• In order to meet the special needs of the tribal community, for the first time a new ministry was created for the welfare of the tribals and the development of the Scheduled Areas of the country. A minister in the rank of cabinet and a Minister of State were placed in the Ministry of Tribal affairs in October 1999.


  • More than one thousand proposals for inclusion in the list of STs was processed as per procedure established by the Cabinet and hundreds of cases were selected for inclusion/exclusion/change of name etc. This exercise is done after a gap of nearly five decades. 270 communities were included in the list of Scheduled Tribes by amending the constitution of India (The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Amendment) Act, 2002. Justice to more than one hundred communities, who waited for decades to get themselves listed in the schedule of the Constitution.  They get all preferential benefits and constitutional protections.  Let us note that, this summary revision of tribes on such a large scale has been undertaken after more than 25 years.


  • Scheduled Area notified in case of newly created states of Jharkhand, Chhattishgarh and the bifurcated state of Madhya Pradesh. As per the Constitution, these Scheduled Areas enjoy many special provisions keeping in view the special nature of the tribes.


  • A Commission for Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes was constituted under Article 339(1) of the Constitution having 11 Members. The tenure of the Commission is for one year. This Commission was constituted after 1960, though it is suppose to be constituted every ten years. This is a periodic commission. This commission suggested ways to improve the living conditions of the Scheduled Tribes. The reports are pending with the NDA government for taking necessary actions.


  • A bill has been introduced for passing in the Parliament to create a separate National Commission for Scheduled Tribes having Five members. This commission is a permanent body having semi-judicial power.


  • The Constitution (ST Union Territory) Order Amendment Bill 2003 is introduced in Parliament to give ST status to the children of such parents of Lakhyadweep, whose babies are born in the main land on the medical reason.


  • An exclusive finance corporation, namely, National Scheduled Tribe Finance Development Corporation (NSTFDC) was set up to advance easy loans to tribals to run their own venture to get self-employment and income.


  • The byelaw of Tribal Co-Operative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) has been modified as per the Multi State Cooperative Society Act 2002 to address new challenges. The restructuring process of TRIFED is initiated based on a Prospective Action Plan.


  • All the welfare schemes (both central sector and centrally sponsored) are either modified or are on the process of modification to make them effective, efficient and pragmatic.


  • Grant-in-aids under the Article 275(1) of the Constitution (Rs. 300 crores per year) is sanctioned, monitored and evaluated project-wise.


  • Special incentive given to Established Voluntary Agencies to undertake welfare projects for tribals. 614 additional NGOs got funding from the Ministry to implement about 900 projects.


  • 84 Eklavya Model Residential Schools, 420 hostels, 277 Ashram Schools, 183 Educational Complexes for girls, 1400 kms. of roads in tribal areas and many other physical achievements in four years is quite impressive.


Eklavya Model Residential Schools for Tribals fully Funded by Union Govt.

StateNo. of  schools allotted during IXth Plan *No. of schools for which amount released during IXth PlanStateNo. of  schools allotted during IXth Plan *No. of schools for which amount released during IXth Plan
Andhra Pradesh66Orissa810
Gujarat66Tamil Nadu21
Himachal Pradesh21Tripura33
Jammu & Kashmir31Uttar Pradesh21
Karnataka33West Bengal55
Kerala22Arunachal Pradesh21
Madhya Pradesh/ Chhattisgarh1717Meghalaya32

Rs. 2 crore for construction cost and Rs. 30 lakh for meeting the recurring cost per year for each school


  • There is perceptible increase in budget allocation and expenditure by the Ministry.  the Ministry has improved scheme-wise expenditure from Rs. 600 Crores to Rs. 1000 Crores. All the schemes were effectively implemented. All the Central Sector and Centrally Sponsored Schemes were either modified or on the process of modifications to make them effective, efficient and pragmatic. The increase is about 70 percent over the year 1999-2000.As per the Tribal Sub-Plan Approach, all Central Ministries earmark funds in proportion to the percentage of tribal population and all the States earmark funds in proportion to the respective tribal population of the State.  All these funds combined are huge.  But we are more interested in institution building and modifying the institutional/organizational set-up to provide maximum benefit to tribals.


  • Increased availability of funds for developmental programmes is a necessary condition to achieve welfare of tribes, but not the sufficient condition.  The government introduced incentive/disincentive package along with release of financial resources to bring about institutional and organizational changes to adopt Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) concept in true sense and empower the tribals by implementing the provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Area), Act, 1996.


  • The government has great empathy for the project-affected tribals, as they, not only loose land and other economic assets, but also their customary rights.  It is a great satisfaction that, the National Policy on the Resettlement and Rehabilitation of Project Affected Families 2003 has been approved by the Cabinet.  This will take care of the tribal Project Affected Families as additional monetary and other benefits would be made available.


  • Draft 10th Five Year Plan was approved by the Cabinet having a separate chapter on Tribal Development implying added emphasis on welfare of tribals in over all planning framework.