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Socio Economic Upliftment of Tribals

Delhi 

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Over the years, the Central and State Governments have been taking various initiatives for socio-economic upliftment of tribal population of the country. This includes the Tribal Sub Plan Strategy (TSP Strategy) implemented since 1974-75. These efforts have brought out some improvements for Scheduled Tribes in terms of various indicators relating to literacy, health, livelihood, etc. as reflected in Census 2011 and other socio-economic survey reports. However, there are still considerable gaps in the human development indices between Scheduled Tribes and general population. .

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Government through various interventions has strategized the overall development and welfare of tribal people across the country, which takes care of necessary support for education, health, sanitation, water supply, livelihood, etc. to improve their economic, educational and social conditions. The major part of development activities is carried out through various schemes/programmes of concerned Central Ministries and the State Governments, while the Ministry of Tribal Affairs provides additive to these initiatives by way of plugging critical gaps. .

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The erstwhile Planning Commission got a holistic evaluation study conducted through a third party agency on the effectiveness of the TSP strategy in terms of delivery of goods and services to the tribal population. The report of the Study was made public during May 2013. The Study, inter alia, reported underperformance of TSP funds in fetching tangible results and triggering development of tribals. In addition, the then Planning Commission had undertaken Evaluation Studies through its Programme Evaluation Organization to assess the performance of the various welfare schemes from time to time. The recommendations made in these Evaluation Studies were communicated to the concerned Nodal Implementing Agencies. Besides, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs held several consultations with the stakeholders in the Central Governments as well as State Governments and outside experts / agencies to gauge the deficiencies confronting tribal development with the desired pace. .

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The erstwhile Planning Commission had issued revised Guidelines during 2014 for implementation of Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) by the States /UTs and Central Government Ministries/Departments keeping in mind the holistic development of tribal people. The Guidelines, inter alia, reiterate the resolve of the Government for allocation of funds under TSP out of total Plan Outlays of the State not less than the population proportion of STs in State as per Census 2011. The Guidelines further stipulates for non-diversion of funds meant for tribal areas and comprehensive monitoring framework with well-defined indicators, covering provisioning, service delivery standards as well as outcomes. The Guidelines recognizes respective Tribal Welfare Department in the States as the nodal department authorized to lead the process of TSP development. .

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The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has also issued Operational Guidelines for Formulation, Implementation and Monitoring of Tribal Sub-Plan and Article 275(1) grants in the month of March, 2014 for effective implementation of schemes administered by the Ministry wherein issues related to allocation of funds, priority areas, need for nodal department in States, judicious utilization of TSP fund, institutionalizing the instruments for ensuring transparency, accountability and social audit have been addressed. The Operational Guidelines have laid special emphasis on strengthening of institutions viz. Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) / Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP), Tribal Research Institutions (TRIs) through which tribal welfare programmes are implemented in the State. Further provision has been made for appraisal and approval of the proposals received from the States by a Project Appraisal Committee (PAC) consisting of Secretary (Tribal Affairs) as chairman with representatives of NITI Aayog, Financial Advisor and representatives of the State as members/invitees. .

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As per Section 4(5) and Section 5 of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, the decision of the Gram Sabha is required before diversion of forest land for non- forest purposes. Also, welfare schemes are formulated based on the requirement of tribal areas and the tribal people. Government from time to time identifies the lacuna in policy and implementation and makes recommendations to correct or effectively implement the programmes to benefit the target group. .

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This information was given by Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Shri Mansukhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava in a written reply in Lok Sabha today. .

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Samir/jk

First Published: Mon, March 16 2015. 16:20 IST