|8th Five Year Plan (Vol-2)||<< Back to Index|
Agricultural and Allied Activities || Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation || Irrigation, Command Area Development and Flood Control || Environment and Forests || Industry and Minerals || Village and Small Industries and Food Processing Industries || Labour and Labour Welfare || Energy || Transport || Communication, Information and Broadcasting || Education, Culture and Sports || Health and Family Welfare || Urban Development || Housing, Water Supply and Sanitation || Social Welfare || Welfare and Development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes || Special Area Development Programmes || Science and Technology || Plan Implementation and Evaluation
WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT OF SCHEDULED CASTES AND SCHEDULED TRIBES
16.1.1. In 1981, India had 105 million people belonging to Scheduled Castes, which constituted 15.75 per cent of the total population of the country. To this number should be added about 4.1 million neo-Buddhists specified as Scheduled Castes during 1990. The projected figure for 1991, assuming the same decadal increase as for the general population, would be 134.74 million. More than twenty per cent of the population in Punjab (26.87 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (24.62 per cent), West Bengal (21.99 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (21.16 per cent) belonged to the Scheduled Castes. Eight states, viz., Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Ra-jasthan and Karnataka, accounted for 77.5 per cent of the total Scheduled Caste population of the country in 1981.
16.1.2. The population of Scheduled Tribes was 53.8 million in 1981, constituting 7.8 per cent of the total population of the country. In Jammu and Kashmir, Scheduled Tribes were notified in October, 1989, their estimated population being about 0.8 million. The projected figure for 1991, assuming the same decadal increase as for the general population, would be 67.4 million. Majority of the population of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Lakshadweep are tribals. Madhya Pradesh(11.99 m), Orissa(5.92 m) and Bihar (5.81 m) accounted for about 46 per cent of the total tribal population of the country in 1981.
16.1.3. A number of Constitutional provisions exist for protection and promotion of the interests of these weaker sections. In conformity with the Directive Principles of State Policy, social justice has been an avowed goal of development. During the four decades of planning, a variety of programmes were launched with the objective of improving the socio-economic condition of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. These measures have, no doubt, yielded results but not commensurate with the efforts or the needs of the target groups.
16.1.4. A specific sector of Backward Classes was included from the First Plan to cater to the special needs of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes/Other Backward Classes. It was visualised that the general development programmes should be so designed as to take care of the needs of Backward Classes as well and the special provisions in the Backward Classes Sector would be additive, to be used, as far as possible, for meeting the special developmental needs of these groups. Unfortunately, this expectation was belied in most cases and the Backward Classes Sector provisions, instead of supplementing the general sectors of development, tended to supplant the general sector provisions. It was, in this context, that the concept of Tribal Sub-Plan was introduced during the Fifth Plan and Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes during the Sixth Plan to facilitate monitoring of development programmes for the benefit of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Review of Seventh Plan and 1990 - 92 Plans
16.2.1 In the Seventh Plan, Special Component Plans for Scheduled Castes, Tribal Sub-Plans for Scheduled Tribes and specific schemes for the welfare and development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes were implemented. At the end of the Plan, the Tribal Sub-Plan strategy was being implemented through 191 Integrated Tribal Development Projects, 268 pockets of tribal concentration (Modified Area Development Approach MADA), 74 clusters and 74 primitive tribal group projects.There was substantial increase in the flow of funds for the development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, resulting in expansion of infrastructural facilities and enlargement of coverage. There was limited involvement of Scheduled Castes / Scheduled Tribes in the formulation sand execution of programmes resulting in non-adaptability of schemes/policies to cater to their specific needs.
16.2.2 Emphasis was laid in the Seventh Plan on the educational development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Pre-matric stipends and scholarships were given by the State Governments to 190 lakhs Scheduled Caste / Scheduled Tribe / Other Backward Class students. Other educational incentives included free supply of uniform, stationery and textbooks to about 100 lakh students. Post-matric scholarships were given to about 15 lakh Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students in 1991-92 as against 9.75 lakh scholarships in 1985-86 and only 1.56 lakh scholarships in 1968-69. These scholarships were given for study of post-matriculation/post secondary courses of study in arts, science, commerce, as well as professional and technical degree/diploma and certificate courses on the basis of a graded means test. For Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students studying in medical and engineering colleges, a scheme of book banks was started in 1978-79 which benefited about 21,000 students in 1990- 91. Hostel facilities for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students were considerably expanded.
16.2.3 For the economic development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, two national level institutions were set up: (i) Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation in 1987 as an apex body for State Tribal Development Cooperative Corporations; and (ii) National Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation, primarily to act as a catalytic agent in developing schemes for employment generation and financing pilot projects. The Scheduled Caste and the Scheduled Tribe Development Corporations in the States continued to provide economic assistance for self-employment projects. Economic assistance was given to 118.82 lakh Scheduled Caste families and 52.76 lakh Scheduled Tribe families under various programmes including IRDP. Margin money loan was disbursed to 22.56 lakh Scheduled Caste families through 21 State Scheduled Caste Development Corporations.
16.2.4 Special consideration was accorded to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe families in the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP), the most important poverty alleviation programme in the country. The target of coverage of Scheduled Caste/Tribe beneficiaries in the Seventh Plan was 30 per cent of the total number of beneficiaries. However, the actual coverage was 32.05 per cent in the case of Scheduled Castes and 13.04 per cent in the case of Scheduled Tribe beneficiaries. A target of 50 per cent has been fixed for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe beneficiaries with effect from April 1990. Since 1990-91, Scheduled Caste beneficiaries are being treated at par with Scheduled Tribe beneficiaries for subsidy purposes, both getting 50 per cent subsidy subject upto a ceiling ofRs.5000. Prior to 1990-91, the subsidy admissible to Scheduled Caste families was only 33 1/3 percent. In the wage employment programme of Jawahar Rozgar Yojana, preference is given to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and freed bonded labourers. It has also been provided that at the village panchayat level, 15 per cent of the annual allocation must be spent on items of work which directly benefit the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. Diversion of funds meant for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is not permitted.
16.2.5 To enhance the competitive ability of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students, about 8,000 seats were created in 101 pre-ex-amination training centres where coaching was given to candidates appearing in competitive examinations for entry into public services. The Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates have been able to increase their representation in Central Government Services and Public Sector Undertakings over the years, as seen from the Table 1, due mainly to implementation of reservation policy coupled with educational and coaching facilities.
16.2.6 For elimination of scavenging, about 10 lakh service latrines in 490 towns in 19 States were taken up for conversion into pour flush latrines. Reports indicate that by the end of the Seventh Plan, 9.63 lakh dry latrines were converted, 14,529 scavengers rehabilitated and scavenging was eliminated from 40 towns.
16.2.7 The Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989ťare the two important legislations to deal with un-touchability offences and check commission of
Table -1 Percentage of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe representation in Central Government Services
Percentage of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe representation in Public Sector Undertakings
(Separately for Cl.III and IV not available)
crimes on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Fiftyseven special courts for trial of offences under the Protection of Civil Rights Act have been set up in eight States. Similarly, for implementation of the Scheduled Castes and Schdeuled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, State Governments and Union Territory Administrations have specified existing District and Session's Courts as special courts for trial of offences under this Act. Exclusive special courts have also been set up in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. Monetary relief and rehabilitation assistance were given to the victims of atrocities. Schemes to encourage inter-caste marriages and legal aid were implemented. Programmes were developed through the media, both formal and non-formal, against the evil practice ofuntouch-ability.
16.2.8. Details of outlays and expenditure for Special Component Plan/Tribal Sub-Plan and Backward Classes Sector during the Seventh Plan are given in Table 2.
include outlay/expnd. under backward classes sector. Excluding share capital
contribution of Rs. 50 crores to National Scheduled Castes and Scheduled
Tribes Finance and Development Corporation.
16.3.1 A very large number of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes continue to be socially and educationally backward and are languishing at the bottom of the social and economic pyramid. In rural areas, in 1987/-88, the percentage of Scheduled Caste population below the poverty line was 44.7 and of Scheduled Tribe population 52.6, as compared to the All-India percentage of 33.4. The comparative picture in the incidence of poverty during the period 1977-78 to 1987-88 is given below:
16.3.2 Thus, while there has been a reduction in the percentage of population below the poverty line in the case of both Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the incidence of poverty is still very high. Most of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe families do not own land or other productive assets. They constitute bulk of agricultural landless workers, construction workers and workers in the unorganised sector. They suffer from long periods of unemployment and under-employment. They are also handicapped due to non-enforcement of protective laws such as the Minimum Wages Act and Prevention of Land Alienation Acts. Inequality and exploitation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, particularly in the rural areas, whether in the form of bonded labour or in other forms, both latent and manifest, still continue. Poverty, ignorance, lack of options in employment opportunities and non- existence of organisations which can fight for their rights, facilitate the continuance of age old exploitation. Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe families have often not been able to derive the full benefit of development programmes. Wrong identification of beneficiaries, poor selection of projects, unrealistic and simplistic assumptions in regard to their viability, administrative costs, and leakages have been other problems which have been further compounded by a largely unresponsive administrative structure.
16.3.3 The dwindling resource base of the tribal people in the shape of loss of land, restriction on access to forest produce, and lack of opportunities for reasonable wage employment and usurious money lending have caused hardships to tribal people. Consequently, developmental inputs for the benefit of these people have had little impact. Significantly, development processes have interfered in many cases with traditional tribal institutional structure and ethos and have produced negative results. These were the contributory factors for dissatisfaction amongst tribal people and simmering unrest in some tribal areas.
16.3.4 The literacy rate amongst Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has no doubt increased over the years but the levels are still very low. The gap in literacy between Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the rest of the population has been increasing, as is evident from Table 4.
16.3.5 Variation in literacy rates among the different castes and the different tribes is also fairly pronounced. Among certain Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities, the percentage of literacy in 1981 was below five per cent. There is also wide inter-State variation in literacy levels of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. For instance, in the case of Scheduled Castes, Kerala, according to the 1981 Census, had a literacy rate of 55.96 per cent, while Bihar had only 10.40 per cent. Likewise, in the case of Scheduled Tribes, Manipur had a literacy rate of 39.74 per cent while Andhra Pradesh had only 7.82 per cent. Among females, in both the categories, literacy rate is very low. In the case of Scheduled Castes it was 10.93 per cent and for Scheduled Tribes 8.04 per cent, in 1981.
16.3.6 A large number of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe children discontinue their studies prematurely before completing the level for which they were enrolled. The dropout rate in 1986-87 for classes I-V was 50.79 in the case of Scheduled Castes and 66.12 in the case of Scheduled Tribes. In classes I to VIII, the dropout rates were as high as 69.15 per cent and 80.19 per cent respectively.
16.3.7 Untouchability stands abolished by virtue of Article 17 of the Constitution and its practice in any form is punishable. But social discrimination against Scheduled Castes still linger in many parts of the country. It is a matter of concern that inspite of legal measures in the form of Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955 and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, 76,748 cases of atrocities against persons belonging to Scheduled Castes and 17,101 cases of atrocities against Scheduled Tribes were reported between 1986 and 1990. Of these, 3,328 cases were of murder, 5,339 of rape and 4,325 of arson.
16.3.8 The development process in many tribal areas, instead of providing succour, has been instrumental in causing numerous disadvantages, prominent among them being displacement and loss of land, the tribal's main resource base. Notwithstanding the fact that the State Governments have enacted laws/regulations to control/prohibit transfer of land to non-tribals, land alienation still continues.
16.3.9 While educational development programmes have widened the opportunities for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the number of job seekers among Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has also increased. At the end of 1990, there were 44.53 lakh Scheduled Caste and 11.48 lakh Scheduled Tribe job seekers on the live register of Employment Exchanges as compared to 19.69 lakh and 5.54 lakh respectively in 1981. The number of placements during 1989 was only 0.47 lakh in the case of Scheduled Caste job seekers and 0.27 lakh in the case of Scheduled Tribe job seekers.
Strategy for the Eighth Plan
16.4.1 In the nineties there has to be an intensification of efforts to bridge the gap in the levels of development of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes and other sections of the population so that by the turn of the century these disadvantaged sections of the population are brought on par with the rest of the society in all spheres of national endeavour. Problems of access for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to programmes and services have to be identified and removed. Elimination of exploitation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and removal of all forms of oppression of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes must receive high priority. Untouchability, suppression of rights, usurious money lending, land alienation, non-payment of minimum wages, and restrictions on right to collect minor forest produce have to be removed to enable these people to avail of the benefits of development efforts.
16.4.2 Problems of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have to be tackled by suitable streamlining of the mechanism of planning and implementation of programmes of Special Component Plan, Tribal Sub-Plan, and the schemes specifically targetted for the welfare and development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The strategy of Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes and Tribal Sub-Plan will be reviewed inter-alia to make them effective instruments of planning to ensure real and tangible flow of benefits to the target group, both individuals and families. ^ t
16.4.3 Re-orientation of administrative structure at all levels for functional coordination, integration and effective delivery of services will be necessary. There is considerable inter-caste and inter-tribe variation in the levels of socio-economic development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and in the social and economic organisation of their life. It is essential that planning gives full cognizance to these variations and responds to their specific problems and needs and the socio-cultural values of the community through decentralised participatory planning.
16.4.4 Alleviation of poverty through sustained employment and generation of incomes is vital so that at least the basic needs are met. National poverty alleviation programmes will have to ensure that the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are able to derive adequate benefit. Skill development programmes will be necessary to improve their earnings and help them to diversify into trades and occupations. It will also be necessary to provide assistance to Scheduled Castes and Tribes in the matter of choice of projects, marketing, procurement of raw materials, and introduction of new technologies.
16.4.5 Elimination of scavenging and rehabilitation of scavengers will be an important programme in the Eighth Plan. Education, training and other incentives will be provided to children of parents engaged in unclean occupations so that they can prepare themselves for occupations, which provide better incomes and a higher social status. Occupations like tanning and leather work would be modernised with improved technology to remove the stigma attached to these professions and to produce goods which have a better market.
16.4.6 A national policy on rehabilitation of people displaced by large development projects will need to be evolved. It is important that project authorities give as much attention to this aspect as to the projects themselves and ensure that full rehabilitation is completed before or by the time the projects become operational. Rights and concessions of the tribals in forests should be codified and the Forest Policy implemented in letter and spirit to maintain the symbiotic relationship between the tribals and the forests.
16.4.7 Women belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are in a far worse situation by all development indicators. Poverty and deprivation affect them more adversely. Although they work along with men, they are not recognised as producers in their own right. The strategy for the development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes will have to include a major thrust for the benefit of womenfolk.
16.4.8 Voluntary organisations will need to be promoted and assisted to play a partnership role in the designing and implementation of programmes. Their role in advocacy and acceleration of the process of change and development and in playing a constructive role of intermediaries in general and in innovating new programme structures, in organising and preparing the people and in giving them a stake in the success of their endeavours, in particular, has to be recognised. Voluntary organisations can also help in the training of grassroot level workers and in mobilising community resources.
16.4.9 Facilities like schools, hostels and institutional structures for health care, nutrition, drinking water supply, road linkages and housing will be made available in such a manner that these promote integration of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes with the rest of the society. Agencies and institutions excelling in promotion of integration and removal of all discriminatory practices will be suitably encouraged through appropriate incentives.
16.5.1 While both Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes lag behind the general population on most of the social and economic development indicators and in several areas the developmental needs are common, there are some important aspects in which the problems of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes differ. For instance, the Scheduled Castes suffer not only from economic backwardness but also from social disabilities. The Scheduled Tribes' problems arise from geographical isolation characterised by low level of techno-economic de velopment and wide variation in the levels of living between different areas and different tribal groups but all the same assiduously retaining their distinct socio-cultural identity in a large measure. The programmes for these groups during the Eighth Plan will, therefore, need to be attuned to meet specific needs of these communities.
Educational Development of Scheduled Castes
16.5.2 For the educational development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, steps will be taken to ensure that at both pre-matric and post-matric stages, the problems such as high dropout rate, stagnation, non-enrolment of girl students and uneven growth amongst specified communities are effectively tackled. While the general sector would take care of the institutional arrangements for locating the necessary infrastructure, the programmes under the Backward Classes Sector would continue to pay special attention in supplementing these through incentives and support services.
16.5.3 At the pre-matric stage, programmes covering scholarships, boarding grants, hostel facilities, free supply of books, stationery and uniform and mid-day meals will be expanded. An appropriate package of services will be worked out to promote literacy and raise the level of education of communities where the current level is very low. Special attention will be paid to the retention of the girl child in school.
16.5.4 The post-matric scholarship scheme for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in operation since 1944-45 has helped students from these communities to pursue higher education. Although the rates of scholarship under the scheme have been increased from time to time, no structural changes aimed at increasing employment opportunities have been made. The attempt during the Eighth Plan would be to rationalise the scheme to: (i) provide guidance with reference to employment opportunities and offering appropriate incentives for courses which have a larger market demand; (ii) improve the performance, if necessary by prescribing minimum standards; and (iii) identify causes for inter-caste/ tribe variation in availing benefits under the scheme and chalk out appropriate remedial action.
Economic Development of Scheduled Castes
16.5.5 The economic development of Scheduled Caste families will be given high priority. The Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Development Corporations will strengthen their activitiies to enable proper identification of beneficiaries; selection of projects in non-traditional as well as traditional areas and matching them with the capabilities of the beneficiaries; provide financial assistance in the form of margin money or direct loan on concessional rate of interest in order to lessen the burden of repayment liability; facilitate the flow of credit through financial institutions for these projects; ensure tie-up with poverty alleviation programmes like IRDP; provide infrastructure support where necessary to enable the group of beneficiaries to take up their own ventures in a common work place; organise training in different skills to the target group; arrange for inputs such as supply of raw-material, marketing of finished goods, etc.; and monitor the implementation of the projects.
16.5.6 A time-bound programme, to be completed within the period of Eighth Plan, will be launched to achieve complete elimination of scavenging. The objective will be achieved by (i) making provisions of flush latrines mandatory in every house in urban areas and (ii) providing alternative work opportunities to those presently engaged in scavenging. For this purpose, necessary training facilities will be provided and rehabilitation undertaken.
16.5.7 The National Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation would take up projects for the benefit of Scheduled Castes and Schdeuled Tribes. In addition, the Federation would organise training courses to provide skills.
16.5.8 Under the provisions of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, most of the State Governments have taken measures for effective implementation of the Act including appointment of officers for initiating or exercising supervision over prosecutions, setting up of Special/Mobile Courts, appointment of Committees at the appropriate levels, periodic surveys on the working of the provisions of the Act and identification of areas where persons are under any disabilities arising from 'untouchability'. Later, in 1989, the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was promulgated to prevent commission of offences and atrocities against the members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes involving their perSon, dignity and property. The measures taken for implementation of the Act include strengthening of existing police cells, mobile squads, increasing the number of special and mobile courts for trying atrocities cases, survey ofuntouchability prone areas, provision of legal aid and relief, encouraging inter-caste marriages, monitoring, publicity and propaganda. The endeavour during the Eighth Plan will be to strengthen the enforcement of Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 and undertake programmes for mass awakening leading to attitudinal changes.
Educational Development of Scheduled Tribes
16.5.9 For the educational development of scheduled tribes, existing programmes for pre-matric and post-matric education of Scheduled Tribes will be continued. Residential schools, including ashram schools, will be expanded. As envisaged in the National Policy on Education, 1986, priority will be accorded to the opening of primary schools in tribal areas. The socio-cul-tural milieu of the Scheduled Tribes will be taken into consideration in developing the curricula and devising the instructional materials in tribal languages at the initial stages with arrangements for switching over to the regional language. Anganwadis, non-formal and adult education centres will be established in tribal areas on a priority basis. Further, the curriculum at all stages of education will be so designed as to create an awareness of the rich cultural identity of the tribal people as also of their enormous creative talent.
Economic Development of Scheduled Tribes
16.5.10 The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation through the State Tribal Development Cooperative Corporations would organise collection and marketing of minor forest produce in such a way as to ensure reasonable returns to tribals. A new policy on Minor Forest Produce in relation to the Scheduled Tribes will be formulated. The cooperative structure in the field for this purpose will be suitably reoriented and restructured.
16.5.11 The functioning of cooperative institutions including Large Multipurpose Cooperative Societies (LAMPS) in tribal areas will be reviewed with a view to meeting the genuine needs of tribal people in forests, credit, marketing of minor forest produce and supply of essential commodities. In addition, cooperatives for different occupational groups amongst the Scheduled Tribes will be formed. Essential productive and managerial skills would he developed in them through training and entrepreneurial development programmes so that they may seek self-employment. Measures aimed at greater participation of tribal people in conservation and development of forests and preservation of ecology, in a manner that their traditional rights relating to forest produce are not adversely affected, would be undertaken. Also, rights and concessions of the tribals in forests would need to be codified to ensure unhindered access to minor forest produce and use of forest resources by the tribals.
16.5.12 Limited access to credit for consumption and production purposes has resulted in increased dependence of Scheduled Tribes on money lenders/traders leading to: (a) siphoning of developmental benefits in order to discharge loan liabilities to money lenders and traders; and (b) loss of resource base in the form of land or other assets. An important objective during the Eighth Plan will, therefore, be to provide increased access to credit from banks and cooperative institutions.
16.5.13 For the primitive tribal groups, detailed plans will be prepared for their economic development, as far as possible, with the family as the unit. Infra-structure and other developmental needs will be specifically identified so that an integrated plan is developed. Schemes will be developed which take into account the social and economic organisation of life of these communities, their interests, aptitudes and abilities.
16.5.14 A viable and lasting solution to the problem of shifting cultivation, involving an area of about 10 million hectares affecting 6 lakh tribal families, is yet to be found. Even though special programmes under the Central Plan, including a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with an outlay ofRs 75 crores, have been operating and these have been supplemented by the States own schemes, many of them have been unable to make any real impact. During the Eighth Plan, schemes on water-shed basis, in which sectoral programmes like agriculture, forestry, horticulture, infrastructural and social services facilities will be interwoven in an integrated and viable manner to enable the shifting cultivators to take to settled cultivation.
16.5.15 Originally created for meeting the manpower requirements for exploitation and regeneration of forest resources, the forest villages numbering about 5000, wherein more than 2 lakh tribal people live, have remained largely deprived of normal developmental benefits. In March 1984, the Ministry of Agriculture had advised the State Governments to confer long-term heritable but inalienable rights, say for 15-20 years, in respect of lands in occupation of tribals for more than 20 years. But this suggestion does not seem to have been fully implemented. In September 1990, the Ministry of Environment and Forests advised the State Governments to convert the forest villages into Revenue villages after denotifying requisite land as forest. It was further suggested that administration of these and other Revenue villages in forest areas should be entrusted to the State Forest Departments. While details of conversion are not readily forthcoming, the progress does not seem to be encouraging.
16.5.16 During the Eighth Plan an attempt will be made to reach developmental benefits to forest villages in a manner suited to the situation. Arrangements for review, on a regular basis, of the functioning of developmental schemes in forest villages for their all-round development, keeping in tune with environmental requirements, will be made.
16.5.17 Legal and administrative measures and programmes aimed at elimination of exploitation in matters relating to land, forest, money lending, trade and labour will receive priority attention. These will be so implemented as to ensure for the Scheduled Tribes, the retention of basic resources like land, access to minor forest produce especially items for food, fuel and fodder and self and wage employment opportunities.
16.5.18 Peoples' initiative and participation would be made a key element in the process of development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and protecting their interests. Towards achieving this end, peoples' initiative and participation would be enlisted through continued assistance to non-governmental organisations working amongst Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Research will be carried out to help identify the problems of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Tribal Research Institutes in the States will be activated to undertake concurrent evaluation of programmes under implementation. A bench-mark survey was undertaken in 1978 in tribal areas. It would be useful to undertake a similar survey in respect of the Tribal areas during the Eighth Plan.
16.5.19 Most of the State Governments have drawn up their own lists ofsociallly and educationally backward classes and are implementing developmental schemes for them, mainly in the field of education. For the denotified communities, nomadic and semi-nomadic groups, rehabilitation measures have been taken up. Some State Governments like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka and Maharashtra have also set up Development Corporations for other Backward Classes and Denotified Tribes. Efforts during the Eighth Plan will be to critically examine the ongoing schemes and modify them to more effectively cater to the needs of different groups amongst these communities.
16.5.20 The National Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation will promote the economic and other developmental activities for the benefit of the backward classes. Assistance will be given to promote self- employment and other ventures subject to such income and/or economic criteria as may be prescribed from time to time.
16.5.21 An outlay of Rs. 2548 crores in the Central Sector, including Rs. 1125 crores as Special Central Assistance for Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes and Rs. 3086.06 crores for the State Plan under Backward Classes Sector have been provided. In addition, a provision of Rs. 1250 crores has been made for Special Central Assistance to Tribal sub-plan.
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