Scheduled Tribes - Indian Polity

The Constitution of India does not give any definition for Scheduled Tribes. But it is an important topic for aspirants preparing for the IAS Exam.

According to Article 366(25) of the Constitution, Scheduled Tribes are those communities who 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.

Schedule Tribes Notes:- Download PDF Here

Scheduled Tribes in India

According to 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 largely in forest and hilly regions.

  • The essential characteristics of these communities are:-
    • Primitive Traits
    • Geographical isolation
    • Distinct culture
    • Shy of contact with community at large
    • Economically backwards
  • As in the case of the SCs, the Plan objective of empowering the tribals is being achieved through a three-pronged strategy of social empowerment, economic empowerment and social justice.

An important topic related to Scheduled TribesPrevention of Atrocities Act, 1989

Note on Primitive Tribal Groups

There are certain tribal communities who have declining or stagnant population among these scheduled tribes. They have a low level of literacy, possess a pre-agricultural level of technology and are economically backward.

  • 75 such groups in 18 States and 1 Union Territory have been identified and categorized as Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs).
  • A majority of these groups have not attained any significant level of social and economic progress. They generally inhabit remote localities which have poor infrastructure and barely any administrative support.
  • This makes them the most vulnerable sections among the scheduled tribes and a priority is required to be accorded for their protection, keeping in check the declining trend of their population and their development.

Also read, Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes Amendment Act, 2015. Click here

Statewise Scheduled Tribes List

State Tribes
Andhra Pradesh Andh And Sadhu Andh, Bhil, Bhaghata, Dhulia,rona, Kolam, Gond, Thoti, Goundu, Kammara, Savaras, Dabba Yerukula, Sugalis, Nakkala, Pardhan, Gadabas, Chenchus A.k.a Chenchawar, Kattunayakan, Jatapus, Manna Dhora
Arunachal Pradesh Singpho, Monpa, Abor, Sherdukpen, Galo, Apatanis
Assam Khasis, Chakma, Dimasa, Gangte, Garos, Hajong, Chutiya
Bihar Gond, Birjia, Asur, Savar, Parhaiya, Chero, Birhor, Santhals, Baiga
Chhattisgarh Nagasia, Biar, Khond, Agariya, Bhattra, Mawasi, Bhaina,
Goa Varli, Dubia, Siddi, Dhodia, Naikda
Gujarat Patelia, Bhil, Dhodia, Bamcha, Barda, Paradhi, Charan, Gamta
Himachal Pradesh Swangal, Gujjars, Lahaulas, Khas, Pangwala, Lamba, Gaddis
Jammu and Kashmir Balti, Garra, Sippi, Bakarwal, Mon, Gaddi, Purigpa, Beda
Jharkhand Gonds, Birhors, Savar, Mundas, Santhals, Khaira, Bhumji
Karnataka Gond, Patelia, Barda, Yerava, Bhil, Koraga, Adiyan, Iruliga,
Kerala Malai, Aarayan, Arandan, Uralis, Kurumbas, Arandan, Eranvallan
Madhya Pradesh Kharia, Bhils, Murias, Birhors, Baigas, Katkari, Kol, Bharia, Khond, Gonds,
Maharashtra Warlis, Khond, Bhaina, Katkari, Bhunjia, Rathawa, Dhodia.
Manipur Thadou, Aimol, Maram, Paite, Chiru, Purum, Kuki, Monsang, Angami
Meghalaya Pawai, Chakma, Raba, Hajong, Lakher, Garos, Jaintias Khasis
Mizoram Dimasa, Raba, Chakma, Lakher, Khasi, Synteng, Kuki, Pawai.
Nagaland Nagas, Angami, Sema, Garo, Kuki, Kachari, Mikir
Odisha Gadaba, Ghara, Kharia, Khond, Matya, Oraons, Rajuar, Santhals.
Rajasthan Bhils, Damaria, Dhanka, Meenas(Minas), Patelia, Sahariya.
Sikkim Bhutia, Khas, Lepchas.
Tamil Nadu Adiyan, Aranadan, Eravallan, Irular, Kadar, Kanikar, Kotas, Todas.
Telangana Chenchus.
Tripura Bhil, Bhutia, Chaimal, Chakma, Halam, Khasia, Lushai, Mizel, Namte.
Uttarakhand Bhotias, Buksa, Jannsari, Khas, Raji, Tharu.
Uttar Pradesh Bhotia, Buksa, Jaunsari, Kol, Raji, Tharu.
West Bengal Asur, Khond, Hajong, Ho, Parhaiya, Rabha, Santhals, Savar.
Andaman and Nicobar Oraons, Onges, Sentinelese, Shompens.
Little Andaman Jarawa
North-East Abhors, Chang, Galaong, Mishimi, Singpho, Wancho.

Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups

PVTG (Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups) are more vulnerable among the tribal groups. Due to this factor, more developed and assertive tribal groups take a major chunk of the tribal development funds, because of which PVTGs need more funds directed for their development.

  • In 1975, the Government of India initiated to identify the most vulnerable tribal groups as a separate category called PVTGs and declared 52 such groups.
  • In 1993 an additional 23 groups were added to the category, making it a total of 75 PVTGs out of 705 Scheduled Tribes
  • The PVTGs are spread over 18 states and one Union Territory (UT), in the country (2011 census).
Andhra Pradesh & Telangana Maharashtra
Bihar Manipur
Jharkhand Odisha
Gujarat Rajasthan
Karnataka Tamil Nadu
Kerala Tripura
Madhya Pradesh & Chattisgarh Uttarakhand
Maharashtra Uttar Pradesh
Manipur West Bengal
Andaman & Nicobar Islands

UPSC Questions related to Scheduled Tribes in India

What is the difference between 5th Schedule and 6th Schedule?

  • Article 244 in Part X of the Constitution envisages a special system of administration for certain areas designated as ‘scheduled areas and ‘tribal areas’.
  • The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution deals with the administration and control of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes in many states except the four states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
  • While the Sixth Scheduled of the Constitution deals with the administration of the tribal areas in the four northeastern states of Assam Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

It makes special provisions for “tribal areas”. The rationality behind the special arrangements is that:

  • The tribes in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram have not assimilated much with the life and ways of the other people in these states.
  • These areas have hitherto been anthropological specimens.
  • The tribes in these 4 states still have their roots in their own culture, customs and civilization.
Schedule of the Constitution States
Fifth Schedule
  1. Andhra Pradesh,
  2. Chhattisgarh,
  3. Gujarat,
  4. Himachal Pradesh,
  5. Jharkhand,
  1. Madhya Pradesh,
  2. Maharashtra,
  3. Odisha,
  4. Rajasthan
  5. Telangana
Sixth Schedule
  1. Assam
  2. Meghalaya
  1. Tripura
  2. Mizoram
  1. Kerala,
  2. Tamil Nadu,
  3. Karnataka,
  1. West Bengal,
  2. Uttar Pradesh
  3. Jammu & Kashmir

Click on the link to read more about Scheduled and Tribal Areas.

Why tribals are called Scheduled Tribes?

  • The Tribals/Tribes are called Scheduled Tribes as they are included in one of the Schedules of the Constitution of India.

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Schedule Tribes Notes:- Download PDF Here

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