- The Government of India (GoI) and the State Governments, through various schemes and policy measures, are working for the welfare of the backward communities including the STs.
Important Central Sector and Centrally Sponsored Schemes/Provisions for tribal welfare
- Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Plan or Tribal Sub-Scheme of States: Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Plan is given by the Central Government to States to support their efforts in bridging the gap between the tribal population and other social groups through human resource development, enhanced quality of life, enhanced opportunities and alleviation of poverty.
- Grant-in-aid under Article 275(1): Grants-in-aid from the Union to certain States, charged on the Consolidated Fund of India, are provided to promote the welfare of the STs in that State or raise the level of administration of the Scheduled Tribes’ Areas to that of the administration of the remaining area of the State.
- Eklavya Model Residential Schools: The scheme of Eklavya Model Residential Schools was introduced in the year 1997-98 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. The schools focus not only on academic education but on the all-round development of the students.
- Scholarship and Fellowship schemes: The Central Government has made provisions for scholarships to Scheduled Tribe students of the country which are available at various levels of education, viz. pre-matric education and post-matric education.
Special Fund for Protection of PVTGs
- Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) are those tribal communities with a pre-agriculture level of technological expertise, a stagnant or declining population, an extremely low level of literacy, and a subsistence economy.
- Around 75 such PVTGs have been identified by the Government of India in 18 States.
- The Special Fund aims at improvement in the social indicators of PVTGs like livelihood, health, nutrition, and education to improve their situation.
National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation
- National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation (NSTFDC), an apex Organization under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, was brought into existence in 2001 with the sole aim of economic upliftment of the Scheduled Tribes in the country by way of extending concessional financial assistance to the target group under its various schemes.
- The prominent schemes of NSTFDC are Adivasi Mahila Sashaktikaran Yojana – an exclusive scheme for Scheduled Tribe women, Adivasi Shiksha Rinn Yojana – Education Loan scheme, Micro Credit Scheme for Self Help Groups (SHGs) – comprising Scheduled Tribes as its members, Tribal Forest Dwellers Empowerment Scheme and Teak Growers Scheme.
- Further, to celebrate the contributions and sacrifices of tribal freedom fighters, the Centre announced to commemorate 15th November as ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas’, which is the birth anniversary of tribal leader Birsa Munda.
- In addition to these measures, the Government of India has launched Van Dhan Vikas Kendras to harness the wealth of the forest for the benefit of tribal people by providing a mechanism for marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP). It essentially imparts training to the tribals in marketing their minor forest produce and in developing value chain components.
- It is a joint effort of Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) and the Government of India. The program has ambitious plans to tap into the traditional skill sets and knowledge of tribal people. It also will be helpful in converting tribal wisdom and experience into an economic activity that is remunerative.