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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. In light of the ostracisation faced by Denotified and Nomadic Tribes, discuss the steps that need to be taken to provide them access to political-social-economic welfare.(250 words)

    08 Dec, 2018 GS Paper 2 Social Justice


    • Briefly explain Denotified and Nomadic Tribes.
    • List the challenges faced by these communities.
    • Mention the steps that have been taken till now.
    • Explain the steps that should be taken to empower them.


    • The people, who were notified as Criminal Tribes during British rule and were denotified after independence in 1952, have been known as denotified tribes, based on the report of Ananthasayanam Ayyangar in 1949-50.
    • There are also many nomadic tribes who were part of these DNT communities.
    • Although these communities did not undergo the social untouchability as is the case with scheduled castes, they have been branded as criminal communities by law and have been outcasted by societies.


    Challenges faced by the Community

    • Basic infrastructure facilities like drinking water, shelter, and sanitation facilities are not available to the communities. Healthcare and education facilities are also not available.
    • Due to the stigma of Criminals bestowed upon them in past, they are still treated criminals and tortured by the local administration and police.
    • Since they are on move frequently, they do not have a permanent settlement. As a result, they lack social security cover and are not issued Ration Card, Aadhar Card, BPL Card etc. and hence they are not getting benefits under the government welfare schemes.
    • The caste categorization is not very clear for these communities, in some states some of the communities are included under the SC category, in some other states they are included under OBCs. However, most of the groups from these communities do not have caste certificates and hence are not able to avail the benefits of government welfare program.

    Steps to be taken to improve political-social-economic conditions of DNTs

    • Political:
      • Habitual Offenders Act should be repealed.
      • District level Grievances Redressal Committee should be formed under the District Collector to hear the grievances of these communities/groups/tribes.
      • A permanent commission for Denotified, Semi-Nomadic, and Nomadic Tribes should be formed with a prominent community leader as its chairperson, and a senior Union government bureaucrat, an anthropologist, and a sociologist as members.
      • As per the Bhiku Ramji Idate Commission recommendations, constitutional protection should be granted to these communities under a separate third schedule after Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, making them eligible for reservation, and extending the protective cover of Prevention of Atrocities Act to them.
    • Economic:
      • DNT/NTs people should be assured that at least their basic needs such as housing, drinking water, food, electricity, schools, roads, cleanliness, toilets, ration card, aadhaar cards, BPL card etc. are met with.
      • Land and housing allotment should be simplified for members of the community in which 90% or more are landless. Permanent houses should be provided.
      • A National Finance Development Corporation should be created for DNT, SNT, and NTs.
        Employment should be generated integrating their traditional occupations and bank loans should be provided at the minimal interest rate to promote entrepreneurship among them.
    • Social:
      • A separate academy should be established to preserve their art and culture. Special education and health schemes should be introduced targeting the community.
      • Tuition fees should be lowered and admission conditions for children from the communities should be relaxed.
      • A comprehensive government survey should be conducted to trace their identity in order to recommend them for inclusion in SC, ST and OBC Category.
      • Apart from the basic infrastructural development, technology upgradation is also needed to align these communities to the mainstream Indian society.


    • More than the benefit-oriented approach for the upliftment of the Denotified and Nomadic Tribes, wide range debate and sensitization programme should be introduced in order to make the other communities in the society empathetic towards their suffering. ‘Criminal’ branding of the community should be uprooted from the society to ensure that all the other benefits reach them and empower them.

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