(GIST OF YOJANA) Policies on Scheduled Tribes

(GIST OF YOJANA) Policies on Scheduled Tribes


Policies on Scheduled Tribes


The framers of the Constitution took note of the fact that certain communities in the country were suffering from extreme social, educational and economic backwardness on account of the primitive agricultural practices, lack of infrastructure facilities and geographical isolation. In order to uplift such communities, a provision was made in the Constitution of India, in the form of reservation for them in education, employment and in the governing bodies, as Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs). The Constitution of India in Article 366 (25) prescribes that the Scheduled Tribes mean ‘such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342 of the Constitution to be Scheduled Tribes. STs are notified in 30 States/UTs and the number of individual ethnic groups, etc., notified as STs is 705.

The issues of Janjati, i.e., tribal communities in India are unique in nature, owing to their distinct cultural pattern and value systems across different regions. Wherever they live, they have been
following a developmental approach ensuring ecological balance along with economic development, which is termed as Sustainable Development in the modern world. Considering this perspective, specific needs were identified and NCST had been given a special constitutional status which is envisaged as follows:

  • to investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Tribes;

  • to inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the Scheduled Tribes;

  • to participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any State;

  • to make such reports and recommendations as to the measures that should be taken by the Union or any State for the effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes;

  • to discharge other such functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development and
    advancement of the Scheduled Tribes, and

  • to present to the President, annually and at such other times, as the Commission may deem fit,
    reports upon the working of those safeguards. The Union and every State Government shall consult the Commission on all major policy matters affecting Scheduled Tribes.

While investigating the matters referred to in sub-clause (a) or inquiring into any complaint referred to in sub-clause (b) of Clause 5, the Commission has all the powers of a Civil Court trying a suit and in particular in respect of the following matters, namely:

  • Summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person from any part of India and examining him on oath;

  • Requiring the discovery and production of any documents;

  • Receiving evidence on affidavits;

  • Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;

  • Issuing summons/communications for the examination of witnesses and documents;

  • Any other matters which the President may by rule determine.

In accordance with Clause 9 of Article 338A of the Constitution, ‘the Union and every State Government shall consult the Commission on all major policy matters affecting the Scheduled Tribes’.

Grievance Redressal:

NCST as a constitutional body, has played a key role in the advancement and in securing the rights of STs in India. It receives a number of representations from individuals, civil societies, and non-governmental organisations regarding injustice being meted out to persons belonging to STs. The print and electronic media also highlight the issues relating to atrocities, exploitation and social injustice on people belonging to these tribes. As soon as the mattes get the attention of the Commission, every effort is made for providing justice to persons belonging to the STs. In order to achieve this, the Commission enjoys cooperation and assistance from all organs of the state. To reach out to the people in the field, members of the Commission visit different locations in the country. On such occasions, tribal communities get opportunities for redressal of their grievances in their respective places. NCST has also launched an e-portal www.ncstgrams.gov.in for the public to register their complaints.


Planning and effective implementation of appropriate schemes of development are imperative so that the tribal communities can realise their full potential. The Commission is committed to associate itself with the planning process to fulfill the responsibility entrusted by the Constitution of India.

Studies conducted by anthropologists have brought to light, the changes that have taken place among the tribal communities in the backdrop of the processes of acculturation, modernisation and globalisation. Their studies reveal that the basic principles of life and culture of the tribal communities in India, broadly center around the values, such as:
1. Identification with nature; their inseparability with nature in body, mind and spirit.
2. Coexistence, amity and empathy with other living beings.
3. Collective living or collective subsistence and the principle of ‘sharing’- sharing the food, land and forest resources, sharing the seeds, labour and hardship, sharing the misfortunes and risks in living in mountains and forests, and so on.
4. Non-accumulation of personal property or wealth or in other words, sustainable and simple living.
5. Restraint and resolving disputes by withdrawal. The tribal people never encroach; rather they generally withdraw, and avoid conflicts.



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Courtesy: Yojana