Improving Tribal Welfare: Key Updates to Scheduled Tribe and PVTG Lists

Young Muria Tribe Children

The Rajya Sabha recently approved the Constitution (STs) Order Amendment Bill 2024 and the Constitution (SCs and STs) Order Amendment Bill 2024, introduced by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. These bills pave the way for significant changes to the Scheduled Tribe (ST) lists, particularly in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

New PVTG Additions:

  • Seven Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs), a subset of STs, have been added, including four in Odisha and three in Andhra Pradesh. These additions include both independent names and synonyms of existing tribes.
  • In Odisha, notable additions include Pauri Bhuyan and Paudi Bhuyan as synonyms of the Bhuyan tribe, Chuktia Bhunjia as a synonym of the Bhunjia tribe, Bondo as a sub-tribe of the Bondo Poraja tribe, and Mankidia as a synonym for the Mankirdia tribe.
  • In Andhra Pradesh, Bondo Porja and Khond Porja have been added as synonyms of the Porja tribe, and Konda Savaras as a synonym for the Savaras tribe.

Other Changes to ST Lists:

  • Odisha's ST list has been amended to include two entries – Tamadia and Tamudia – from the Scheduled Castes list to the Scheduled Tribes list.
  • Additionally, synonyms, phonetic variations, and sub-tribes of existing communities have been added to Odisha's ST list.
  • Two new communities have been added to Odisha's ST list – the Muka Dora community and the Konda Reddy community.

About PVTGs:

  • PVTGs are characterized by pre-agricultural technology, stagnant or declining population, extremely low literacy, and a subsistence level of economy.
  • India has 75 PVTGs across 18 states and Union Territories, identified based on the 1961 Dhebar Commission findings.
  • Odisha has the largest PVTG population, followed by Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
  • The government has launched initiatives like the PM PVTG Development Mission and PM-JANMAN to address the socio-economic conditions of PVTGs.

Government Efforts for PVTG Welfare:

  • The Union Budget 2023-24 allocated funds for the PM PVTG Development Mission and PM-JANMAN to improve basic facilities and socio-economic conditions for PVTGs.
  • The government is collaborating with state governments to address the declining populations of several PVTG communities.

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