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Expedite classification of nomadic tribes in quota lists, Panel

Published: 30th Dec, 2022

Context

The Parliamentary panel on Social Justice and Empowerment has asked the centre to speed up the process to categorize 260 de-notified, nomadic, and semi-nomadic tribes under either the SC/ST/OBC lists.

Details:

  • The Parliamentary panel has categorically said that:
    • The delay is increasing the suffering of potential beneficiaries.
    • It is also depriving them of welfare schemes.
    • Potential beneficiaries are unable to benefit from schemes for the welfare of SC/STs.

Departments Response:

  • Anthropological Survey of India submitted reports on the categorization of 48 DNT communities.
  • More than 10 crore Indians from over 1,400 communitiesare either de-notified, nomadic, or semi-nomadic.
  • Of this, the Idate Commissionhad categorized 1,262 communities under SC/ST/OBC lists and 267 communities were left uncategorized.
  • Even the communities categorized by the Idate Commission are not accurate with many communities appearing in SC lists in one State or district and on the ST list in others.

Bhiku Ramji Idate Commission:

  • The DWBDNC was constituted on February 21, 2019, under the chairmanship of Bhiku Ramji Idate.
  • Also, a committee has been set up by the NITI Aayog to complete the process of identification of the de-notified, nomadic, and semi-nomadic communities (DNCs).
  • Ethnographic studies of DNCs are being conducted by the Anthropological Survey of India, with a budget of Rs 2.26 crore sanctioned.
  • On March 30, 2022, the DoPT issued an advertisement for the recruitment of consultants in the DWBDNC.

What are Notified, Nomadic, and Semi-Nomadic Tribes?

  • These are communities that are the most vulnerable and deprived.
  • DNTs are communities that were ‘notified’ as being ‘born criminals’during the British regime under a series of laws starting with the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871.
    • These Acts were repealed by the Independent Indian Government in l952, and these communities were "De-Notified".

Important Commissions and Committees

  • Criminal Tribes Inquiry Committee, 1947
  • Ananthasayanam Ayyangar Committee in 1949
  • Kaka Kalelkar Commission
  • B P Mandal Commission constituted in 1980
  • National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (NCRWC), 2002
  • A few of these communities which were listed as de-notified were also nomadic.
    • Nomadic and semi-nomadic communities are defined as those who move from one place to another rather than living in one place all the time.
  • Historically, Nomadic Tribes and De-notified Tribes never had access to private land or home ownership.
  • While most DNTs are spread across the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), and Other Backward Classes (OBC) categories, some DNTs are not covered in any of the SC, ST, or OBC categories.

Policy measures for DNTs:

  • Commission: A National Commission for De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNT) was constituted in 2006 by the then government.
    • It was headed by Balkrishna Sidram Renkeand submitted its report in June 2008.
  • The Renke commission estimated their population at around 10.74 crore based on Census 2001.
  • SEED Scheme: Much recently, the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment launched theScheme for Economic Empowerment of De-notified, Nomadic, and Semi Nomadic Communities (SEED).

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