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Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana

The Van Dhan Scheme is an initiative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED.  It was launched on 14th April, 2018 and seeks to improve tribal incomes through value addition of tribal products.

Highlight of the scheme:

  • The Van Dhan Scheme is an initiative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED.
  • It was launched in 2018 and seeks to improve tribal incomes through value addition of tribal products.
  • The scheme will be implemented through Ministry of Tribal Affairs as Nodal Department at the Central Level and TRIFED as Nodal Agency at the National Level.
  • At State level, the State Nodal Agency for MFPs and the District collectors are envisaged to play a pivot role in scheme implementation at grassroot level.
  • Locally the Kendras are proposed to be managed by a Managing Committee (an SHG) consisting of representatives of Van Dhan SHGs in the cluster.

Other details:

Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY) is a retail marketing led value addition plan for Minor Forest Produce (MFP), meant for forest-based tribes to optimize the tribal income, locally.

Under the program, MFP-based tribal groups / enterprises of around 300 members are formed for collection, value addition, packaging & marketing of Minor Forest Produces (MFPs).

These tribal enterprises will be in the form of Van Dhan SHGs which will be a group of 15-20 members and such 15 SHG groups will further be federated into a larger group of Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKS) of around 300 members.

TRIFED will support the VDVKs through providing them with model business plans, processing plans & tentative list of equipment for carrying out the value addition work of MFPs.

Read about TRIFED HERE —TRIFED (Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India)


Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups

Particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG) is a government of India classification created with the purpose of enabling improvement in the conditions of certain communities with, particularly low development indices.

  • The Dhebar Commission (1960-1961) stated that within Scheduled Tribes there existed an inequality in the rate of development. 
  • During the fourth Five Year Plan a sub-category was created within Scheduled Tribes to identify groups that considered to be at a lower level of development, based on the report of Dhebar Commission.
  • This sub-category was named “Primitive tribal group”. In 2006 the government of India proposed to rename “Primitive tribal group” as a Particularly vulnerable tribal group”.

Criteria for Identification 

  1. Pre-agricultural level of technology,
  2. Low level of literacy,
  3. Economic backwardness,
  4. A declining or stagnant population.

PVTG is not a Constitutional category, nor are these constitutionally recognized communities.

  • Among the 75 listed PVTG’s the highest number are found in Odisha (13), followed by Andhra Pradesh (12), Bihar including Jharkhand (9) Madhya Pradesh including Chhattisgarh (7) Tamil Nadu (6) Kerala and Gujarat having five groups each.
  • The remaining PVTGs live in West Bengal (3) Maharashtra (3), two each in Karnataka and Uttarakhand and one each in Rajasthan, Tripura and Manipur.
  • All the four tribal groups in Andaman and one in the Nicobar Islands are recognised as PVTGs
  • The Saharia people of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are the largest among the PVTGs with the population more than 4 lakhs.
  • Smallest population size among the PVTGs are the Sentinelese (as per the last contact effort on March 9, 2005, groups of 32 and 13 persons were sighted at different places).

International Conventions:

  • Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention, 1957, of the International Labour Organisation (ILO): It advocated integrationist approach for development of tribal communities. India ratified the convention.
  • Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention, 1957, of the International LabourOrganisation (ILO), 1989: The convention advocated non-intervention approach for protection and conservation of tribal communities. India has not ratified the convention.

Who are Scheduled Tribes?

The term ‘scheduled tribe’ is primarily an administrative and constitutional concept. Article 366 (25) of the Constitution of India refers to Scheduled Tribes as those communities, who are scheduled in accordance with Article 342 of the Constitution.

The essential characteristics laid down by the Lokur Committee, for a community to be identified as Scheduled Tribes are –

1.primitive traits;

2.distinctive culture;

3.shyness of contact with the community at large;

4.geographical isolation; and

5.backwardness – social and economic

What is Nehru’s Tribal Panchsheel?

Panchsheel is five fundamental principles for tribal development in India laid down by Jawaharlal Nehru.

The Five Principles are as follows:

1. First, the tribals should develop along the lines of their own genius; there should be no imposition or compulsion from outside.

2. Second, tribal rights in land and forests should be respected and no outsider should be able to take possession of tribal lands. The incursion of the market economy into tribal areas had to be strictly controlled and regulated.

3. Third, it was necessary to encourage the tribal languages which ‘must be given all possible support and the conditions in which they can flourish must be safeguarded’.

4. Fourth, for administration, reliance should be placed on the tribal people themselves, and administrators should be recruited from amongst them and trained.

5. Fifth, there should be no over-administration of the tribal areas. The effort should be to administer and develop the tribals’ through their own social and cultural institutions.

July 2024