New Delhi: Data pertaining to decennial Census, management information system, sample surveys conducted by different Ministries / Departments of Government of India, reveal that over the years there have been considerable improvements in living conditions of the Scheduled Tribes (STs), for example, literacy rate for STs has improved from 47.1% in 2001 to 59% in 2011. Further, Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) report (July 2019 – June 2020) reveals that literacy rate for STs increased to 70.1%. According to Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) Plus reports published by Ministry of Education, Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for ST students at Senior Secondary (classes IX-X) level has increased from 62.4% in 2012-13 to 76.7% in 2019-20. As per National Family Health Surveys (NFHS) conducted by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in respect of Scheduled Tribes, Infant Mortality Rate has declined from 62.1 (2005-06) to 44.4 (2015-16); Under Five Mortality Rate has declined from 95.7 (2005-06) to 57.2 (2015-16), and Institutional Delivery has increased from 17.7% in 2005-06 to 68.0 % in 2015-16. Further, percentage of Underweight (weight-for age) ST children under age five years has declined from 54.5 in 2005-06 to 45.3 in 2015-16. Erstwhile Planning Commission estimated that percentage of ST people living below the poverty line in rural areas has declined from 62.3% in 2004-05 to 45.3% in 2011-12. Also, percentage of ST people living below the poverty line in urban areas has declined from 35.5% in 2004-05 to 24.1% in 2011-12.
Government is implementing Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP)/Schedule Tribe Component (STC)/Development Action Plan for Development of STs (DAPSTs) for overall development of tribal people across the country. 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.In addition, Ministry of Tribal Affairs also provides funds under its schemes to supplement the efforts of tribal development by other Ministries/Departments. The primary responsibility of implementation and monitoring the performance of the schemes/programmes is that of the State Governments. However, Ministry of Tribal Affairs has taken various steps for monitoring progress and effective implementation of schemes/programmes for the development of the ST population. These include:
- Release of funds to States/UTs in the schemes/programmes is made through PFMS platform.
- Utilization Certificates are insisted upon as a pre-requisite for further release of funds as per the norms of GFR.
- Progress reports regarding the status of implementation of the schemes/programmes is obtained.
- Officers while visiting States/UTs also ascertain the progress of implementation of the scheme.
Meetings/ Conferences are convened at the Central level with State officials for ensuring timely submission