Difference between Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes

Difference between Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are explained here in detail.

During Independence of India, the Scheduled Caste (lower castes) remained economically dependent, politically powerless and culturally subjugated to the upper caste. This impacted their overall lifestyle and access to food, education and health.

A person shall be held to be a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe if he/she belongs to a caste or a tribe which has been declared as such under the various orders issued by the Government. 

While preparing for IAS Exam, aspirants can refer to this article to understand the various Constitutional measures taken for the protection of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in India. 

Difference between Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe:- Download PDF Here

Difference between Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes

The differences between Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe are:

Scheduled Castes Scheduled Tribe
Article 341 of the Constitution of India deals with notification of Scheduled Castes. Article 341 of Constitution of India defines as to who would be Scheduled Castes with respect to any State or Union Territory. Article 342 of the Constitution of India deals with notification of Scheduled Tribes. Article 342 of Constitution of India defines as to who would be Scheduled Tribes with respect to any State or Union Territory.
Scheduled Castes are about 16.6% of India’s total population as per 2011 census. Scheduled Tribes comprise about 8.6% of India’s total population as per 2011 census.
As per 2011 Census, among Indian states, Punjab had the highest percentage of its population as Scheduled Castes. It is approximately 32%. As per 2011 census, among Indian states and Union Territories, Mizoram and Lakshadweep had the highest percentage of its population as Scheduled Tribe (approximately 95%).
The percentage of the population as Scheduled Castes in India’s 3 North Eastern States and Island territories was at 0% as per 2011 census The percentage of the population as Scheduled Tribes in the States of Haryana and Punjab was at 0%.
The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950, lists 1,108 castes across 28 states in its 1st Schedule. The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, lists 744 tribes across 22 states in its First Schedule.
National Commission for Scheduled Castes is an Indian Constitutional body established with the aim of protecting the economic, social, educational, cultural interests of people belonging to Scheduled Castes. Article 338 of the Indian Constitution deals with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes. National Commission for Scheduled Tribes is an Indian Constitutional body that was established through the 89th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2003. The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes has been set up under Article 338 A.
The first commission for Scheduled Castes was constituted in 2004 with Suraj Bahn as the Chairman. Earlier there was a single Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes which was bifurcated after 89th Amendment of Constitution in 2003. The first commission for Scheduled Tribes was constituted in 2004 with Kunwar Singh as its Chairperson.
One of the main functions of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes is to investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Castes under the Constitution of India. One of the main functions of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes is to investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Tribes under the Constitution.

Some of the Similarities in Constitutional provisions to protect the interests of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes through the Constitution of India are:

  • Article 46 – As per Article 46 of the Constitution of India, States will have to promote and protect the educational and economic interests of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. It shall protect Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes from Social Injustice and all forms of exploitation.
  • Article 16 (4A) – As per Article 16 (4A) of the Constitution of India, makes provisions for States to provide reservations to Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes in matters of promotion. 
  • Article 330 – Article 330 provides for the reservation of seats in the Lok Sabha for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. 
  • Article 332 – As per Article 332 of the Constitution of India, there should be reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assemblies of the States. As per the 58th Amendment Act, there will be reservation of seats for Scheduled Tribes in Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Arunachal.

After learning about differences between Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes in India, refer to the below-given links to learn more about the vulnerability due to castes, Affirmative actions, Social Welfare schemes to empower vulnerable communities and other important details.

Difference between Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe:- Download PDF Here

Candidates can find the general pattern of the IAS Exam by visiting the UPSC Syllabus 2020 page.

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