THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 27 November 2018 (Margins of New India )

Margins of New India

Mains Paper 4: Social Justice
Prelims level: Socio economics conditions of STs
Mains level: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections


  •  Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are among the four Indian states other than those in the Northeast with more than 20 per cent Adivasi population.
  •  Chhattisgarh, in fact, has an Adivasi population of more than 30 per cent.
  •  However, the Scheduled Tribes (STs) have hardly found a mention in the election campaigns in the two states.
  •  Along with the Muslims, the Adivasis seem to be the main losers in “New India”.

The socio economic conditions

  •  According to the India Human Development Survey, in 2011-12, the annual per capita income of the STs in Chhattisgarh represented 51 per cent of the per capita income of the non-STs, a significant climbdown from 2004-2005, when this proportion was 68 per cent.
  •  In Madhya Pradesh, this proportion has fallen from 65 to 55 per cent. The Adivasis are worse-off in only one other state, Gujarat — also BJP-ruled.
  •  In Gujarat, STs’ annual per capita income represents only 35 per cent of the annual per capita income of the others.
  •  In all three states, STs are poorer than SCs — in Gujarat, their per capita income is 45 per cent of that of SCs, in Chhattisgarh, 58 per cent, and in MP, it’s the highest among the three states, at 75 per cent.
  •  The appalling socio-economic condition of the Adivasis is a reflection of their lack of education. Only 1.7 per cent of STs in the two states are graduates.
  •  The data suggests that quotas are not being filled in the university system as well as in the public sector.
  •  The economic situation of the Adivasis is, in fact, closely related to their under-representation among salaried people.
  •  In Chhattisgarh, only 6.2 per cent of Adivasis are salaried. In MP, only 3.5 per cent were salaried in 2011-12, compared to 4.9 per cent in 2004-05.
  •  In Chhattisgarh, 34 per cent of Adivasis are “labourers”, which means that they till the land of others. In MP, 46 per cent of them are “labourers”.
    Forest holdings
  •  In both states, the Forest Rights Act (FRA), that provides legal rights to Adivasis over their forestlands, has not been fully implemented.
  •  More than 40 per cent of them operate “marginal holdings” and their holdings are shrinking, according to the Agriculture Census. MP hasthe largest forest cover in the country, but Adivasis here have found it very difficult to obtain land titles.
  •  More than 60 per cent of the forest rights’ claims in the state have been dismissed.
  •  The FRA allows for a maximum claim of four hectares (ha), the average size of the land distributed under the act in the state is about 1.45 ha.
  •  Chhattisgarh, Adivasis have filed 8,56,150 claims over land since 2006, of which 4, 57,969 (53 per cent) have been rejected.
  •  The average land distributed is a mere 0.85 hectare, while the Adivasis are entitled to 4 ha.
  •  In a contravention of the spirit of the FRA, Section 165 of the Chhattisgarh Land Code Act has been amended to facilitate the acquisition of tribal land by the government.
  •  According to the Statistical Profile of STs in India (2013), 15 per cent of the Adivasis in the country live in MP.
  •  But more than 20 per of the crimes against STs are committed in the state, according to the Crime Bureau including 40 per cent of the murders. In terms of literacy rate, the gap between the Adivasis and non-Adivasis is about 19 percentage points in MP at the all-India level, this gap is about 14 per cent.

Way forward

  •  STs are not in a majority in most of the reserved seats. Second, as Tariq Thachil points out in Elite parties, poor voters,the Sangh Parivar’s social work free healthcare services, for instance does have some impact.
  •  The strategy of polarisation and Hinduisation works among STs. Fourth, the Adivasis are not a block.
  •  Like the SCs, they are divided into hundreds of subgroups, whose leaders can be co-opted. The current elections will show whether these factors still operate.

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General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

Prelims Questions:

Q.1) Which of the following seas has been declared as the World’s largest Marine Protected area?
a) Caspian sea
b) Sargasso Sea
c) Ross Sea
d) Dead Sea

Answer: C

Mains Questions:
Q.1) What are the reasons for STs backwardness? How it can be resolved?