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Prelims Capsule


Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment launches Seed for DNTs? What is the status of DNTs?

Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment launches Seed for DNTs? What is the status of DNTs?


  • GS 2 || Polity || Union Territories and Special Areas || Scheduled and Tribal Area

Why in the news?

  • The Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment launched the Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNTs (SEED) for the welfare of De-notified, Nomadic and Semi Nomadic Communities.

Components of the Scheme

  • To provide coaching of good quality for DNT/NT/SNT candidates to enable them to appear in competitive examinations.
  • To provide health insurance to DNT/NT/SNT Communities.
  • To facilitate livelihoods initiative at community level to build and strengthen small clusters of DNT/NT/SNT Communities institutions.
  • To provide financial assistance for construction of houses to members of the DNT/NT/SNT Communities.

Need for the scheme

  • Socio-economic poverty- The DNTs, NTs, and SNTs are among India’s poorest and most economically disadvantaged communities. The colonial government’s policies had a negative impact on people’s lives and livelihoods. During British administration, the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871 began to wreak havoc on these groups.
  • Backwardness of the tribes- Various colonial acts designated them as criminals. As a result, they have been forced to leave their usual vocations and homes. They remained pastoral/peripatetic hunter-gatherers.
  • Even after independence, they have not reaped the benefits of over seven decades of planned growth. They, like the SCs/STs, were denied state assistance.

Status in India

  • It has been estimated that South Asia has the world’s largest nomadic population. In India, roughly 10 % of the population is Denotified and Nomadic.
  • While the number of Denotified Tribes is about 150, the population of Nomadic Tribes consists of about 500 different communities.
  • There are nearly 1,500 nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes and 198 denotified tribes, comprising 15 crore Indians, according to the Renke Commission, 2008.

 Government Initiatives for mainstreaming DNTs, NTs, and SNTs

Challenges Faced by Nomadic Tribes

  • Marginalization- These tribes remain socially and economically marginalized even now, depriving many of them of basic human rights.
  • The most pressing issue is of their
  • Lack of Basic Infrastructure Facilities-Like drinking water, shelter, and sanitation facilities are not available to the communities. Healthcare and education facilities are also not available.
  • Bad Treatment by Local Administration-Due to the stigma of Criminals bestowed upon them in the past, they are still treated criminals and tortured by the local administration and police.
  • Lack of Social Security Cover-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, 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, and 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 programs.

Way forward

Mains model Question

  • What are denotified tribes (DNTs)? These tribes are plagued by problems such as chronic poverty and illiteracy. What steps can government take to encure inclusiveness of DNT’S. Discuss.