World Tribal Day | 10 Aug 2022

For Prelims: Scheduled Tribes, Sixth Schedule, National Family Health Survey, Government Initiative

For Mains: National Report on the State of India’s Tribal People’s Health, Government’s Initiative

Why in News?

The International Day of the World's Indigenous People is observed on 9 August each year to raise awareness and protect the rights of the world's indigenous population.

What is World Tribal Day?

  • About:
    • The day recognizes the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva in 1982.
      • It has been celebrated every year since 1994, in accordance with the declaration by the United Nations.
    • To date, numerous indigenous peoples experience extreme poverty, marginalization, and other human rights violations.
  • Theme:
    • The theme for 2022 is “The Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge”.

What do we need to know about the Report?

  • About:
    • The 13-member committee was jointly appointed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
    • It took five years of research for the committee to bring out the evidence and provide a true picture of the state of tribal people of the country.
  • Findings:
    • Geographical Location:
    • Tribal people are concentrated in 809 blocks in India.
    • Unexpected finding was that 50% of India’s tribal population (around 5.5 crore) live outside the Scheduled Areas, as a scattered and marginalised minority.
    • Health:
      • The health status of tribal people has certainly improved during the last 25 years.
      • Mortality Rate:
        • Under-five child mortality rate has declined from 135 (Deaths per 1000) in 1988 (National Family Health Survey NFHS-1) to 57(Deaths per 1000) in 2014 (NFHS-4).
          • The % of excess of under-five mortality among STs compared to others has widened.
      • Malnutrition:
      • Malaria and Tuberculosis:
        • Malaria and tuberculosis are three to eleven times more common among the tribal people.
          • Though the tribal people constitute only 8.6% of the national population, 50% malaria deaths in India occur among them.
      • Public Health Care:
        • Tribal people heavily depend on government-run public health care institutions, such as primary health centres and hospitals.
          • There is a 27% to 40% deficit in the number of such facilities, and 33% to 84% deficit in medical doctors in tribal areas.
          • Government health care for the tribal people is starved of funds as well as of human resources.
      • Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) Audit:
        • It is an official policy of allocating and spending an additional financial outlay equal to the percentage of the ST population in the State.
        • As estimated for 2015-16, annually Rs 15,000 crore should be additionally spent on tribal health.
          • However, it has been completely flouted by all States.
          • No accounts or accountability exist on policy.
            • No one knows how much was spent or not spent.

What were the Major Recommendations of the Committee?

  • Firstly, the committee suggested launching a National Tribal Health Action Plan with a goal to bring the status of health and healthcare at par with the respective State averages in the next 10 years.
  • Second, the committee suggested nearly 80 measures to address the 10 priority health problems, the health care gap, the human resource gap and the governance problems.
  • Third, the committee suggested allocation of additional money so that the per capita government health expenditure on tribal people becomes equal to the stated goal of the National Health Policy (2017), i.e., 2.5% of the per capita GDP.

What Steps has the Government of India taken for Tribal Welfare?

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)


Q. With reference to India, the terms ‘HaIbi, Ho and Kui’ pertain to: (2021)

(a) dance forms of Northwest India
(b) musical instruments
(c) pre-historic cave paintings
(d) tribal languages

Ans: (d)


  • Odisha has a unique place in India due to its vast population of tribals residing in the state. 62 tribal communities live in Odisha which is 22.8% of the total population of Odisha.
  • Odisha’s tribal language is divided into 3 main language families. They are Austro-Asiatic (Munda), Dravida and Indo-Aryan. Every tribe has its own language and language family. The languages include:
    • Austro-Asiatic: Bhumij, Birhor, Rem (Bonda), Gatah (Didyai), Gutab (Gadaba), Sora(Saora), Gorum (Parenga), Khadia, Juang, Santali, Ho, Mundari, etc.
    • Dravida: Gondi, Kui-Kondh, Kuvi-Kondh, Kisan, Koya, Olari, (Gadaba) Parja, Peng, Kudukh (Oraon) etc.
    • Indo Aryan: Bathudi, Bhuyan, Kurmali, Sounti, Sadri, Kandhan, Aghria, Desia, Jharia, Halbi, Bhatri, Matia, Bhunjia, etc.
  • Out of these languages only 7 have scripts. They are Santali (Olchiki), Saora( Sorang Sampeng), Ho (Warangchiti), Kui (Kui Script), Oraon (Kukhud Tod), Mundari (Bani Hisir), Bhumij (Bhumij Anl). Santali language has been included in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  • Therefore, option (d) is the correct answer.

Q. Consider the following statements about Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in India: (2019)

  1. PVTGs reside in 18 States and one Union Territory.
  2. A stagnant or declining population is one of the criteria for determining PVTG status.
  3. There are 95 PVTGs officially notified in the country so far.
  4. Irular and Konda Reddi tribes are included in the list of PVTGs.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1, 2 and 3
(b) 2, 3 and 4
(c) 1, 2 and 4
(d) 1, 3 and 4

Ans: (c)


  • In 1973, the Dhebar Commission created Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs) as a separate category, who are less developed among the tribal groups. The Commission stated that 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 this context, in 1975, the GoI initiated to identify the most vulnerable tribal groups as a separate category called Primitive Vulnerable Tribal Groups.
  • 75 tribal groups have been categorized by Ministry of Home Affairs as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs). PVTGs reside in 18 States and the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Hence, statement 1 is correct and statement 3 is not correct.
  • The criteria followed for determination of PVTGs are a pre-agriculture level of technology, a stagnant or declining population, extremely low literacy, and a subsistence level of the economy. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • Irular (Tamil Nadu) and Konda Reddi (Andhra Pradesh) tribes are included in the list of PVTGs. Hence, statement 4 is correct.
  • Therefore, option (c) is the correct answer.


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

Source: TH