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Year End Review 2019: Ministry of Tribal Affairs

  • 06 Apr 2020
  • 7 min read

Important Schemes and Policies

Pradhan Manti Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY)

  • It is a market-linked tribal entrepreneurship development program for forming clusters of tribal SHGs and strengthening them into Tribal Producer Companies.
  • Launched in 2018, the scheme is being implemented by TRIFED.
  • PMVDY is an initiative targeting livelihood generation for tribals by harnessing the wealth of forest i.e. Van Dhan.
  • The programme aims to tap into traditional knowledge & skill sets of tribals by adding technology & IT to upgrade it at each stage and to convert the tribal wisdom into a viable economic activity.
  • The Van Dhan initiative shall promote and leverage the collective strength of tribals to achieve a viable scale to take on the predatory market forces in the areas where these are still prevalent.
  • Proposition is to set-up tribal community owned Minor Forest Produce (MFP)-centric multi-purpose Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (the Kendra) in predominantly tribal districts.

Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs)

  • 55 EMRSs have been made functional in 2019 with an enrolment of 4833 new students.
  • Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) started in the year 1997-98 to impart quality education to ST children in remote areas.
  • As per the budget 2018-19, every block with more than 50% Schedule Tribe (ST) population and at least 20,000 tribal persons, will have an Eklavya Model Residential School by the year 2022.
  • These are being set up by grants provided under Article 275(1) of the Constitution.
  • There will be an autonomous society under the ministry of tribal affairs — similar to Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti — to run the EMRSs.
  • Objective: To provide quality middle and high-level education to Scheduled Tribe (ST) students in remote areas, not only to enable them to avail of reservation in high and professional educational courses and as jobs in government and public and private sectors but also to have access to the best opportunities in education at par with the non ST population.

Minor Forest Produce

  • The number of Minor Forest Produce (MFPs) notified has been revised from 23 to 49 under ‘Mechanism for Marketing of MFP through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Development of Value Chain for MFP’ scheme. MFPs contribute up to 80% of tribal communities’ cash income.
  • Launched in 2013, the central sector scheme aims to ensure fair monetary returns to MFP gatherers for their efforts in the collection, primary processing, storage, packaging, transportation etc.
  • The scheme envisages fixation and declaration of Minimum Support Price for the selected MFP based on the suggestions /inputs received from TRIFED.
  • MFPs include all non-timber forest produce of plant origin and will include bamboo, canes, fodder, leaves, gums, waxes, dyes, resins and many forms of food including nuts, wild fruits, Honey, Lac, Tusser etc.
  • The Minor Forest Produces provide both subsistence and cash income for people who live in or near forests. They form a major portion of their food, fruits, medicines and other consumption items and also provide cash income through sale.
  • Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, defined MFPs for the first time in 2007.

e-Governance Initiatives for ST Welfare Schemes

  • Ministry is funding about 250 NGOs for 350 projects mainly on Health and Education in the deficient service area, LWS areas, Border areas.
  • In order to bring transparency and efficiency in the release of funds to NGOs, the process of inviting applications, verification and release of funds is through a dedicated NGO portal.
  • Each NGO can now track the status of its application. In order to ensure NGOs utilize funds for the given purpose only, funds are monitored through EAT Module.


EAT (Expenditure Advance Transfer) Module- Expenditure is done for running office requirement. Advance is given to Vendors, Staff and Beneficiaries for supply or service. Transfer is always done to the lower level agency. EAT Module is also called Expenditure Filing Module.

Focus on Health, Water and Livelihood

  • Ice stupas are being established in 50 villages in Ladakh which will solve the problem of drinking water and water required for agriculture.
  • Projects have been given to some of the private companies on sheep rearing, packaging of apricot and peas.
  • Ministry has prepared a Health Action Plan to mitigate the gaps in health infrastructure and other health services in the tribal dominated areas.

Tribal Healers and Knowledge

  • Tribals have vast traditional knowledge of treating diseases with locally available medicinal plants.
  • Tribal Research Institute (TRI) Uttarakhand has been made nodal TRI for coordination of research works being conducted for tribal medicine by various Centres of Excellence and TRIS so as to create a centralized knowledge hub on the subject.

Tribal Forest Rights

  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has completely withdrawn the draft amendment to Indian Forest Act (IFA), 1927.
  • The amendments had drawn a lot of criticism from tribal organisations as it gave forest officers the power to shoot people and notify any area as ‘production forests’ among other issues.
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