[Solved] Why are the tribals in India referred to as ‘the Scheduled Tribes’? Indicate the major provisions enshrined in the Constitution of India for their upliftment
Schedule Tribes are community of people who lived in tribal areas (mainly forest). They make up
to 7-8% of Indian population. They have traditionally been marginalized and not in the mainstream
of the society. They are also known as Adivasis.
• The criterion followed for specification of a community, as scheduled tribes are indications of
primitive traits, distinctive culture, geographical isolation, shyness of contact with the community
at large, and backwardness. This criterion is not spelt out in the Constitution but has become well
• Constitutional Provisions / Safeguards for Scheduled Tribes; can be divided into two Protective
Provisions and Developmental and upliftment provisions.
• The constitutional provisions are:
a) Article 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”.
b) Article 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 “.
c) Cultural and Educational Rights:
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.
d) Articles 330, 332 and 334:
Seats shall be reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in legislative bodies. There are
provisions for reservations of seats in the parliament as well as legislative Assembly of every state
(Article 330,332).Such reservations were cease to be effective after a period of 10 years from the
commencement of the constitution (Article 334) but after every ten years it’s being extended through constitutional amendments.
It says that there shall be a special officer for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to be
appointed by the President. National Commission for Scheduled Tribes has been established under
• The Government of India has also enacted progressive legislation, programmes and schemes for the development and empowerment of the SCs and STs. The Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest
Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA); The Provision of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996; Minor Forest Produce Act 2005; and the Tribal Sub-Plan Strategy.
• The Government of India has also enacted special schemes to enable access to opportunities including scholarships for education, financial support and skill building for setting up enterprises, reservations in jobs, and special courts to address instances of atrocities and violence.
Major provisions enshrined in the constitution for upliftment of tribals
The best form of provision is given through reservation to the community. The tribal groups mentioned in the schedule are entitled to educational and employment benefits that plans to bring them with par with other communities.
Tribal culture and beliefs are different from the rest of the country and certain care has to be taken in order to provide them governance. This is fulfilled through self governance measures in the form of Tribal councils, Autonomous District Councils, PESA etc. This will reduce interference in tribal areas.
In addition to above mentioned benefits, there are other benefits that are added through legislative actions. This includes Forest Rights Act, that provides non-timber economic rights to tribals for items such as Tendu leaves, Mahua flowers, Bamboo shoots etc. They are also provided with land rights and prevention from forceful eviction from their lands.
Origin of the term Schedule: The fifth and sixth schedule of the constitution of India contains the provision related to the administration and control of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes and certain tribal areas respectively.
On the basis of the discrimination faced by the communities, the makers of the constitution provided them some special consideration by classifying them as Schedule tribes.
Educational, economical, and professional:
Article 15 of the Indian constitution prohibits any discrimination on the ground of race, religion, sex, caste or place of birth.
Article 46 ensures the promotion of educational and economic interests.
Article 335 claims of Schedule tribes to services and post.
Article 330 provides them reservation in the House of People (Lok Sabha).
Article 332 provides them reservation in the state legislative assembly.
Article 243D provides reservation to them in Panchayat.
Article 243T provides not less than 1/3rd of the total seat reserved for women belongs to Schedule tribes.
National commission for scheduled tribes has been established under Article 338A. It is a constitutional body which participates in the socio-economic development planning process of scheduled tribes
These communities needed special consideration for safeguarding their interests and for their accelerated socio-economic development. So these communities were notified as Scheduled Tribes as per provisions of THE CONSTITUTION (SCHEDULED TRIBES) ORDER, 1950 passed by President compliant with Articles 342 of the Constitution.
For the Socio-economic and overall development of the Tribal people, special provisions and safeguards have been provided in the Constitution of India under following provisions.
- Art. 15(4): Special provisions for advancement of other backward classes (which includes STs);
- Art. 46: The State shall promote the educational and economic interests of the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
- 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 period.).
- Art. 243: Reservation of seats in Panchayats.
- Art. 371: Special provisions in respect of NE States and Sikkim./tribals/
While ensuring their cultural integrity, the constitution for following provision for their upliftment-
Provision for reservation in general (article 14(4)) and in particular, in jobs and appointments in favour of tribal communities (article 16(4)) ensure their presence in the administration which work for their betterment.
Representation in Parliament and state legislatures (articles 330 and 332), it ensure that they have their say in polity making./tribals/
Learning from the colonial experience and protecting their source of livelihood constitution provide for restriction on the right of the ordinary citizen to move freely or settle in particular areas or acquire property in them (article19(5))./tribals/
Besides these, there are provisions in the 5th or 6th schedule of the Constitution (Articles 244 and 244(a) that empower the state to bring the area inhabited by the tribes under special treatment of administration for their specific requirements of development./tribals/
Directive Principle of the Constitution that requires that the educational and economic rights of tribes, is especially promoted (Article 46)
To complement the constitutional provisions various has also been enacted. But their holistic upliftment can only be ensured through effective legal, administrative, infrastructure and financial support
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