Karol Bagh | IAS GS Foundation Course | 29 May, 6 PM Call Us
This just in:

State PCS

Daily Updates

Indian Society

Idate Commission Report

  • 29 Jan 2024
  • 10 min read

For Prelims: National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Idate Commission report, Nomadic, Semi Nomadic, and De-Notified Tribes (NTs, SNTs, and DNTs) in India, National Commission for Schedule Tribes

For Mains: Role of National Commission for Schedule Tribes, Problems of Schedule Tribes, Relevance of the recommendations of Idate Commission Report

Source: TH

Why in News?

Recently, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) emphasised the importance of executing the recommendations of the Idate Commission report, to address the concerns of Nomadic, Semi-Nomadic, and De-Notified Tribes (NTs, SNTs, and DNTs) in India.

  • The NHRC urged the government to repeal the Habitual Offenders Act, 1952, or appoint a representative from the De-notified Tribe community along with nodal officers as mandated by the Act.
    • Additionally, it recommended excluding DNTs/NTs/SNTs from SC/ST/OBC categories and creating tailored policies for them.

What were the Major Recommendations of the Idate Commission?

  • About:
    • It was established in 2014 under the leadership of Bhiku Ramji Idate, to compile a statewide catalogue of Denotified, Nomadic, and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (DNTs).
    • Another mandate was to recognize those excluded from Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) categories and recommend welfare measures for their well-being.
  • Recommendations:
    • Assign individuals not identified in the SCs/STs/OBCs list to the OBC category.
    • Enhance legal and constitutional safeguards by incorporating a third schedule into the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 to prevent atrocities and restore the feeling of security amongst the members of the community.
    • Create a permanent commission with legal standing for the DNTs, SNTs, and NTs.
    • Form a distinct department to address the welfare of these communities in states with significant populations.
    • Undertake a thorough survey of DNT families to determine their estimated numbers and distribution.

Who are Denotified, Nomadic, and Semi-Nomadic Tribes?

  • About:
    • They are also known as 'Vimukt Jatis. These communities are among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.
    • De-notified communities, once labelled as 'born criminals' during British rule under laws like the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871.
      • They were officially de-notified by the Indian Government in 1952.
    • 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.
  • Major Committees/Commissions for NTs, SNTs, and DNTs Communities:
    • The Criminal Tribes Inquiry Committee, 1947 constituted in the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh).
    • Ananthasayanam Ayyangar Committee, 1949.
      • Criminal Tribes Act, 1871 was repealed based on the recommendation of this committee.
    • Kaka Kalelkar Commission (also called first OBC Commission), 1953.
    • The B P Mandal Commission, 1980.
      • The commission also made some recommendations related to the issue of NTs, SNTs, and DNTs Communities.
    • The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (NCRWC), 2002 held that DNTs have been wrongly stigmatised as crime prone and subjected to high handed treatment as well as exploitation by the representatives of law and order and general society.
  • Distribution:
    • In India, roughly 10% of the population is composed of NTs, SNTs, and DNTs Communities.
    • While the number of Denotified Tribes is about 150, the population of Nomadic Tribes consists of about 500 different communities.
      • It has been estimated that South Asia has the world’s largest nomadic population.

What are the Challenges Faced by Nomadic Tribes?

  • Lack of Basic Infrastructure Facilities: Communities lack essential facilities such as access to drinking water, shelter, and sanitation, which deprives them of basic amenities. Additionally, healthcare and education services are unavailable to them.
  • Lack of Social Security Cover: Due to their frequent mobility, these individuals lack a permanent settlement, leading to an absence of social security coverage and exclusion from government welfare schemes that require documents like Ration Cards, Aadhar Cards and caste certificates.
  • Bad Treatment by Local Administration: Due to the stigma of being labelled as criminals in the past, they continue to be treated as such and subjected to torture by the local administration and police.
  • Ambiguous Caste Categorisation: The classification of castes is ambiguous for these communities, as they are categorized as Scheduled Castes (SC) in certain states and as Other Backward Classes (OBC) in others.

What Developmental Efforts have been Taken for these Tribes?

  • Dr Ambedkar Pre-Matric and Post-Matric Scholarship for DNTs:
  • Nanaji Deshmukh Scheme of Construction of Hostels for DNT Boys and Girls:
    • This Centrally Sponsored Scheme, launched in 2014-15, is implemented through State Governments/UT Administrations/Central Universities.
    • The goal of the program is to offer hostel accommodations to DNT students who do not fall under the categories of SC, ST, or OBC.
      • This support is intended to facilitate their pursuit of higher education.
  • Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNTs:
    • It aims to provide free competitive exam coaching, health insurance, housing assistance, and livelihood initiatives.
    • It ensures expenditure of Rs. 200 crores to be spent over five years beginning 2021-22.
    • The DWBDNCs (Development and Welfare Board for De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities) has been tasked with the implementation of this scheme.

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

  • About:
    • Ensures protection of rights related to life, liberty, equality, dignity of individuals and rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution and international covenants enforceable by Indian courts.
  • Establishment:
    • Established on October 12, 1993, under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
    • Amended by the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Act, 2006, and Human Rights (Amendment) Act, 2019.
    • Established in conformity with the Paris Principles, adopted for promoting and protecting human rights.
  • Composition:
    • The Commission consists of a chairperson, five full-time Members and seven deemed Members.
    • Chairman is a former Chief Justice of India or a Supreme Court judge.
  • Appointment and Tenure:
    • Chairman and members appointed by the President on the recommendations of a six-member committee.
    • The committee consists of the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, leaders of the Opposition in both Houses of Parliament, and the Union Home Minister.
    • Chairman and members hold office for a term of three years or until they reach the age of 70.
  • Role and Function:
    • Possesses powers of a civil court with judicial proceedings.
    • Empowered to utilise services of central or state government officers or investigation agencies for investigating human rights violations.
    • Can investigate matters within one year of their occurrence.
    • Functions are primarily recommendatory in nature.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)


Q. With reference to ‘Changpa’ community of India, consider the following statements:(2014)

  1. They live mainly in the State of Uttarakhand.
  2. They rear the Pashmina goats that yield a fine wool.
  3. They are kept in the category of Scheduled Tribes.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only 
(b) 2 and 3 only 
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)


Q. What are the two major legal initiatives by the State since Independence addressing discrimination against Scheduled Tribes (STs). (2017)

SMS Alerts
Share Page