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Tribes and PVTGs Of India : Significance for Prelims 2021

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  • Published
    3rd Jun, 2021

The tribal people constitute  around 8.6% of the total population in India. It remains an important topic for UPSC Prelims Exam as rvealed by the Previous Year Papers. However candidates are often remain puzzled with these types of questions due to unpredictable nature of such questions. Through this article we will try to develop an insight regarding preparation methodology and strategy of such type of questions.

Before discussing strategy regarding the preparation of this section it is important to throw some lights upon the definition of STs and PVTGs.  According to Article 366(25) of the Indian Constitution, Scheduled Tribes are those communities that are scheduled in accordance with Article 342 of the Constitution. Also, Article 342 of the Constitution says that: The Scheduled Tribes are the tribes or tribal communities or part of or groups within these tribes and tribal communities which have been declared as such by the President through a public notification.

Several tribes among the tribal groups,  have adapted themselves  to modern life but there are tribal groups who still remain more vulnerable. The Dhebar Commission constituted in 1973 created a separate category “Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs)” which was renamed in 2006 as “Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)”.

As per the 2011 Census, the Scheduled Tribes account for 104 million representing 8.6% of the country’s population. These Scheduled Tribes are spread throughout the country and dwells largely in forest and hilly regions. Primitive Traits, Geographical isolation, Distinct culture, Shy of contact with community at large and Economical backwardness are some of the essential charecteristics of scheduled tribes.


It is important to know that the STs are notified in 30 states and UTs of India. Total  705 individual ethnic groups are notified as STs. The total population of of Scheduled Tribes in India is approximately 10.43 crores out of which 9.38 crores lives in rural area while remaining 1.05 crores live in urban regions.  Madhya Pradesh has maximum population of STs i.e 14.7% of total STs population.The second highest ST population resides in Maharashtra. However Five states/UTs Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana, NCT of Delhi and Puducherry have no listed STs.


Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)

Some tribal groups remain more vulnerable among tribal groups that are known as PVTGs (Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups). PVTGs are having scarcity of funds because more assertive and developed tribes utilize maximum chunk of this fund. In 1975, the Indian Government declared 52 tribal groups as PVTGs. In the year 1993, 23 more groups were added to the existing list  that increased this number to 75 out of 705 Scheduled Tribes . Odisha has the highest number of PVTGs. In 2020, the Odisha government further identified 888 villages/hamlets inhabited by PVTGs. As per the census of 2011 the PVTGs are spread over 18 states and one Union Territory (UT), in the country . The PVTGs have some unique characteristics such as dwindling or stagnant population, extremely low level  of literacy, subsistence level of economy and usage of pre agricultural technology.

Resources and Books :

The basic knowledge can be obtained from NCERT book of Human Geography that details out the tribal population, important tribes of India and PVTGs upto some extent. These books also enlist the traits and other qualities of such tribal population. The geographical distribution, characteristics, cultural facets can be read from this book. PVTGs and some tribes more often remain in news so to keep a tab of such issues and events is important . Integrating current affairs with the static knowledge can be fruitful for aspirants and fetch more marks . Apart from this one need to visit the Ministry of tribal affairs website that will further add some important information related to this. Magazines like Yojana and Kurukshetra often features news and related events associated with tribes and PVTGs. One need to refer India Year Book too that also have some valuable information.

However all such practice can be cut short by Prelims Sampoorna Fact File on Tribes and PVTGs compiled by GS Score. This fact file has extract of all valuable information from multiple resources and books. The fact file also presents an integration of static and dynamic portion that will help you to save


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