of subsidy admissible under the scheme is 50% of the project cost, subject to a maximum of 10,000 per beneficiary.
(iv) Up to 10% of the total release to State/UT can be utilized for infrastructure development in villages having 50% or more SC population.
(v) At least 15% of the SCA to be utilized by States/UTs for SC women.
(vi) Five percent of the total SCA released to the States/UTs will be utilized by them exclusively for the economic development of disabled persons among SCs.
(vii) Three percent of the total SCA released to the States/UTs shall be utilized by States for supervision, monitoring, and evaluation of economic development schemes implemented with the support of SCA funds.
(viii) Two percent of the total budget allocation for the scheme will be earmarked for North Eastern States which implement SCSP for SCs.
(ix) At least 10% of the funds of SCA to SCSP should be utilized for skill development programmes within the existing framework of the Scheme in order to enhance the employability of the target group.
3. Assistance to State Scheduled Castes Development Corporations The Centrally Sponsored Scheme for participating in the equity share of the Scheduled Castes Development Corporations (SCDCs) in the ratio of 49:51 (Central: State) was introduced in 1979. At present, SCDCs are functioning in 27 States/UTs. The main functions of SCDCs include identification of eligible SC families and motivating them to undertake economic development scheme, sponsoring the schemes to financial institutions for credit support, providing financial assistance in the form of margin money at low rate of interest and subsidy in order to reduce the repayment liability and providing necessary tie up with other poverty alleviation programmes. The SCDCs are playing an important role in providing credit and inputs by way of margin money loans and subsidy to the target group.
The SCDCs finance employment oriented schemes covering (i) Agriculture and allied activities including minor irrigation, (ii) Small Scale Industry, (iii) Transport, and (iv) Trade and Service Sector. The SCDCs finance projects by dovetailing loan component from NSFDC/banks along with margin money out of their own funds and subsidy out of Special Center Assistance (SCA).
4. National Scheduled Castes Finance & Development Corporation The National Scheduled Castes Finance & Development Corporation (NSFDC) was set up by the Government of India in the year 1989. The broad objective of NSFDC is to provide financial assistance in the form of concessional loans to Scheduled Castes families, and skill-cum-entrepreneurial training to the youth of the target group, living below Double the Poverty Line [presently ₹ 81,000 per annum for rural area and ₹ 1,03,000 per annum for urban areas] for their economic development.
The Authorised Share Capital of the Corporation is ₹ 1,000 crore and Paid-Up Capital is ₹ 781.80 crore including ₹ 100 crores released during 2012-13. The Corporation has so far disbursed ₹ 2504.70 crores covering 8.60 lakh beneficiaries up to 2013. The NSFDC functions through Channel Finance System in which concessional loans are routed to the beneficiaries through the State Channelising Agencies (SCAs) appointed by the respective State Governments/Union Territories.
5. National Safai Karamcharis Finance & Development Corporation The National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC) was incorporated in the year 1997 as a company, not for profit. The target group of the Corporation is “Scavengers”, which means persons wholly or partially employed for manual handling of human excreta and their dependents, and “Safai Karamcharis” which means persons engaged in or employed for any sanitation work, and their dependents.
No income limit is fixed for availing financial assistance. However, the Corporation accords priority to the economic development and rehabilitation of scavengers, women, and Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) from among the target group. The NSKFDC provides loan at the concessional rate of interest to the beneficiaries through the State Channelising Agencies (SCAs) appointed by the respective State Governments/Union Territories across the country.
Initially, the Authorised Share Capital of the Corporation was ₹ 200 crores which were enhanced to ₹ 300 crores in 2009 and to ₹ 600 crores in 2012. The paid-up capital of the Corporation in 2013 was ₹ 394.99 crores. During 2012-13, ₹ 50 crores have been released as Equity Share Capital to the Corporation.
The Corporation implements schemes to promote self-employment in an alternative occupation through concessional finance and skill development. Since its inception, the Corporation has disbursed ₹ 829.81 crores covering 248,019 beneficiaries.
C. Schemes of Social Empowerment
1. Assistance for Implementation of the Protection of Civil Rights Act and the SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act: These two Acts are implemented by the respective State Governments and Union Territory Administrations. With a view to ensuring their effective implementation by the states, Central assistance is provided to them under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for implementation of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, for the following purposes:-
(i) Functioning and strengthening of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Protection Cell and Special Police Stations.
(ii) Setting up and functioning of exclusive Special Courts.
(iii) Relief and Rehabilitation to atrocity victims.
(iv) The incentive for Inter-Caste Marriages, where one of the spouses is a member of Scheduled
Caste Awareness generation.
The funding pattern of the scheme is such that over and above the committed liability of respective State Governments, the expenditure is shared between Centre and States on 50:50 basis and UT Administrations receive 100% Central assistance.
2. Pilot Scheme of Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY) The pilot PMAGY scheme has been launched in 2010. The scheme aims at integrated development of the selected 1000 villages having more than 50% SC population, into “model villages” so that, inter alia,
(i) they have the requisite physical and social infrastructure for their socio-economic development;
(ii) the disparity between SC and non-SC population of the village in terms of common socioeconomic indicators (e.g., literacy rate, the completion rate of elementary education,
(iii) IMR/MMR, ownership of productive assets, etc.) are eliminated, and the indicators are raised to at least the level of the national average; and
(iv) untouchability, discrimination, segregation, and atrocities against SCs are eliminated, as are other social evils like discrimination against girls/women, alcoholism and substance (drugs) abuse, etc., and all sections of society are able to live with dignity and equality, and in harmony with others.
3.Scheme of Grants-in-aid to Voluntary Organisations Working for Scheduled Castes The main the objective behind the scheme is to involve the voluntary sector to improve educational and socioeconomic conditions of the target group i.e. Scheduled Castes with a view to upgrading skill to enable them to start income generating activities on their own or get gainfully employed in some sector or the other. The principle that good voluntary organizations should not only be assisted but also consciously built up, has been guiding spirit behind the formulation of the scheme. The following facts can be noted:
(i) The scheme was started in 1953-54.
(ii) The scheme was last revised in 1998.
(iii) Projects covered under the scheme are 40.
The scheme provides that quantum of assistance shall be determined in each case on merit. However, the Government of India may meet 90% of the approved expenditure. The remaining expenditure is to be met by the concerned voluntary organization from its own source.
Self-Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers A National Scheme of Liberation and Rehabilitation of Scavengers and their Dependents (NSLRS) was started in 1992 to rehabilitate manual scavengers and their dependents in alternative occupations. As per reports received from State Governments from time to time, there were about 7.70 lakh manual scavengers and their dependents, to be rehabilitated under NSLRS. Out of this, about 4.23 lakh beneficiaries were assisted for rehabilitation, during the period of implementation of NSLRS.
This Ministry formulated a ‘Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers’ (SRMS) which was introduced in January 2007 with the objective of rehabilitating remaining manual scavengers and their dependents by March 2009. Under the scheme, the identified beneficiaries were provided a loan, at the subsidized rate of interest, and credit linked capital subsidy for setting up self-employment projects. It also had liberal provisions for training of beneficiaries in marketable skills to enhance their employability. They were paid a stipend of 1000 per month during the period of training.
The Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers originally envisaged rehabilitation of all manual scavengers in alternative occupations by March 2009. However, as this could not be done by the target date, the scheme was extended up to March 2010, with a provision for the coverage of spill-over beneficiaries even thereafter, if required. As per the updated number reported by States/UTs after the launch of the scheme, about 1.18 lakh manual scavengers and their dependents in 18 States/UTs were identified for implementation of the scheme.
There was a proposal to revise the existing SRMS to make it more effective. Hence, the Scheme has been revised w.e.f. November 2013. As per the revised scheme, identified manual scavengers, one from each family, are provided one-time cash assistance. The identified manual scavengers and their dependents are provided project-based back-ended capital subsidy up to ₹ 3,25,000 and concessional loan for undertaking self-employment ventures. Beneficiaries are also provided training for skill development for a period up to two years, during which a stipend of ₹ 3,000 per month is also provided.
Reservation in Education & Employment
Reservation in Education The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006 came into force with effect from academic session 2008-09. The Act provides for Reservation of 15% for the students belonging to the Scheduled Caste, 7.5% for Scheduled Tribes & 27% for Other Backward Classes (excluding creamy layer) in central educational institutions (other than those exempted under the Act).
Reservation in Employment Instructions was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs in 1947, providing 12.5% reservation in direct recruitment made by open competition and 16.66% for other than by open competition for Scheduled Castes. With the increase in the percentage of Scheduled Castes population, a need was felt to increase the reservation percentage. The 1961-Census showed that the percentage of the population of Scheduled Castes was 14.7%. Accordingly, in 1970, the percentage of reservation for Scheduled Castes in direct recruitment by open competition was increased from 12.5% to 15%. The percentages of reservation in the case of direct recruitment otherwise than by open competition was kept unchanged at 16.66%. The position regarding the percentage of reservation for SCs/STs in public employment has remained unchanged since then. The reservation policy of the Government is mutatis-mutandis extended to Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).
Welfare Of Sts
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) is implementing various schemes and programmes for the welfare and development of the Scheduled Tribes (STs). These are explained below:
A. Schemes of Educational Empowerment
1. Scheme for Construction of Hostels for ST Girls and Boys The objective of the scheme is to promote literacy among tribal students by providing hostel accommodation to such ST students who would otherwise have been unable to continue their education because of their poor economic condition, and the remote location of their villages. The scheme was revised in 2008.
The scheme covers the entire ST population in the country and is not area-specific. However, the hostels under the scheme would be sanctioned as far as possible as a part of the established educational institutions or in the close vicinity of such institutions/vocational training centers.
The scheme provides for the construction of new hostels and extension of existing hostel buildings for the middle, secondary, college and university levels of education.
2. Scheme for the Establishment of Ashram Schools in Tribal Sub-Plan Areas The objective of the scheme is to promote the expansion of educational facilities for Scheduled Tribe students including PTGs. Ashram Schools provide education with residential facilities in an environment conducive to learning. The Scheme was revised in 2008.
The scheme covers all the Tribal Sub-plan areas of the country spread over 22 States and 2 Union Territories.
The scheme provides funds for the construction of school buildings from the primary to the senior secondary stage and also provides for the upgradation of the existing Ashram Schools for Scheduled Tribes Boys and Girls including PTGs.
3. Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme The objective of the scheme is to provide financial assistance to the Scheduled Tribe students studying at post-matriculation or post-secondary levels to enable them to complete their education. The scheme was revised in 2010.
The scheme is open to all ST students whose parents’ annual income is ₹ 2 lakh or less and the scholarships are awarded through the Government of the State/Union Territory where he/she is domiciled. The Commercial Pilot Licence Course (CPL) is also included in the scheme of Post- Matric Scholarship for ST students and 10 scholarships are to be given to the eligible ST students per year.
The students are provided different rates of scholarships depending on the course. The courses have been divided into four categories and the rates vary from ₹ 230 per month to ₹ 1200 per month. Besides, the compulsory fees are also being reimbursed.
4. Book Bank Scheme Many ST students selected in professional courses find it difficult to continue their education for want of books on their subjects, as these are often expensive. In order to reduce the dropout rate of ST students from professional institutes/universities, funds are provided for the purchase of books under this scheme.
The scheme is open to all ST students pursuing medical (including Indian Systems of Medicine & Homeopathy) engineering, agriculture, veterinary, polytechnic, law, chartered accountancy, business management, bio-science subjects, who are receiving Post-Matric Scholarships.
5. Upgradation of Merit Scheme The objective of the scheme is to upgrade the merit of Scheduled A tribe including PTG students in classes IX to XII by providing them with facilities for all-round development through education in residential schools so that they can compete with other students for admission to higher education courses and for senior administrative and technical occupations.
Coaching is provided in languages, science, mathematics as well as special coaching for admission to professional courses like engineering and medicine. A revised package grant of ₹ 19,500 per student per year is provided from 2008-09 which includes the honorarium to be paid to the Principal or Experts imparting coaching and also to meet incidental charges.
6. National Overseas Scholarship Scheme for Higher Studies Abroad The objective of the scheme is to provide financial assistance to selected ST students pursuing higher studies abroad (Masters, Doctoral and Post-Doctoral level) in certain specified fields of Engineering, Technology, and Science only. This was a Non-Plan scheme, which became a Plan scheme from 2007-08.
Thirteen Scheduled Tribe candidates and two candidates belonging to PTGs can be awarded the scholarship annually for pursuing Post Graduate, Doctoral and Post-Doctoral level courses abroad. The scholarship is not awarded for pursuing graduate courses.
The scholarship is awarded to ST candidates (one member from each family) below 35 years of age on the date of advertisement provided the total income of the candidate or his/her parents/guardians do not exceed ₹ 25,000 per month.
7. Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship The objective of the scheme is to provide fellowships in the form of financial assistance to students belonging to the Scheduled Tribes to pursue higher studies such as M.Phil and Ph.D. The scheme has been started from the year 2005-06.
This scheme covers all the Universities/Institutions recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
Under the scheme, 667 fellowships are provided to the ST students each year. The maximum duration of the fellowships is five years.
8. Scheme of Top Class Education for ST Students The objective of the scheme is to encourage meritorious ST students for pursuing studies at degree and post-degree level in any of the selected list of institutes, in which the scholarship scheme would be operative. The scheme has been started from 2007-08.
There are 213 institutes approved under the scheme in both the Government and private sectors covering the field of management, medicine, engineering, law, and commercial courses. Each institute has been allocated five awards, with a ceiling of the total of 625 scholarships per year.
The family income of the ST students from all the sources should not exceed ₹ 2 lakh per annum. The ST students are awarded scholarship covering full tuition fee and other non-refundable dues in respect of Government/Government-funded institutions. However, there is a ceiling of ₹ 2 lakh per annum per student for private sector institutions and ₹ 3.72 lakh per annum per student for the private sector flying clubs for Commercial Pilot Training.
9. Vocational Training in Tribal Areas The main aim of this scheme is to upgrade the skills of the tribal youth in various traditional/modern vocations depending upon their educational qualification, present economic trends, and the market potential, which would enable them to gain suitable employment or enable them to become self-employed.
The scheme has been revised from 2009 and is being implemented through the State Governments/UT Administrations, Institutions or Organisations set up by Government as autonomous bodies, educational and other institutions like local bodies and cooperative societies and Non-Governmental Organisations, etc.
The scheme covers all the States and Union Territories. The scheme is exclusively for the benefit of the Scheduled Tribes as well as PTGs. As far as possible minimum 33% seats will be reserved from tribal girl candidates.
Each Vocational Training center set up under the scheme may cater to a maximum of five trades and will provide training to 100 or more trainees, i.e., for one trade there should be at least 20 candidates. There is provision for a monthly stipend and for raw material for the trainees.
10. Pre-Matric Scholarship for Needy Scheduled Tribe Students Studying in Classes IX & X The objectives of the Scheme are to (i) support parents of ST students for the education of their wards studying in Classes IX and X so that the incidence of dropout, especially in the transition from the elementary to secondary and during the second stage of education, is minimized, and (ii) improve participation of ST students in Classes IX and X of Pre-Matric stage, so that they perform well and have a better chance of progressing to Post-Matric stages of education.
Scholarships are paid @ ₹ 150 per month for day scholars and @ ₹ 350 per month for hostellers, for a period of 10 months in a year. Books and ad-hoc grant are paid @ ₹ 750 per year for day scholars and ₹ 1000 per year for hostellers.
11. Free Coaching for Scheduled Tribes The scheme of free coaching of Scheduled Tribes (erstwhile Coaching & Allied) has been in operation since the Fourth Five Year Plan Period. The scheme was revised during the financial year 2007-08.
The scheduled tribes coming from deprived families and disadvantaged environment find it difficult to compete with those coming from a socially and economically advantageous background. To promote a more level playing field, and give ST candidates a better chance to succeed in competitive examinations, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs supports a scheme of coaching for disadvantaged ST candidates in quality coaching institutions for various competitive examinations meant for admission into professional courses and recruitment for jobs in Civil Services/Public sector.
The scheme is implemented through State Governments/UT Administrations/Universities and reputed Professional Coaching Institutions which run Pre-examination Coaching Centres (PECs). There are efforts to shift the focus from Government run institutions to quality professional coaching institutions. The funds are provided per student cost basis. Union Territories, Universities and Private Institutions are provided assistance to the extent of 100% on a contractual basis, while state-run institutions are provided 80% assistance from the Ministry.
The funding includes the coaching fees (including the charges of faculty), advertisement charges, a stipend to candidates and assistance for boarding/lodging to outstation students, etc.
12. Scheme of Strengthening Education among ST girls in Low Literacy Districts This gender-specific scheme was introduced in 1993-94 for ST girls in low literacy pockets. The scheme has been revised in 2008-09.
The scheme aims to bridge the gap in literacy levels between the general female population and tribal women, through facilitating 100% enrolment of tribal girls in the identified districts or blocks, more particularly in Naxal affected areas and in areas inhabited by Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (earlier known as Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs), and reducing drop-outs at the elementary level by creating the required ambience for education.
The scheme lays emphasis on providing hostel facilities to enable the ST girls to attend regular schools and wherever schools are not available within five km distance, both schooling and hostel facilities are provided. Improvement of the literacy rate of tribal girls is essential to enable them to participate effectively in and benefit from, socio-economic development.
The scheme covers the 54 identified districts as indicated in the revised scheme where the ST the population is 25% or more, and ST female literacy rate below 35%, as per 2001 census. Any other tribal block in a district, other than aforesaid 54 identified districts, which has scheduled tribe population 25% or above, and tribal female literacy rate below 35% as per 2001 census is also covered.
13. Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) With the objective of providing quality education to the tribal students, it was decided during 1997-98 to utilize a part of the grant under Article 275(1) of the Constitution of India for setting up of 100 Model Residential Schools from Class VI to Class XII. Till the end of Xth Plan, 100 schools were sanctioned to 22 States, of which 92 are reported to be functional.
The schools were required to be operated in each state through an autonomous society formed for this purpose. In order to provide a uniform pattern of education in those schools and enable their students to compete effectively for higher education programmes (medical, technical, etc.), these schools are mainly affiliated to State Boards. These schools have been named as Eklavya Model Residential Schools and envisaged on the lines of Navodaya Vidyalayas but with state-centered management.
B. Schemes of Economic Empowerment
1. Tribal Sub-Plan The Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) strategy was developed for the rapid socio-economic development of tribal people and was adopted for the first time in the Fifth Five Year Plan. The strategy adopted continues till this day and the salient features are given as follows.
9i) Preparation of plan meant for the welfare and development of tribals within the ambit of a State or a UT plan is a part of the overall plan of a State or UT and is therefore called a Sub- Plan.
(ii) The funds provided under the Tribal Sub-Plan have to be at least equal in proportion to the ST population of each State or UT.
(iii) Tribals and tribal areas of a State or a UT are given benefits under the TSP, in addition to what percolates from the overall Plan of a State/UT.
(iv) The Sub-Plan should:
(a) Identify the resources for TSP areas;
(b) Prepare a broad policy framework for development; and,
(c) Define a suitable administrative strategy for its implementation.
(v) The TSP strategy has been in operation in 22 States and 2 UTs.
(vi) TSP concept is not applicable to the tribal majority States of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland and in the UTs of Lakshadweep and Dadra & Nagar Haveli where tribals represent more than 60% of the population since the Annual Plan in these States/UTs is itself a Tribal Plan.
The TSP strategy is expected to be followed in the Central Ministries/Departments also so that an adequate flow of funds in the Central Ministries/Departments is ensured.
The funds for tribal development under TSP are sourced from the following:
(i) State Plans
(ii) The Special area programmes of Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) and Grant under Article 275 (1) of the Constitution and, funds under other Schemes of the Ministry;
(iii) Sectoral programmes of Central Ministries/Departments; and
(iv) Institutional Finance.
2. Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Plan (SCA to TSP) This is a major programme administered by the Ministry and under this grant is provided to the States Governments based on annual allocation made by the Planning Commission. This is treated as an additive to the State Plan, for areas where State Plan provisions are not normally forthcoming to bring about economic development to tribals. The programme was launched during 1974 and till the end of the IX Five Year Plan, the SCA to TSP was meant for filling up critical gaps in the family-based income-generating activities of TSP.
From the Tenth Five Year Plan period, the objective and scope of SCA to TSP was expanded to cover employment-cum-income generation activities and infrastructure incidental thereto. Besides family-based activities, other activities run by the Self-Help Groups (SHGs)/Community are also to be taken up. The ultimate objective of extending SCA to TSP is to boost the demand based income generation programmes and thus raise the economic and social status of tribals.
The SCA is provided to the 22 Tribal Sub-Plan States and 2 Union Territories including the North The Eastern States of Assam, Manipur, Sikkim and Tripura, and two Union territories. However, since 2003-04 funds meant for UTs are being provided for in the budget of Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry is not concerned in the administration of funds in the UTs.
The SCA is released for economic development in the following areas and for the following population:
(i) Integrated Tribal Development Project/Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDP/ITDA) areas (192 Nos.), which are generally contiguous areas of the size of at least tehsil or block or more in which the ST population is 50% or more of the total population;
(ii) Modified Area Development Approach (MADA) pockets (259 Nos.), which are identified pockets having 50% or more ST population with a minimum population of 10,000;
(iii) Clusters (82 Nos.), which are identified pockets having 50% ST population with a minimum population of 5,000;
(iv) Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PTGs) (72 Nos.), characterized by a low rate of growth of population, pre-agricultural level of technology and extremely low level of literacy;
(v) Dispersed tribal population – those tribals who fall outside the categories (i) to (iv) above.
3. Programme for Development of Forest Villages Prior to Independence, habitations were set up in forest areas for secured availability of labor force for various forestry operations. Over the years, these habitations grew into villages. These villages are outside the revenue administration of the districts and have, therefore, missed the fruits of development. A process of conversion of these forest villages into revenue villages is underway. However, there are about 2,474 such identified forest villages in 12 States, which are managed by State Forest Departments. Most of the inhabitants in these villages are tribals. The level of development in these villages is not at par with the rest of the areas in the State.
Development of forest villages estimated to be having about ₹ 2.5 lakh tribal families was one of the thrust areas of tribal development during the Tenth Five Year Plan. Accordingly, the Planning Commission allocated ₹ 450 crores to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in the Tenth Five Year Plan for Development of Forest Villages with an average allocation of 15 lakh per village. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs initiated the programme for Development of Forest Villages as an extension of the Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Plan (SCA to TSP).
Towards the end of Tenth Plan, a considered view was taken that the programme may be continued for a limited period during the XI Plan also, keeping in view the need for adequate developmental activities to be undertaken in these villages pending conversion into revenue villages. It was decided that additional funding up to ₹ 15 lakh each would be provided to all those forest villages that have availed the first phase funding during the X Plan.
4. Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution of India In pursuance of the Constitutional obligation, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs provides Funds to State Government having Scheduled Tribe population through the Special Area programme ‘Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution’.
Under this Special Area Programme, 100 percent grant is provided by the Ministry to meet the cost of such project for tribal development, undertaken by a State Government, for (a) raising the level of administration of Scheduled Areas to bring them at par with the rest of the state, and (b) for the welfare of the tribal people. The grants are provided to the states on the basis of the percentage of ST population in the State.
In this regard, the following guidelines have been laid down:
(i) Prior to 2000-01, Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution of India used to be released as block grants to states. Since then, the fund is provided for taking up specific projects for the creation and up gradation of critical infrastructure required to bring the tribal areas at par with the rest of the State.
(ii) The states are to identify the areas/sectors critical to the enhancement of the Human Development Index (HDI) and projects can be taken up for bridging gaps in critical infrastructure.
(iii) People’s participation in planning and implementation of schemes and projects has been envisaged in the guidelines. Due regard is to be given to the provisions of the States Panchayats Acts, and the PESA Act, 1996.
(iv) Integrated and holistic approach for preparing micro plans for ITDP/MADA/Cluster through multi-disciplinary teams is also envisaged.
(v) At least 30% projects are to be targeted to benefit women.
(vi) Two percent of the grants may be used for project management, training, MIS, administrative expenses, monitoring, and evaluation.
(vii) Up to 10% of the allocation to the state can be used with prior approval of the Ministry for the maintenance of infrastructure.
(viii) Ten percent of the total allocation of funds out of grants under Article 275 (1) of The constitution is allocated as an innovative grant.
5.National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation The National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation (NSTFDC) was incorporated in 2001 as a Government of India company under Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) and was granted a license under the Companies Act, 1956 (a company not for profit). It is managed by the Board of Directors with representation from Central Government, State Channelising Agencies, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI), Tribal Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (TRIFED) and eminent persons from the Scheduled Tribes.
The NSTFDC is an apex organization under MoTA for providing financial assistance for the economic development of the Scheduled Tribes. The broad objectives of NSTFDC are:
(i) To identify economic activities of importance to the Scheduled Tribes so as to generate self-employment and raise their income level.
(ii) To upgrade their skills and processes through both institutional and on the job training.
(iii) To make existing State/UT Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporations (SCAs) and other developmental agencies engaged in the economic development of the Scheduled Tribes more effective.
(iv) To assist SCAs in project formulation, implementation of NSTFDC assisted schemes and in imparting training to their personnel.
(v) To monitor implementation of NSTFDC assisted schemes in order to assess their impact.
The functions of NSTFDC are as follows:
(i) To generate awareness amongst the STs about NSTFDC concessional schemes.
(ii) To provide assistance for skill development and capacity building of the beneficiaries as well as of the officials of SCAs.
(iii) To provide concessional finance for viable income generating schemes through SCAs and other agencies for the economic development of the eligible Scheduled Tribes.
(iv) To assist in the market linkage of tribal produce.
6. Tribal Co-operative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd. The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) is a Multi-State Cooperative Society. It was set up in 1987 under the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 1984 (now the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002)
The TRIFED is now functioning both as a service provider and market developer for tribal products. Further, in the role as a capacity builder, it imparts training to ST Artisans and Minor Forest Produce (MFP) gatherers.
This Ministry extends Grants-in-Aid to TRIFED under the Scheme “Market Development of Tribal Product” for undertaking the following four main activities:
(i) Marketing Development Activities;
(ii) Tribal MFP Gatherers’ Training & Capacity Building;
(iii) Tribal Artisans Training & Capacity Building; and
(iv) Research & Development.
7. Grants-in-Aid for Minor Forest Produce (MFP) Operations In order to help tribals, the State Governments have established State-level Government Organisations like State Tribal Development Cooperative Corporations (STDCCs), Forest Development Corporations (FDCs), etc. with the mandate to purchase MFP from tribals paying them remunerative prices for their MFP.
The Central Sector Scheme of Grants-in-Aid for MFP Operations was launched in 1992-93 to help these State-level Organisations. Grants-in-Aid are extended to these Organisations under this Scheme through their respective State Governments for: –
(i) increasing the quantum of MFP handled by setting off operational losses, if need be;
(ii) strengthening the share capital base of the corporation for undertaking MFP operations thereby increasing the quantum of MFP presently handled;
(iii) setting up of scientific warehousing facilities, wherever necessary;
(iv) establishing processing industries for value addition with the objective of ensuring maximum returns on the MFPs for the tribals;
(v) giving consumption loans to the tribals; and
(vi) supplementing Research & Development (R&D) activities/efforts.
C. Schemes of Social Empowerment
1. Scheme of Grants-in-aid to Voluntary Organisations working for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes The ‘Grants-in-aid to Voluntary Organisations working for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes’ scheme was launched in 1953-54 and is continuing. The prime objective of the scheme is to enhance the reach of welfare schemes of Government and fill the gaps in service deficient tribal areas, in the sectors such as education, health, drinking water, agro-horticultural productivity, social security net etc. through the efforts of voluntary organisations, and to provide an environment for socio-economic upliftment and overall development of the Scheduled Tribes (STs). Any other innovative activity having a direct impact on the socio-economic development or livelihood generation of STs may also be considered through voluntary efforts.
The scheme is a Central Sector Scheme. The grants are provided to the eligible non-governmental organizations/autonomous societies for the categories of projects prescribed in the scheme. Funds are generally provided to the extent of 90% by the Government. The voluntary organization is expected to bear the remaining 10% as the contribution from its own resources. However, the extent of assistance under the scheme is 100% for those projects being implemented in the Scheduled Areas.
Many categories of projects have been prescribed under the scheme which may be considered for grant. The list of categories is as below:
(i) Residential schools
(ii) Non-residential schools
(iv) Mobile dispensaries
(v) Ten-bedded hospitals
(vi) Computer training centre
(viii) Mobile library cum AV unit
(ix) Rural night school for tribal adult education
(x) Balwadi/Creche centre
(xi) Preventing health and sanitation programme
(xii) Drinking water programme
(xiii) Training in agriculture and allied activities
(xiv) Sponsoring of 15 tribal girls of NE States, A & N Islands and Lakshadweep
(xv) Training centres for employable skills
(xvi) Old age homes
(xvii) Involving school children in spreading awareness
(xvii) Any other innovative project for socio-economic development
2. Scheme for Development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups In 1998-99, a separate 100% Central Sector Scheme for exclusive socio-economic development of PTGs was started. Based on the knowledge and experience gathered meanwhile, the scheme was revised in 2008-09, to make it more effective.
The scheme covers only the 75 identified Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups among Scheduled Tribes. The scheme is very flexible and it enables every State to focus on any area that they consider is relevant to their PTGs and their socio-cultural environment. Activities under it may include housing, land distribution, land development, agricultural development, cattle development, construction of link roads, installation of non-conventional sources of energy for lighting purpose, social security including Janshree Beema Yojana or any other innovative activity meant for the comprehensive socio-economic development of PTGs.
The funds under this scheme are made available for those items/activities which are very crucial for the survival, protection, and development of PTGs and are not specifically catered to by any other scheme of State or Central Government.
The scheme is implemented by the State/UT through various agencies of the State Government/UT Administration like Integrated Tribal Development Projects (ITDPs)/Integrated Tribal Development Agencies (ITDAs), Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs), and also Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
3. Grants-in-aid to Tribal Research Institutes Under the scheme, so far 18 Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs) have been set up in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura and Union Territory of Andaman & The Nicobar Islands.
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs releases 50% Central share to the State Governments and 100% to Union Territories for the Tribal Research Institutes, for meeting the expenses, including administrative costs. These institutes are engaged in the work of providing planning inputs to the State Governments, conducting research and evaluation studies, collection of data, conducting training, seminars and workshops, documentation of customary laws; setting up of tribal museum for exhibiting tribal artifacts, and other related activities.
As part of the research activities of the Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs), the Ministry also supports the construction of tribal museums within the premises of the TRIs to preserve the tribal art, craft and material culture.
In order to effectively coordinate all the functions presently being carried out in Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs) throughout the country, as well as for new activities, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has evolved the concept of Nodal TRI (NTRI). The NTRI is to provide policy inputs to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, carry out and coordinate research and evaluation studies, and undertake other related activities for the TRIs which are clubbed under their charge.
4. Supporting Projects of All-India or Inter-State Nature This scheme is in operation since 1979-80 for the dissemination of knowledge about tribal issues, and developmental schemes/works through study, seminars/workshops, and publication of tribal literature. Under the scheme financial support is extended to Non-Governmental Organisations/Institutions/Universities on 100% basis for following:
(i) Research and Evaluation studies,
(ii) Workshops/Seminars helpful in orienting developmental programmes for the Scheduled Tribes and disseminating knowledge and experience concerning tribal people and their areas, and
(iii) Publication of literature on tribal development.
For Research studies, assistance is provided to the Universities/Institutions/Non-Governmental Organisations to carry out research/evaluation studies. The research grant is ordinarily given up to a maximum of ₹ 2.50 lakh for each project to be completed in a period of 8-12 months.
Grants-in-aid for workshops/seminars are released to Institutions/Non-Governmental Organisations/Universities or a group of institutions for organizing workshops/seminars which help in disseminating research findings, identifying thrust areas, promoting arts, culture, and tradition of tribal groups, issues relating to tribal development.
5. Organisation of Tribal Festivals The scheme ‘Organisation of Tribal Festivals’ envisages increasing the participation of Scheduled Tribes in sports and culture at local, District, State and National levels by encouraging their inherent talent and ensuring participation at national and international events. Under the scheme cultural melas, festivals and sports meet are organised at the State and National level encouraging tribal artists/folk art performers and sports persons and preserving, promoting and disseminating tribal arts and traditional tribal sports.
The scheme addresses itself mainly to the well-identified and urgent need for creating awareness, promotion, and dissemination of tribal art and culture and traditional sporting events. The Scheme also supports/provides grants to the state governments for organizing tribal cultural festivals and traditional sports event, etc. in their own environment.
6. Exchange of Visits by Tribals Exchange of visits by the Scheduled Tribes (STs) is one of the ongoing schemes implemented by the Ministry with an endeavor to cultivate the spirit of oneness. It is specifically aimed at knowledge sharing and knowledge acquisition by both the host and the visiting tribal groups in order to emulate and draw lessons from best practices and lifestyles across states.
The objectives of the scheme of exchange of visits by tribals include inter-alia:
(i) Enhancing the exposure of the Scheduled Tribes, including students and teachers, resulting in a better appreciation of various development, welfare and educational programmes under implementation as well as cultural and social practices adopted across different States/Tribes.
(ii) Acquainting the Scheduled Tribes with the latest techniques of agriculture, animal husbandry, processing of Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP), small scale industries, etc.
(iii) Encouraging sports development and/or cultural programmes, thereby being catalytic in improving and harnessing their inherent talent.
Scs And Sts Atrocities Act, 1989
The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (the PoA Act) came into force in the year 1990. This legislation aims at preventing the commission of offenses by persons other than Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
The Act extends to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir. The Act is implemented by the respective state governments and Union Territory Administrations, which are provided due central assistance under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for effective implementation of the provisions of the Act.
Provisions of the Act
The provisions of the Act are mentioned below:
(i) Defines offences of atrocities and prescribes punishment, therefore.
(ii) Punishment for willful neglect of duties by non-SC/ST public servants.
(iii) Enhanced punishment for a subsequent conviction.
(iv) Forfeiture of property of certain persons.
(v) Designating for each District a Court of Session as a Special Court for speedy trial of offences under the Act.
(vi) Powers of Special Court to inter-alia, extern persons likely to commit an offence.
(vii) Penalty for non-compliance with the order of a Special Court.
(viii) Appointment of Public Prosecutors/Special Public Prosecutors for conducting cases in special courts.
(ix) Power of state government to impose a collective fine.
(x) Preventive action to be taken by the law and order machinery.
(xi) Measures to be taken by state governments for effective implementation of the Act, including:
(a) Economic and social rehabilitation of victims of the atrocities;
(b) Setting up of committees at appropriate levels;
(c) Identification of atrocity prone areas;
(d) Legal aid to the persons subjected to atrocities to enable them to avail themselves of justice;
(e) Appointment of officers for initiating or exercising supervision over prosecution for a contravention of the provisions of the Act; and
(f) Periodic survey of the working of the provisions of the Act.
Provisions of the Rules
The Comprehensive Rules under PoA Act, titled “Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995” were notified in 1995 which, inter-alia, provide norms for relief and rehabilitation. Certain amendments in the PoA Rules related to the minimum scale of relief for atrocity victims have been made. Accordingly, the previous rates (between 20,000 and 2,00,000) of relief to the victims of atrocity, their family members and dependents have been generally increased by 150% (between 50,000 to 5,00,000). The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) (Amendment) Rules, 2011, have been notified in 2011.
The provisions of the PoA Rules are as under:
(i) Precautionary and Preventive Measures to be taken by the State Governments regarding offences of atrocities.
(ii) Investigation of offenses under the Act to be done by not below the rank of a DSP level officer.
(iii) Investigation to be completed within 30 days and report forwarded to Director General of Police of the State.
(iv) Setting up of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Protection Cell at State headquarters under the charge of Director General of Police/IG Police.
(v) Nomination of (a) a Nodal Officer at the state level (not below the rank of a Secretary to the state government), and (b) a Special Officer at the district level (not below the rank of an Additional District Magistrate) for districts with identified atrocity prone areas to co-ordinate the functioning of DMs, SPs and other concerned officers, at the State and District levels, respectively.
(vi) Provision of immediate relief in cash or kind to victims of atrocities as per prescribed norms.
(vii) State-level Vigilance and Monitoring Committee under the Chief Minister to meet at least twice a year.
(viii) District-Level Vigilance and Monitoring Committees under the District Magistrate to meet at least once every quarter.
Implementation of the Act
The structure and mechanisms for implementation of the PoA Act in various States/UTs is as under: –
(i) Special Courts In accordance with the Act, the state government, for the purpose of providing for a speedy trial, specifies for each district, a Court of Session to be Special Court to try the offenses under the Act. State governments and Union Territory Administrations of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep and Puducherry have designated District Session Courts as Special Courts. For ensuring speedy trial of cases under the Act, 178 exclusive Special Courts, have also been set up by ten of the states.
(ii) Special Public Prosecutor The Act provides for the appointment of advocates as Public Prosecutors and Special Public Prosecutors for the purpose of conducting cases in special courts. Accordingly, the States/Union Territories, which have set up special courts, have appointed Public Prosecutors/Special Public Prosecutors.
(iii) Setting up of SC/ST Protection Cells at State Headquarters The PoA Rules requires the state government to set up an SC/ST Protection Cell, at the state headquarters, under the charge of a DGP, ADGP/IGP and assign to it the following responsibilities:
(a) conducting a survey of, maintaining public order and tranquility in, and recommending deployment of the special police force in identified areas;
(b) investigating causes of offenses under the Act, restoring a feeling of security among SC/ST;
(c) liaising with nodal and special officers about law and order situation in identified areas;
(d) monitoring the investigation of offenses and enquiring into willful negligence of public servants;
(e) reviewing the position of cases registered under the Act; and
(f) submitting a monthly report to the State Government/Nodal Officer about the action taken/proposed to be taken in respect of the above.
SC/ST Protection Cells have been set up in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Daman & Diu and NCT of Delhi.
(iv) Special Police Stations Special Police Stations for registration of complaints of offenses against SCs and STs have also been set up by the Governments of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh.
(v) Nodal Officers: The PoA Rules provides for the appointment of the nodal officers for coordinating the functioning of the District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police or other authorized officers.
(vi) State and District-Level Vigilance and Monitoring Committees The PoA Rules provide for setting up State Level Vigilance and Monitoring Committees under the Chairpersonship of the Chief Minister and District-level Vigilance and Monitoring Committees under the Chairpersonship of the District Magistrate to review the implementation of the provisions of the Act.
(vii) Identification of Atrocity Prone Areas and Undertaking of Consequential Steps
(a) As per the PoA Rules, the state governments have identified the atrocity prone/sensitive areas in their respective states.
(b) The PoA Rules provide for the appointment of a Special Officer not below the rank of an Additional District Magistrate in the identified area, to coordinate with the District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police or other officers responsible for implementing the provisions of the Act.
The Parliamentary Committee on the Welfare of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in its fourth Report (2006-2007) had inter-alia recommended that the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Ministry of Home Affairs, National Commission for Scheduled Castes and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes should meet regularly to devise ways and means to curb atrocities and ensure effective administration of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
In pursuance of this recommendation, a Committee for effective coordination to devise ways and means to curb offenses of untouchability and atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and effective implementation of the two Acts was set up under the Chairpersonship of Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment in March 2006. Apart from other official members, the Committee has three non-official representatives from amongst Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, as Members. The Committee has so far held twenty meetings wherein 24 States and 4 Union Territories have been reviewed.
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