Inclusion of tribes from 5 states in ST category

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently gave nod for the inclusion of tribes of five states in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category.

Key facts

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the inclusion of tribes from Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh in the ST category.
  • It has included 12 communities to the ST list.
  • Among them is the Hattee Community living in the Trans-Giri region in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh.
  • This community is named based on its traditional occupation of selling home-grown crops, vegetables, meat and wool at small-town markets called haats.
  • It has been demanding ST status since 1967, when the status was granted to people living in Jaunsar Bawar area in Uttarakhand, which shares a border with the Sirmaur district.
  • Other communities that were recently granted ST status were Gond along with their five sub-castes in Bhadohi District of Uttar Pradesh, Betta-Kuruba community in Karnataka, Binjhia in Chhattisgarh and Narikuravan and Kuruvikaran in Tamil Nadu.
  • The Narikuravans and Kuruvikarans in Tamil Nadu have been demanding ST status since 1965 based the recommendations by the Lokur Panel. They were earlier recognized as the Most Backward Community.
  • This community is mostly involved in traditional occupation of hunter-gathering and selling of bead necklaces.
  • The Union Cabinet has included the Betta-Kuruba community as synonym of “Kadu Kuruba” in the ST list.
  • Betta-Kuruba tribe in Karnataka’s Chamarajnagar, Kodagu and Mysuru districts have been demanding ST status for the past 3 decades but have not been granted because of spelling errors and similar sounding names.
  • The newly listed communities in the ST list would benefit from existing schemes targeting the Scheduled Tribes in the country.
  • Some of these benefits include post-matric scholarship, overseas scholarship and the national fellowship, concessional loans from the National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation, and hostels for students.
  • Members of these communities would also benefit from reservations in services and admissions in educational institutions.

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