The Scheduled Tribes are various officially disadvantaged groups of
historically disadvantaged people in India. The terms are recognized in the
Constitution of India and the various groups are designated in one or other
categories. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar in Drafting Committee drafted Constitution of
India in 1950. In order to balance caste system in society, they represented
certain privileges, reservations for Scheduled Tribes (since in ancient society
Scheduled Tribes were treated as untouchables).
In ancient time, Scheduled Tribes were ill-treated. They used to do work which
other people refused (disgust) to do such work. Because of the above reasons
also they might be ill-treated or vice versa else. There is no clear cut neither
reason nor answer for which these certain peoples were tortured and been treated
as slaves. In this prescribed essay, I talked about who are all Tribal, why they
were called Scheduled Tribes and concentrated more towards their (Scheduled
) rights and also certain
The tribe is viewed, developmentally, or historically as a social group existing
before the development of Nation States, or outside them. A Tribe is a group of
distinct people, dependant on their land for their livelihood, who are largely
self-sufficient, and not integrated into the National society.
Tribes Are Called Scheduled: Why?
The reason why they are called Schedule
is because they included in one of the
Schedule of the Constitution of India. Our Constitution has 12 Schedules. The
Scheduled Tribes people are the one who are previously untouchables. According
to Hindu Mythology, this is the fifth category in the VARNA system. The
Scheduled Tribes people are generally called as ADIVASI.
Adivasi are the tribal groups population of mainland South Asia. Adivasi make up
8.6% of India's population, or 104 million people, according to the 2011 census,
and a large percentage of the Nepalese population. They comprise a substantial
indigenous minority of the population of India and Nepal. The same term Adivasi
is used for the ethnic minorities of Bangladesh and the native Tharu people of
The word is also used in the same sense in Nepal, as Janajati, although
the political context differed historically under the Shah and Rana dynasties.
Adivasis societies are particularly prominent in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh,
Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal and some
north-eastern states, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Many smaller tribal
groups are quite sensitive to ecological degradation caused by modernization.
Both commercial forestry and intensive agriculture have proved destructive to
the forests that had endured swidden agriculture for many centuries. Adivasis in
central part of India have been victims of the Salwa Judum campaign by the
Government against the Naxalite insurgency. An example for TRIBE is DEAD HEADS
who followed the GRATEFUL HEAD. Example is Choctaw American Indians.
Largest Tribe In India
According to 2011 Census of India, BHIL is the most popular tribe with a total
population of 4,618,068 constituting 37.7% of the total ST population. GOND is
the seond largest tribe, with a population of 4,357,918 constituting of 35.6%
MADHYA PRADESH has more than 1.6 Crore ST population who mare 21% of state
population. MIZORAM and LAKSHADWEEP had the highest percentage of ST population
but as number one think CHATTISGARH will top the list.
According to Art.342 of Constitution of India, the President after consulting
with the state governments concerned, has promulgated nine order so far. This
promulgation has clearly specified the Scheduled Tribes in relation to concerned
State and Union territories. India can proudly be called the largest TRIBAL
population in the world. According to 2001 Census, 8.2% of India's population.
This interprets into 82 million people. In all,, 698 Scheduled Tribes exist in
India. Constitutional Provisions / Safeguards for Scheduled Tribes, can be
divided into two parts
Basic Safeguards Provided In Indian Constitution
Educational & Cultural Safeguards
- Art. 15(4): Special provisions for advancement of other backward classes (it
- Art. 29: Protection of Interests of Minorities (it includes STs)
- Art. 46:The State shall promote, with special care, the educational and
economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and in particular, of
the Scheduled Castes, and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from
social injustice and all forms of exploitation,¯
- Art. 350: Right to conserve distinct Language, Script or Culture;
- Art. 350: Instruction in Mother Tongue.
- Art. 23: Prohibition of traffic in human beings and beggar and other similar
form of forced labour;
- Art. 24: Forbidding Child Labour.
- Art.244: Clause(1) Provisions of Fifth Schedule shall apply to the
administration & control of the Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes in any
State other than the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura which are
covered under Sixth Schedule, under Clause (2) of this Article.
- Art. 275: Grants in-Aid to specified States (STs&SAs) covered under Fifth and
Sixth Schedules of the Constitution.
- Art.164(1): Provides for Tribal Affairs Ministers in Bihar, MP and Orissa;
- Art. 330: Reservation of seats for STs in Lok Sabha;
- Art. 337: Reservation of seats for STs in State Legislatures;
- Art. 334: 10 years period for reservation (Amended several times to extend the
- Art. 243: Reservation of seats in Panchayats.
- Art. 371: Special provisions in respect of NE States and Sikkim
Service Safeguards(Under Art.16(4),16(4A),164(B) Art.335, and Art. 320(40)
Other Provision In Regards With Rights Of Scheduled Tribes In Indian
Art.15(4). Promotion Of Social, Economic And Educational Interests
This article empowers the state to make any special provision for the
advancement of socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for
the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
This clause has been especially incorporated to prevent any special provision
made by a state for the advancement of socially or educationally backward
classes of citizens from being challenged in the law courts on the ground of
Art.19(5) Safeguard Of Tribal Interests
While the rights of free movement and residence throughout the territory of
India and of acquisition and disposition of property are guaranteed to every
citizen, special restrictions may be imposed by the state for the protection of
the interests of any Scheduled Tribe.
(For example state may impose restrictions on owning property by Non Tribals in
Art.23 Human Trafficking
Traffic in human beings, begar and other similar forms of forced labour are
prohibited€¯. This is a very significant provision so far as Scheduled Tribes are
Art.29 Cultural And Educational Rights
According to this article a cultural or linguistic minority has right to
conserve its language or culture. The state shall not impose upon it any
culture other than the community's own culture.
It provides for a Minister-in-charge of tribal welfare in the states of MP,
Chattisgarh, Orissa and Jharkhand.
These states have substantial tribal population and special provision of a
Minister looking after tribal welfare is an evidence of the concern of the
framers of the constitution for safeguarding the interests of Scheduled Tribes.
Bhauri Lal Jain And Anr. Vs Sub-Divisional Officer And Ors.
In this case, Mr. Sinha has urged that Section 42 of the Act is discriminatory,
inasmuch as if action for election is taken before a Civil Court, there will be
a defence that the suit is barred, if brought after twelve years, in case of
non-Scheduled Tribe, or 30 years, in case of Scheduled Tribes, as under amended
Article 65 of the Limitation Act, by Regulation I of 1969, but, there will be no
defence, if action is taken before the Deputy Commissioner, under Section 42 of
the Act, for eviction.
The position, therefore, comes to this that whereas the
suit will fail before the Civil Court, if such a defence is sustained, but if
the plaintiff will go before the Revenue Court, i.e., the Deputy Commissioner,
he will get the desired relief. Therefore, this was a harsher remedy and Section
42 was hit by Article 14 of the Constitution, as it was a denial of "equality
before law or equal protection of laws."
He also urged that under Section 42 of
the Act, the Deputy Commissioner may choose to interfere in one case and may not
choose to interfere in another. This is discriminatory between a citizen and
citizen. He has also urged that the true scope of the power of the Deputy
Commissioner under Section 42 is administrative as laid down in the case of 1957 BLJR 820. That is to say, he can exercise those powers where eviction is sought
for within twelve years of wrongful possession and the question of title does
not fall for consideration, which question can only be decided, in a suit, by a
Indira Vs State Of Kerala
Constitution of India provides that all citizens of India shall have equality of
status and of opportunity. Article 15(4) of the Constitution however provides
that State is competent to make special provision for the advancement of any
socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled
Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
Article 16(4) of the Constitution enables the
State to make provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour
of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the State, is not
adequately represented in the services under the State. Article 341 (2)
authorises the Parliament by law to include or exclude from the list of
Scheduled Castes specified in a notification issued under Clause (1) any caste,
race or tribe or part of or group within any caste, race or tribe.
the provision contained in Article 342 in relation to Scheduled Tribes. The
object of Article 341 as well as Article 342 is to identify the castes, races or
tribes which shall for the purpose of the Constitution be deemed to be, as the
case may be, scheduled castes or scheduled tribe and therefore entitled to the
protective rights conferred by the Constitution. Such castes, races, tribes or
tribal have been included in the notification issued under the Constitution and
the laws made by the Parliament.
Special Programmes And Enactments
Government of India has enacted progressive legislation, programmes and schemes
foe development and empowerment of Scheduled Tribes and other traditional Forest
Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights Act, 2016). (FRA). The provisions of
Panchayats (Extension to the SCHEDULED AREAS)Act, 1996. Minor Forest Produce Act
2005 and the Tribal Sub-Plan strategy are focused on the socio-economic
empowerment of Scheduled Tribes.
The Land Acquisition Bill, which has been
renamed as Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition,
Rehabilitation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and
Resettlement Bill, 2012 has a separate chapter to protect the interest of
Scheduled Tribes. The Parliament of India passed the Prohibition of Employment
as Manual Scavengers and their rehabilitation Bill, 2013 in Sep,13.
aims to eliminate the inhuman practice of Manual Scavenging and rehabilitation
of liberated Manual Scavengers, all of them who belong to Scheduled Tribes. The
Government of India also has Special schemes to enable access to opportunities
including Scholarships for Education, Financial support and Skill building for
setting up enterprise, Reservations in Jobs, and Special Courts to address
instances of Atrocities and Violence.
Through the Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP), the
Government of INDIA is Challenging Funds from Planning Commission for
Development of Scheduled Tribes. Of the total Plan Budget as of 2001, the
Government of INDIA has earmarked 8% for development of Scheduled Tribes in
Union and State Budgets.
The Prohibition Of Employment As Manual Scavengers And Their Rehabilitation
Eradication of dry latrines and Manual Scavenging and Rehabilitation of Manual
Scavengers in alternative Occupation has been an area of High Priority for the
Government. Towards this end, a multi-pronged strategy was followed, consisting
of the following Legislative as well as programmatic interventions:
- Enactments of Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines(Prohibition)Act, 1993(1993 Act).¯
- Integrated Low Cost Sanitation (ILCS) Scheme for conversion of Dry Latrines
into Sanitary Latrines in Urban areas.
- Launching of National Scheme for Liberation and Rehabilitation of
- Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers.
In spite of the above measures taken by the Government, Manual Scavenging
continued to exist which became evident with the release of 2011, the Census
data indicating existence of more than 26 lakh Insanitary Latrines in the
Country. Therefore, Government decided to enact another la to cover all types of
Insanitary Latrines and situations which give occasion for Manual Scavenging.
The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act,
2013 was passed by the Parliament in Sep, 2013 and has come into force from 6th
This Act intends to, inter alia, achieve its objectives to:
- Identify and Eliminate the Insanitary Latrines.
- Employment as Manual scavengers and
- Hazardous Manual cleaning of Sewer and Septic Tanks
- Identify and Rehabilitate the Manual Scavengers.
Prevention Of Atrocities Act, 1989
Assistance is provided to states/UTs for implementation of Scheduled Tribes
(Prevention of Atrocities) act, 1989. Financial assistance is provided to the
States/ UTs for implementation of these Acts, by way of relief of atrocity
victims, incentive for inter-caste marriages, awareness generation, setting up
of exclusive Special courts, etc. Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities)
Amendment Act, 2015 (No.1 of 2016) was notified in the Gazette of India
(Extraordinary) on 01.01.2016. The Amendment Act came into force on 26.01.2016.
Certain Privileges, Rights, Duties, and also Reservation Quotas
were given to Scheduled Tribes (as represented above). To stimulate the
development equals to other caste, those Rights, Reservations were given to
Scheduled Tribes. Though there is Reservation and Special Schemes for Scheduled
Tribes, they are still refusing to adopt certain changes, schemes since they
consider such changes as against their customs and tradition. Apart from above
privileges, in certain areas like villages Scheduled Tribes are till treated as
Rights of Scheduled Caste
Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act
Tribal Laws & Customs in India
Vulnerable Groups in India - Status, Schemes, Constitution of India
Legislative Analysis: The Scheduled Castes And Scheduled Tribes (Prevention
Of Atrocities) Act,1989