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DATA STORY : Scheduled Tribes in India

  • Published
    17th Mar, 2022

As per 1951 census, 5.6% of the total population of the country was tribal. According to Census-2011, it is 8.6% of the total population of India. The scheduled tribes are 11.3% of the total population of rural areas and 2.8% of urban areas

The sex ratio of the tribal population in the country is higher than the national average at 990 females per 1,000 males, but the child sex ratio has declined from 972 in 2001 to 957 in 2011, the first ever report on health of tribals has revealed. “At 990 per 1,000 males, the sex ratio among STs is much better than the All India average of 933. It is also an improvement from 978 in 2001. Tribal population in states like Goa (1,046), Kerala (1,035), Arunachal Pradesh (1,032), Odisha (1,029), Meghalaya (1,013) and Chhattisgarh (1,020) show a positive sex ratio. 

The literacy rate as per Census 2011 is 73 percent but for STs is 59 percent only. Government schemes / programmes inter-alia being implemented to increase the literacy rates and education level of STs:

  • Ashram Schools: Funds are provided to States for setting up residential schools for STs for primary, middle, secondary and senior secondary levels of education.
  • ST Hostels: Central assistance is given to States/UTs/Universities for construction of new hostel buildings and/or extension of existing hostels.
  • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), a Centrally Sponsored Scheme is also being implemented for universalisation of elementary education for all children in the 6-14 age group.
  • Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) are residential schools from class VI to XII for girls belonging to disadvantaged groups such as SC, ST, OBC, Minority and Below Poverty Line (BPL)

The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) was established by amending Article 338 and inserting a new Article 338A in the Constitution through the Constitution (89th Amendment) Act, 2003. By this amendment, the erstwhile National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was replaced by two separate Commissions namely:

  1. the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) 
  2. the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) 

This data story aims to highlight the data related to ST population in India.

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