Ministry of Tribal Affairs
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There have been considerable improvements in quality of life of Scheduled Tribes over the years

Posted On: 06 DEC 2021 5:37PM by PIB Delhi

Data pertaining to decennial Census, management information system, sample surveys conducted by different Ministries / Departments of Government of India, reveal that over the years there have been considerable improvements in living conditions of the Scheduled Tribes (STs), for example, literacy rate for STs has improved from 47.1% in 2001 to 59% in 2011. Further, Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) report (July 2019 - June 2020) reveals that literacy rate for STs increased to 70.1%. According to Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) Plus reports published by Ministry of Education, Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for ST students at Senior Secondary (classes IX-X) level has increased from 62.4% in 2012-13 to 76.7% in 2019-20. As per National Family Health Surveys (NFHS) conducted by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in respect of Scheduled Tribes, Infant Mortality Rate has declined from 62.1 (2005-06) to 44.4 (2015-16); Under Five Mortality Rate has declined from 95.7 (2005-06) to 57.2 (2015-16), and Institutional Delivery has increased from 17.7% in 2005-06 to 68.0 % in 2015-16. Further, percentage of Underweight (weight-for age) ST children under age five years has declined from 54.5 in 2005-06 to 45.3 in 2015-16. Erstwhile Planning Commission estimated that percentage of ST people living below the poverty line in rural areas has declined from 62.3% in 2004-05 to 45.3% in 2011-12. Also, percentage of ST people living below the poverty line in urban areas has declined from 35.5% in 2004-05 to 24.1% in 2011-12.

Government is implementing Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP)/Schedule Tribe Component (STC)/Development Action Plan for Development of STs (DAPSTs) for overall development of tribal people across the country. Besides, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, 40 Central Ministries / Departments have been obligated by NITI Aayog for earmarking certain percentage of their total Scheme allocation every year as TSP funds for tribal development. TSP funds are spent by different Central Ministries / Departments under their schemes for various development projects relating to education, health, agriculture, irrigation, roads, housing, drinking water, electrification, employment generation, skill development, etc. for accelerated socio-economic development of Scheduled Tribes in the country. State Governments are also supposed to earmark TSP funds in proportion to ST population (Census 2011) in the State with respect to total State Plan.In addition, Ministry of Tribal Affairs also provides funds under its schemes to supplement the efforts of tribal development by other Ministries/Departments. The primary responsibility of implementation and monitoring the performance of the schemes/programmes is that of the State Governments. However, Ministry of Tribal Affairs has taken various steps for monitoring progress and effective implementation of schemes/programmes for the development of the ST population. These include:

  1. Release of funds to States/UTs in the schemes/programmes is made through PFMS platform.
  2. Utilization Certificates are insisted upon as a pre-requisite for further release of funds as per the norms of GFR.
  3. Progress reports regarding the status of implementation of the schemes/programmes is obtained.
  4. Officers while visiting States/UTs also ascertain the progress of implementation of the scheme.
  5. Meetings/ Conferences are convened at the Central level with State officials for ensuring timely submission of proposals, speeding up of implementation of the scheme, and reviewing the physical and financial progress.
  6. Scheme/programme-wise progress and utilization of funds are also monitored through dedicated online portals and performance dashboard.
  7. Ministry of Tribal Affairs has developed STC MIS Portal with web address: for monitoring of Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) / Schedule Tribe Component (STC) funds of obligated Ministries/Departments.
  8. Besides, evaluation of the schemes is conducted from time to time.


Brief details of Schemes/Programmes being implemented by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in the country:

(i) Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Scheme (SCA to TSS): Under scheme of Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Scheme (SCA to TSS) 100% grants is provided to the State Governments for activities related to education, health, sanitation, water supply, livelihood, skill development, Ashram Schools, Boys and Girls Hostels, Vocational Training Centres (VTCs), minor infrastructure, etc. to bridge the gap between Scheduled Tribe (ST) population and others as a critical gap filling measure.

(ii) Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution: Under the programme of Provision to Article 275(1) of Constitution, Grants are released to 26 States, having ST population for raising the level of Administration in Scheduled Areas and for the welfare of tribal people. This is a Special Area Programme and 100% grants are provided to States. Funds are released to the States Governments depending on the felt needs of ST population to bridge the gap in infrastructure activities in the fields of education, health, skill development, livelihood, drinking water, sanitation, etc.

(iii) Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS): The scheme of Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) was introduced in the year 1997-98 to impart quality education exclusively to ST children with an objective to provide quality middle and high-level education to Scheduled Tribe (ST) students in remote areas in order to enable them to avail of reservation in high and professional educational courses and get jobs in government and public and private sectors. In the Union Budget of 2018-19, Government announced that “the Government is committed to provide the best quality education to the tribal children in their own environment. To realize this mission, it has been decided that by the year 2022, every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons, will have an Eklavya Model Residential School. Eklavya schools will be on par with Navodaya Vidyalayas and will have special facilities for preserving local art and culture besides providing training in sports and skill development."

(iv) Grant-in Aid to Voluntary Organizations working for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes: Under the scheme of Grant-in-Aid to Voluntary Organizations working for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes, the Ministry funds projects in the fields of Education and Health, covering residential schools, non-residential schools, hostels, mobile dispensaries, ten or more bedded hospitals, etc.

(v) Strengthening Education among ST Girls in Low Literacy Districts: Scheme is exclusively for ST girls in 54 districts identified in the country, where the ST population is 25% or more and ST female literacy rate is below 35% or its fractions, as per 2001 Census. The scheme is being implemented through Voluntary Organizations/Non-Governmental Organizations and aims at enhancing the literacy rate of tribal girls, bridging the gap in literacy levels between the general female population and tribal women and reducing drop-outs at the elementary level by creating the required ambiance for education.

(vi) Pre-Matric Scholarships to ST students: The scheme is applicable to students who are studying in Classes IX –X. Parental income from all sources should not be more than Rs.2.50 lakhs per annum. Scholarship of Rs.225/-per month for day scholars and Rs.525/-per month for hostellers is given for a period of 10 months in a year. Scholarship is disbursed through the State Government/UT Administration. Funding ratio is 75:25 between Centre and States for all States except North East and Hills States like Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir where it is 90:10. For UT's without legislature sharing pattern is 100% Central Share.

(vii) Post Matric Scholarship to ST students: 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. Parental income from all sources should not be more than Rs.2.50 lakhs per annum. Compulsory fees charged by educational institutions are reimbursed subject to the limit fixed by the concerned State Fee fixation committee and scholarship amount of Rs.230 to Rs.1200 per month, depending upon the course of study is paid. The Scheme is implemented by the State Governments and Union Territory Administrations. Funding ratio is 75:25 between Centre and States for all States except NE and Hilly States/UTs of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir where it is 90:10. For UT's without legislature sharing pattern is 100% Central Share.

(viii) National Overseas Scholarships for ST Candidates for Studying Abroad: The Scheme provides for financial assistance to selected students to pursue Post Graduation, PhD & Post-Doctoral study abroad. A total of 20 awards are given every year. Of these, 17 awards are for STs and 3 awards for students belonging to Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs). Parental/family income from all sources should not exceed Rs.6.00 lakhs per annum.

(ix) National Fellowship &Scholarship for Higher Education of ST students:

(a) National Scholarship– (Top class) Scheme [Graduate level]: The objective of the scheme is to encourage meritorious ST students for pursuing studies in prescribed courses in any of the 246 institutions of excellence across the country like IITs, AIIMS, IIMs, NIITs, etc. identified by the Ministry. Family income from all sources should not exceed Rs.6.00 lakhs per annum. Scholarship amount includes tuition fees, living expenses and allowances for books and computer.

(b) National Fellowship for ST students:750 fellowships are provided to ST students each year for pursing higher studies in India for MPhil and PhD. Fellowship is granted as per UGC norms. (Presently Rs. 25,000/- for JRF and Rs. 28,000/- for SRF).

(x) Development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs): The scheme of Development of PVTGs covers 75 identified PVTGs among Scheduled Tribes in 18 States and UT of Andaman & Nicobar-Islands for the activities like education, housing, land distribution, land development, agricultural development, animal husbandry, construction of link roads, installation of non-conventional sources of energy for lighting purpose, social security or any other innovative activity meant for the comprehensive socio-economic development of PVTGs.

(xi) Institutional Support for Development & Marketing of Tribal Products/Produce (Central Sector Scheme): The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) is a Multi-State Cooperative Society set up in 1987 under the Multi State Cooperative Societies Act, 1984 (now the Multi State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002) which functions both as a service provider and market developer for tribal products. It markets tribal products through the network of its retail outlets ‘TRIBES INDIA’ in the country. As a capacity builder, it also imparts training to Scheduled Tribe Artisans and Minor Forest Produce (MFP) gatherers.

(xii) Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP: A Scheme “Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Development of Value Chain for MFP” was introduced by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in the year 2013-14, to provide much needed safety net and support to people belonging to Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers whose very livelihood depends on collection and selling of MFP.

(xiii) Support to National/State Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporations (NSTFDC/STFDCS): National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation (NSTFDC) is an apex organization set up 10.04.2001, exclusively for economic development of Scheduled Tribes. The Corporation continues to function as a catalytic agent for promoting economic development activities of STs by providing financial assistance at concessional rates of interest.

(xiv) Support to Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs):Ministry extends support to the State Governments through the Scheme to set up new TRIs where it didn’t exist and to strengthen functioning of existing TRIs to carry out its core responsibility towards Research & Documentations, Training and capacity building, promotion of rich tribal heritage etc. To preserve tribal art and culture, financial assistance is provided to TRI’s to carry out various activities to preserve and promote tribal culture and heritage across the country through research and documentation, maintenance and preservation of art & artefacts, setting up of tribal museum, exchange visits for the tribals to other parts of the State, organizing tribal festivals etc. Funding under this Scheme is 100% grant-in-aid by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs to the TRIs on need basis with the approval of APEX Committee. TRIs prepare proposal and detailed action plan for the year along with budgetary requirement and submit it to the Ministry through State Tribal Welfare Department. Within the set of TRIs, there are cultural museum, library, training center, research wing etc.

(xv) Tribal Festivals, Research Information and Mass Education : Through the scheme, promotion of rich tribal cultural heritage, dissemination of information and creation of awareness are given attention to which includes organization of Tribal Craft & Food Festivals, Sports, Music, Dance & Photo Competitions, Science, Art & Craft Expos, Workshops, Seminars, Production of documentary films by the Ministry & States, bringing out Publications thereby highlighting significant studies, documenting historical facets of tribal communities, achievements of Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) & State Departments besides other advertisements etc. at regular intervals. With a view to fill the gap of research studies on tribal issues, MoTA recognizes renowned NGOs, Research Institutes, Universities where expertise exist and which have already made a mark by carrying out pioneering research in the field of tribal cultures as Centre of Excellences (CoEs). It is envisaged that CoEs should play an important role in building knowledge bank to complement dedicated Activities of the Ministry.

This information is given by Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Smt. Renuka Singh Saruta in Lok Sabha today.



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