Scheduled Tribe

The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes explains a scheduled tribe is one with Primitiveness, geographical isolation, shyness and social, educational & economic backwardness due to these reasons are the traits that distinguish Scheduled Tribe communities of our country from other communities. Like the definition for Scheduled Castes, which was carried over from British-era legislation, the definition for “Scheduled Tribes” has been retained from the 1931 Census.

Tribal people constitute 8.6% of the nation’s total population, over 104 million people according to the 2011 census. The forest occupiers a central position in tribal culture and economy. The tribal way of life is very much dictated by the forest right from birth to death. Despite protection given to the tribal population by the constitution of India, tribals still remain the most backward ethnic group in India. Globalization has various dimensions which sometimes affect tribal communities positively and sometimes negatively.

There are over 700 Scheduled Tribes in India according to The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes. While often clubbed under the same umbrella by the ill-informed, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are quite different. True, both groups have faced, and continue to face, severe oppression and marginalisation before and in Independent India, but where Scheduled Castes face social, educational, and economic isolation, Scheduled Tribes are classified as marginalised communities on the basis of geographical isolation.