Recently, the Union Minister for Tribal Affairs has announced that the government is going to ‘design a survey’ that can gauge the Human Development Index (HDI) specifically for about 28 lakh people of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) living in over 22,000 villages across the country.
Human Development Index:
The HDI is a summary measure of human development.
It measures the average achievement of a country in three basic dimensions of human development i.e.:
Long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy at birth)
Education (measured by mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling)
A decent standard of living (measured by GNI per capita in PPP terms in US$)
About the Plan:
The Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs): PVTGs are more vulnerable among the tribal groups and are determined by the given criteria:
They have declining or stagnant populations,
low levels of literacy,
pre-agricultural levels of technology and
As per Census 2011, there are a total of 75 PVTGs out of 705 Scheduled Tribes, spread over 17 states and one Union Territory (UT).
The government is going to collect information about the changes in the lives of PVTGs and document it and make a database from it at the village-level.
The authorities are planning to draw up an HDI for primitive tribal groups.
It will also be able to quantify how government policies are changing their lives.
The programme envisions connecting all 22,544 PVTG villages to basic government services like communications, electricity, public education, healthcare, water supply, and connectivity.
In field of Education:
The government had already solved teacher shortages at EMRSs by creating the National Education Society for Tribal Students (NESTS) to centrally monitor their administration and now recruit teachers as well.
Need of the initiative:
Lack of baseline surveys: Base line surveys are done to precisely identify the PVTG families, their habitat and socio-economic status, so that development initiatives are implemented for these communities, based on the facts and figures.
Unequal Benefits from welfare schemes: In some cases, a PVTG receives benefits only in a few blocks in a district, while the same group is deprived in adjacent blocks.
Health Issues: PVTGs suffer from many health problems like anaemia, malaria; gastro-intestinal disorders; micro nutrient deficiency and skin diseases due to poverty, lack of safe drinking water, bad sanitation, and lack of health services, superstition and deforestation.
Illiteracy: Though literacy rate among many PVTGs have increased over the past years, it still remains low at 30-40%. Further, poor female literacy is a major concern
Related Government Interventions:
Pradhan Mantri PVTG Development Mission:
In order to improve the socio-economic conditions of the particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs), the Finance Minister stated that the Pradhan Mantri PVTG Development Missionhas been launched.
This will saturate PVTG families and habitations with basic facilities such as safe housing, clean drinking water and sanitation, improved access to education, health and nutrition, road and telecom connectivity, and sustainable livelihood opportunities.
Rs.15, 000 crores has been sanctioned in Budget 2023-24, to implement the Mission in the next three years under the Development Action Plan for the Scheduled Tribes.
The National Nutrition Mission: The mission aims to;
Reduce stunting by 2% annually.
Reduce undernutrition by 2% annually.
Reduce anaemia by 3% annually.
Reduce low birth weight by 2% annually.
The mission also encompasses mapping various other schemes related to malnutrition and enabling synergies through an ICT-based real-time monitoring system, robust convergence between the schemes, incentivising states and UTs for meeting the set targets and optimising Anganwadi centres’ functioning, apart from conducting social audits.
These other schemes include the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), Janani Suraksha Yojana, and Scheme for Adolescent Girls (SAG), Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, PDS, National Health Mission, etc.