Rajya Sabha Passes Tribal Affairs Amendment Bills 2024
Rajya Sabha has passed the Constitution (STs) Order Amendment Bill 2024 and the Constitution (SCs and STs) Order Amendment Bill 2024, presented by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
This cleared the way for the addition of several new communities to the STs list of Odisha and the inclusion of synonyms and phonetic variations of existing tribes in the ST lists of both Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
New PVTG Additions
Among the additions were notably seven Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) (a subset of STs) – four in Odisha and three in Andhra Pradesh. The independent names of these PVTGs had been specifically added as synonyms or sub-tribes of communities already on the ST lists of these States.
- In Odisha, the PVTG communities added are – Pauri Bhuyan and Paudi Bhuyan as synonyms of the Bhuyan tribe; The Chuktia Bhunjia as a synonym of the Bhunjia tribe; The Bondo as a sub-tribe of the Bondo Poraja tribe; and The Mankidia as a synonym for the Mankirdia tribe.
- In Andhra Pradesh, the PVTG communities included Bondo Porja and Khond Porja as synonyms of the Porja tribe and the Konda Savaras as a synonym for the Savaras tribe. These groups belong to PVTGs and have been included in the scheduled list after 75 years of independence.
Other Changes to ST Lists
In addition to this, the Bill to amend Odisha’s ST list also shifted two entries – Tamadia and Tamudia – from the Scheduled Castes list to the Scheduled Tribes list. The Bill also added synonyms, phonetic variations and sub-tribes of at least eight existing communities in the State’s ST list.
Further, Odisha’s ST list was expanded by adding two communities to it as new entries. These are – The Muka Dora community (and synonyms) in undivided Koraput District which includes Koraput, Nowrangapur, Rayagada and Malkangiri districts; and The Konda Reddy (and synonyms) community.
According to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA), India has 75 PVTGs, who are characterised by – Pre-agriculture level of technology, Stagnant or declining population, extremely low literacy, and Subsistence level of economy. PVTGs were recognised as a separate category based on the findings of the 1961 Dhebar Commission. In 1975, there were 52 PVTGs and the list had been expanded to 75 across 18 states and Union Territories.
Data from the MoTA and the 2011 Census shows that Odisha has the largest population of PVTGs at 8.66 lakh, followed by MP at 6.09 lakh and Andhra Pradesh (including Telangana) at 5.39 lakh. The total PVTG population is more than 40 lakh and the largest PVTG is Odisha’s Saura community, numbering 5.35 lakh.
Government Efforts for PVTG Welfare
The Union Budget 2023-24 announced the launch of the PM PVTG Development Mission to provide basic facilities to PVTG households. An amount of Rs.15,000 crore has been allocated over 3 years under the DAPST. The PM-JANMAN has also been launched to enhance socio-economic conditions of PVTGs with a total outlay of Rs.24,104 crore. It will focus on 11 critical interventions through 9 Ministries. The government has been following up with respective State governments over the declining populations of several PVTG communities.
Category: Legal & Constitution Current Affairs