- Sentinelese, with a population of about 50 to 100 on the North Sentinel Island of the Andaman Islands, are not only among the most isolated PVTGs across the country, but also among the five in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands which include Great Andamanese, Onge, Jarawa, and Shompens.
- The Sentinelese, a negrito tribe, are connected to the Jarawa on the basis of physical, as well as linguistic similarities.
- Based on Radiocarbon dating of kitchen middens by the Anthropological Survey of India, Sentinelese presence was confirmed in the islands 2,000 years ago. Genome studies indicate that the Andaman tribes could have been on the islands even 30,000 years ago.
- Radiocarbon dating is a method that provides objective age estimates for carbon-based materials that originated from living organisms. Carbon-14 is a weakly radioactive isotope of Carbon; also known as radiocarbon. C-14 dating is only applicable to organic and some inorganic materials (not applicable to metals).
Why in News?
- Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) in its recent report said that any exploitation of the North Sentinel Island of the Andamans for commercial and strategic gain would spell the death knell for its occupants, the Sentinelese.
- PVTGs are more vulnerable among the tribal groups. Due to this factor, more developed and assertive tribal groups take a major chunk of the tribal development funds, because of which PVTGs need more funds directed for their development.
- In 1973, the Dhebar Commission created Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs) as a separate category, who are less developed among the tribal groups. In 2006, the Government of India renamed the PTGs as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
- 75 tribal groups have been categorized by the Ministry of Home Affairs as PVTGs. PVTGs reside in 18 States and UT of A&N Islands.
- Among the 75 listed PVTG’s the highest number are found in Odisha (13), followed by Andhra Pradesh (12).
- The Government of India follows the following criteria for identification of PVTGs.
- Pre-agricultural level of technology
- Low level of literacy
- Economic backwardness
- A declining or stagnant population.