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Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)

Context: The Rajya Sabha passed the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order Amendment Bill, 2024 and Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Order Amendment Bill, 2024 to add new communities to the ST list.

About Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)

  • These groups are characterised by primitive traits, geographical isolation, low literacy levels, stagnant or declining population growth, and a reliance on hunting and pre-agricultural technology.
  • Originating from the Dhebar Commission (1973), also known as the Tribal Panchsheel Committee proposed the classification of Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs).
    • The Central Government identified 52 tribes as PTGs in 1975 and expanded this to include 23 more in 1993.
    • These groups were renamed PVTGs in 2006.
  • Presently, there are approximately 8 million individuals from 75 PVTG tribes across 22,544 villages in 220 districts spanning 18 states and Union Territories of India.
  • As per the 2011 Census, Odisha has the highest PVTG population (866,000), followed by Madhya Pradesh (609,000) and Andhra Pradesh (including Telangana) with 539,000.
  • The Saura community of Odisha is the largest PVTG, numbering around 535,000.

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About Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order Amendment Bill, 2024

  • The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2024 is a legislative proposal aimed at modifying the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) for the state of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Inclusion of Tribes:
    • Porja, Bondo Porja, Khond Porja, Parangiperja.
    • Savaras, Kapu Savaras, Maliya Savaras, Konda Savaras, Khutto Savaras.
  • Implications: Being recognized as a Scheduled Tribe confers certain legal and social benefits, including reservations in education and government jobs, and special development initiatives aimed at improving the socio-economic conditions of these communities.

Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Order Amendment Bill, 2024

The Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2024, aims to revise the list of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) for the state of Odisha.

  • Name Change: The bill proposes to change the name from “Orissa” to “Odisha” in the relevant parts of the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950.
  • Rationale: The bill is driven by the need to accurately represent the diverse tribal communities within Odisha, recognizing the distinct identities and cultural nuances of each group.
  • Scheduled Castes Adjustments: The bill also proposes to remove certain communities from the SC list and include them in the ST list, specifically under the “Bhumij” entry, to reflect their tribal status more accurately.
  • Phonetic Variations: The inclusion of phonetic variations acknowledges the linguistic diversity within tribal communities, ensuring that all members are recognized under the ST category. 
PYQ
Q. Consider the following statements about Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in India:

  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? (2019)

(a) 1, 2 and 3

(b) 2, 3 and 4

(c) 1, 2 and 4

(d) 1, 3 and 4

Answer: Option (c)

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