Model Question and Answers for APSC | Why are the tribals in India referred to as the Scheduled Tribes? Indicate the major provisions enshrined in the Constitution of India for their upliftment.
Why are the tribals in India referred to as the Scheduled Tribes? Indicate the major provisions enshrined in the Constitution of India for their upliftment.
Ans: The term 'Scheduled Tribes' first appeared in the Constitution of India. Article 366 (25) defined scheduled tribes as "such tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342 to be Scheduled Tribes for the purposes of this constitution".
The tribal communities in India have been recognized by the Indian Constitution under ‘Schedule 5’ of the constitution. Hence the tribes recognized by the Constitution are known as ‘Scheduled Tribes’.
The major provisions enshrined in the Constitution of India for their upliftment:
1. Reservation is provided in educational institutions as well as jobs for Scheduled Tribes (ST) – Article 15 (4) and Article 16 (4).
2. The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) under 338A to oversee implementation of provisions for Tribal rights
3. Article 46 of the Constitution provides that the State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the society and in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
4. Article 243D provides reservation of Seats for Scheduled Tribes in Panchayats.
5. Article 330 provides reservation of seats for Scheduled Tribes in the House of the People. Article 332 provides reservation of seats for Scheduled Tribes in Legislative Assemblies of the States.
6. Article 23 which prohibits traffic in human beings and beggar and other similar forms of forced labour has a special significance for Scheduled Tribes. In pursuance of this Article, Parliament has enacted the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976.
7. Similarly, Article 24 which prohibits employment of Children below the age of 14 years in any factory or mine or in any other hazards activity is also significant for Scheduled Tribes as a substantial portion of child labour engaged in these jobs belong to Scheduled Tribes.