New Delhi : Government is implementing Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP)/Schedule Tribe Component (STC)/Development Action Plan for Development of Scheduled Tribes (DAPSTs) for overall development of tribal people across the country including North Eastern Region (NER). Besides Ministry of Tribal Affairs, 40 Central Ministries / Departments have been obligated by NITI Aayog for earmarking certain percentage of their total Scheme allocation every year as TSP funds for tribal development. TSP funds are spent by different Central Ministries / Departments under their schemes for various development projects relating to education, health, agriculture, irrigation, roads, housing, drinking water, electrification, employment generation, skill development, etc. for accelerated socio-economic development of Scheduled Tribes in the country. State Governments are also supposed to earmark TSP funds in proportion to ST population (Census 2011) in the State with respect to total State Plan. Ministry of Tribal Affairs provides additive to these initiatives by way of plugging critical gaps. Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region as per its TSP mandate of 27.18% expenditure of its scheme, has been spending more than that by implementing a number of projects in the physical infrastructure relating to water supply, power, connectivity, specially the projects promoting tourism and social sector for creation of infrastructure in the areas of primary and secondary sectors of education and health, resulting upliftment of the tribal population in the NER.
The details of the schemes presently being implemented by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in the country including North Eastern Region are given in Annexure. Ministry of Tribal Affairs envisages to revamp the existing schemes for development of tribals for next five years i.e. 2021-22 to 2025-26.
Details of various schemes implemented by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs
Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution: Under the programme of Proviso to Article 275(1) of Constitution, Grants are released to 26 States, having ST population for raising the level of Administration in Scheduled Areas and for the welfare of tribal people. This is a Special Area Programme and 100% grants are provided to States. Funds are released to the States Governments depending on the felt needs of ST population to bridge the gap in infrastructure activities in the fields of education, health, skill development, livelihood, drinking water, sanitation, etc.
Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS): The scheme of Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) was introduced in the year 1997-98 to impart quality education exclusively to ST children with an objective to provide quality middle and high-level education to Scheduled Tribe (ST) students in remote areas in order to enable them to avail of reservation in high and professional educational courses and get jobs in government and public and private sectors. Realizing the importance of the EMRS, in the Union Budget of 2018-19, Government announced that “The Government is committed to provide the best quality education to the tribal children in their own environment. To realize this mission, it has been decided that by the year 2022, every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons, will have an Eklavya Model Residential School. Eklavya 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.”
It was a component of Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution. During 2018-19, a separate scheme was introduced. In terms of the aforesaid Budget announcement, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), in its meeting held on 17.12.18, inter-alia approved the revamping of the EMRS Scheme.
Grant-in Aid to Voluntary Organizations working for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes: Under the scheme of Grant-in-Aid to Voluntary Organizations working for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes, the Ministry funds projects in the fields of Education and Health, covering residential schools, non-residential schools, hostels, mobile dispensaries, ten or more bedded hospitals, etc.
Strengthening Education among ST Girls in Low Literacy Districts: Scheme is exclusively for ST girls in 54 districts identified in the country, where the ST population is 25% or more and ST female literacy rate is below 35% or its fractions, as per 2001 Census. The scheme is being implemented through Voluntary Organisations/Non-Governmental Organisations and aims at enhancing the literacy rate of tribal girls, bridging the gap in literacy levels between the general female population and tribal women and reducing drop-outs at the elementary level by creating the required ambiance for education.
Pre-Matric Scholarships to ST students: The scheme is applicable to students who are studying in Classes IX –X. Parental income from all sources should not be more than Rs.2.50 lakhs per annum. Scholarship of Rs.225/-per month for day scholars and Rs.525/-per month for hostellers is given for a period of 10 months in a year. Scholarship is disbursed through the State Government/UT Administration. Funding ratio is 75:25 between Centre and States for all States except North East and Hills States like Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand and Jammu and Kashmir where it is 90:10. For UT’s without legislature sharing pattern is 100% Central Share.
Post Matric Scholarship to ST students: The objective of the scheme is to provide financial assistance to the Scheduled Tribe students studying at Post-matriculation or Post-secondary levels to enable them to complete their education. Parental income from all sources should not be more than Rs.2.50 lakhs per annum. The tuition fee as fixed by the state fee regulatory committee is reimbursed and Scholarship amount of Rs.230 to Rs.1200 per month, depending upon the course of study is paid. The Scheme is implemented by the State Governments and Union Territory Administrations. Funding ratio is 75:25 between Centre and States for all States except NE and Hilly States/UTs of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir where it is 90:10. For UT’s without legislature sharing pattern is 100% Central Share.
National Overseas Scholarships for ST Candidates for Studying Abroad: The Scheme provides for financial assistance to selected students to pursue Post Graduation, PhD & Post-Doctoral study abroad. A total of 20 awards are given every year. Of these, 17 awards are for STs and 3 awards for students belonging to Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs). Parental/family income from all sources should not exceed Rs.6.00 lakhs per annum.
National Fellowship &Scholarship for Higher Education of ST students:
National Scholarship–(Top class) Scheme [Graduate level]: The objective of the scheme is to encourage meritorious ST students for pursuing studies at degree and post degree level in designated top 246 Institutions, whose parental income is not more than Rs.6.00 lakh per annum. Scholarship amount includes tuition fees, living expenses and allowances for books and computer.
National Fellowship for ST students: The objective of the scheme is to provide fellowships in the form of financial assistance to students belonging to the Scheduled Tribes for pursuing higher studies such as M.Phil and Ph.D. Fellowship is granted as per UGC norms. (Presently, @ Rs.25,000/-for JRF and @Rs.28,000/-for SRF).
Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Scheme (SCA to TSS): Under scheme of Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Scheme (SCA to TSS) 100% grants is provided to the State Governments for activities related to education, health, sanitation, water supply, livelihood, skill development, Ashram Schools, Boys and Girls Hostels, Vocational Training Centres (VTCs), minor infrastructure, etc. to bridge the gap between Scheduled Tribe (ST) population and others as a critical gap filling measure.
Development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs): The scheme of Development of PVTGs covers 75 identified PVTGs among Scheduled Tribes in 18 States and UT of Andaman & Nicobar Islands for the activities like education, housing, land distribution, land development, agricultural development, animal husbandry, construction of link roads, installation of non-conventional sources of energy for lighting purpose, social security or any other innovative activity meant for the comprehensive socio-economic development of PVTGs.
Institutional Support for Development & Marketing of Tribal Products/Produce (Central Sector Scheme): The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) is a Multi State Cooperative Society set up in 1987 under the Multi State Cooperative Societies Act, 1984 (now the Multi State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002) which functions both as a service provider and market developer for tribal products. It markets tribal products through the network of its retail outlets ‘TRIBES INDIA’ in the country. As a capacity builder, it also imparts training to Scheduled Tribe Artisans and Minor Forest Produce (MFP) gatherers.
Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP: A Scheme “Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Development of Value Chain for MFP” was introduced by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in the year 2013-14, to provide much needed safety net and support to people belonging to Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers whose very livelihood depends on collection and selling of MFP.
Support to National/State Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporations (NSTFDC/STFDCS): National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation (NSTFDC) is an apex organisation set up on 10.04.2001, exclusively for economic development of Scheduled Tribes. The Corporation continues to function as a catalytic agent for promoting economic development activities of STs by providing financial assistance at concessional rates of interest.
Support to Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs) : Ministry extends support to the State Governments through the Scheme ‘Support to Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs)’ to set up new TRIs where it didn’t exist and to strengthen functioning of existing TRIs to carry out its core responsibility towards Research & Documentations, Training and capacity building, promotion of rich tribal heritage etc.
Tribal Festivals, Research Information and Mass Education : Through the scheme ‘Tribal Festival, Research Information and Mass Education’, promotion of rich tribal cultural heritage, dissemination of information and creation of awareness are given attention to which includes organization of Tribal Craft & Food Festivals, Sports, Music, Dance & Photo Competitions, Science, Art & Craft Expos, Workshops, Seminars, Production of documentary films by the Ministry & States, bringing out Publications thereby highlighting significant studies, documenting historical facets of tribal communities, achievements of Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) & State departments besides other advertisements etc. at regular intervals. With a view to fill the gap of research studies on tribal issues, MoTA recognizes renowned NGOs, Research Institutes, Universities where expertise exist and which have already made a mark by carrying out pioneering research in the field of tribal cultures as Centre of Excellences (CoEs).
This information was given by The Minister for Development of North East Region G. Kishan Reddy in the Lok Sabha in a written reply today.