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Schemes for tribals’ welfare on Birsa Munda anniversary


Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a raft of schemes for tribals’ welfare, including laying the foundation of 50 Eklavya Model residential schools across India.


GS-II: Polity and Constitution (Constitutional Provisions), GS-II: Social Justice and Governance (Issues related to Minorities, Government Policies and Interventions)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About the recent schemes launched by the PM
  2. Madhya Pradesh Sickle Cell Mission
  3. What is Sickle Cell Anaemia?
  4. Ration Aapke gram scheme in M.P.
  5. About Eklavya Model Residential Schools
  6. Back to the Basics: Defining STs
  7. Constitutional Provisions regarding STs
  8. The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021

About the recent schemes launched by the PM

  • The Prime Minister launched multiple key initiatives for the welfare of Janjatiya community at Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas Mahasammelan.
  • He also launched the ‘Ration Aapke Gram’ scheme in Madhya Pradesh.
  • He also launched the Madhya Pradesh Sickle Cell Mission.
  • He laid the foundation of 50 Eklavya Model Residential Schools across the country.
  • This comes in the backdrop of India celebrating the birth anniversary of Bhagwan Birsa Munda every year on 15th November as Tribal Gaurav Diwas, starting with the Amrit Mahotsav in 2021.

Madhya Pradesh Sickle Cell Mission

  • The Madhya Pradesh Sickle Cell Mission initiative aims at screening and managing patients suffering from sickle cell anaemia, thalassemia and other hemoglobinopathies.
  • Under the mission, PM Modi handed over genetic counselling cards to beneficiaries.
  • Hemoglobinopathy is a group of genetically inherited disorders in which the oxygen-carrying protein in the blood- haemoglobin is shaped differently (mostly elongated like a sickle) instead of normal, round or disc shape.
  • The mission further aims to increase public awareness about these ailments.
  • The health mission holds special importance as the people of the ‘Janjatiya Community’ have deeply suffered from the disorder in the past because of unawareness. The impact of the genetically transferred ‘Sickle Cell Anaemia’ is more profound in the tribal community.

What is Sickle Cell Anaemia?

  • Sickle cell anaemia is a common genetic blood illness that affects a person’s normal development as well as can become fatal if not diagnosed early.
  • Aside from stunting a person’s natural growth, it causes extreme pain crises, acute chest syndrome, high-grade fever, and periodic swelling in various body parts.
  • It is a genetic disorder and can be passed on from infected parents to children.

Ration Aapke gram scheme in M.P.

  • Ration Aapke Gram Yojana is being started by the Madhya Pradesh Government in the State – under which Ration will be distributed in the village itself through ration distribution vehicles under the scheme.
  • Tribal beneficiaries will no longer have to go to the Panchayat Headquarters to get fair price ration.
  • This will also help them in getting the ration and also save time.

About Eklavya Model Residential Schools

  • Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) started in the year 1997-98 to impart quality education to ST children in remote areas in order to enable them to avail of opportunities in high and professional education courses and get employment in various sectors.
  • Across the country, as per census 2011 figures, there are 564 such sub-districts out of which there is an EMRS in 102 sub-districts.
  • As per revised 2018 scheme, every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons, will have an EMRS by the year 2022.
  • These schools will be on par with Navodaya Vidyalayas and will have special facilities for preserving local art and culture besides providing training in sports and skill development.

Features of EMRS

  • Admission to these schools will be through selection/competition with suitable provision for preference to children belonging to Primitive Tribal Groups, first-generation students, etc.
  • Sufficient land would be given by the State Government for the school, playgrounds, hostels, residential quarters, etc., free of cost.
  • The number of seats for boys and girls will be equal.
  • In these schools, education will be entirely free.

Back to the Basics: Defining STs

The Constitution does not define the criteria for recognition of Scheduled Tribes.

  • However, Article 366(25) of the Constitution only provides process to define Scheduled Tribes: “Scheduled Tribes means such tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342 to be Scheduled Tribes for the purposes of this Constitution.”
  • Article 342(1): The President may with respect to any State or Union Territory, and where it is a State, after consultation with the Governor, by a public notification, specify the tribes or tribal communities or part of or groups within tribes or tribal communities as Scheduled Tribe in relation to that State or Union Territory.

Constitutional Provisions regarding STs

  • Art. 15(4): Special provisions for advancement of other backward classes (which includes STs);
  • Art. 23: Prohibition of traffic in human beings and beggar and other similar form of forced labour;
  • Art. 24: Forbidding Child Labour.
  • Art. 29: Protection of Interests of Minorities (which includes STs);
  • Art. 46: The State shall promote, with special care, the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and in particular, of the Scheduled Castes, and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
  • Art.164(1): Provides for Tribal Affairs Ministers in Bihar, MP and Orissa;
  • Art. 243: Reservation of seats in Panchayats.
  • Art.244: Clause (1) Provisions of Fifth Schedule shall apply to the administration & control of the Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes in any State other than the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura which are covered under Sixth Schedule, under Clause (2) of this Article.
  • Art. 275: Grants in-Aid to specified States (STs&SAs) covered under Fifth and Sixth Schedules of the Constitution.
  • Art. 330: Reservation of seats for STs in Lok Sabha;
  • Art. 337- Reservation of seats for STs in State Legislatures;
  • Art. 334: 10 years period for reservation (Amended several times to extend the period);
  • Art. 350: Right to conserve distinct Language, Script or Culture;
  • Art. 350: Instruction in Mother Tongue.
  • Art. 371: Special provisions in respect of NE States and Sikkim.

The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021

  • The new bill provides for modifying Part-XVIII of the Schedule to the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, relating to state of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The Bill removes the Abor tribe from the list of identified STs in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It replaces certain STs with other tribes. This includes Tai Khamti, Mishmi-Kaman (Miju Mishmi), Idu (Mishmi) and Taraon (Digaru Mishmi).

-Source: The Hindu

December 2023