Achievements and Initiatives of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs

Achievements and Initiatives of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs 

Year End Review

 The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is the nodal Ministry for the overall policy, planning and coordination of programmes for the development of the Scheduled Tribes (STs). The programmes and schemes of the Ministry are intended to support and supplement, through financial assistance, the efforts of other Central Ministries, the State Governments and voluntary organizations, and to fill critical gaps taking into account the needs of ST. Launch of Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojana, Single Window System For Obtaining Market Information on Minor Forest Produces, Setting up of 184 Eklavya Model Residential Schools, Preparation of Tribal Map of India and Launch of  MFPNET Portal of Trifed were some of the important Initiatives of the Ministry during the Year 2014.


The Union Government in the current financial year 2014-15, has introduced Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojna (VKY) as Central Sector Scheme with an allocation of Rs. 100 crore. The Central Government proposes to replicate the intervention with special focus on the qualitative and sustainable employment for tribal families; bridging infrastructure gaps with focus on quality; improving the quality of education and health and improving the quality of life in tribal areas.
                 The scheme been launched on pilot basis in one block each of the States of AP, MP, HP, Telangana, Orissa, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Under the scheme centre will provide Rs. 10 crore for each block for the development of various facilities for the Tribals. These blocks have been selected on the recommendations of the concerned States and have very low literacy rate.
           There are about 350 Blocks in the Schedule V areas where population to STs compared to total population of the Block is 50% or above. Despite several interventions in the past, these Blocks are still reeling under various facets of deprivation in so far as Human Development Indices are concerned. Through VKY, it is envisaged to develop these Blocks as model Blocks over the period of next five years with qualitative and visible infrastructural facilities enabling congenial environment to further the mission of sustainable Development.
            During the current year 2014-15, it is proposed to implement a pilot project in one block each of the ten Schedule V States within the limited financial resources provided under Scheme, and possibly one Block outside fifth schedule with substantive tribal population and low HDI. An amount of Rs 10.00 crore has been earmarked for the each Block totalling at Rs. 100 Crore. The selection of block will be made in consultation with the respective State Governments while taking into account the human development indices. Successful completion of the initiative taken during 2014-15 would be followed by execution of Perspective Plan during the next five years in respect of all blocks with dominant tribal population and low HDI.
           The proposed intervention is aimed at adopting a holistic approach to create an enabling environment for overall development of the Tribal people with sustainability while ensuring qualitative and sustainable employment; emphasis on quality education & higher education; accelerated economic development of tribal areas; health for all; housing for all; safe drinking water for all at doorsteps; irrigation facilities suited to the terrain; all weather roads with connectivity to the nearby town/cities; universal availability of electricity; urban development; robust institutional mechanism to roll the vehicle of development with sustainability; promotion and conservation of tribal cultural heritage and promotion of Sports in tribal Areas.
           The scheme is being implemented through robust institutional mechanism in a mission mode while equipping these institutions with proper infrastructure and well capacitated manpower to gear up the process of monitoring and implementation of activities translating into tangible outcomes. For the purpose, a Project Implementation Cell manned with 26 professionals will be set up at the Tribal Welfare Department of each State.

           A Single Window System for obtaining information on Minor Forest Produces (MFPS) through Toll Free Call Service number 1800-180-1551 has been inaugurated where market rates information can be provided over phone to tribals and others on asking.

TRIFED initiated a dialogue with Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) which is already running Kisan Call Centres (KCC) for disseminating market information about agricultural products. Establishing Toll Free Call Centre’s would have entailed major capital and recurring manpower expenses. So it was decided that instead of establishing a parallel infrastructure for similar service, TRIFED should leverage the existing infrastructure of Kisan Call Centres (KCC). TRIFED entered into negotiations with Ministry of Agriculture who very kindly agreed to provide the necessary linkage of “MFP net” with KCC. This is another commendable initiative of convergence between two Ministries which has created synergy and optimum utilisation of Govt. resources.

KCCs are available at Mumbai, Kanpur, Kochi, Bangaluru, Chennai, Jammu, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Indore, Kolkata, Patna,  Coimbatore, Kolkatta (North East States), Pune, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur & Bhubaneshwar. With the operationalisation of this service, tribals can call from anywhere and enquire about:

o         MSP of different items,
o         State Implementing Agencies for MSP for MFP,
o         Market price of MFPs in different Markets
Since most of the tribal communities are also engaged in farming apart from MFP collection, they can also enquire about market related information about agricultural commodities.

When someone calls Toll Free number 1800 180 1551, the Farm Tele Adviser (FTA) from the other end  enquires about the caller’s Name, Father’s name, Address, Phone Number, Land holding etc. Once the FTA records this information, Caller may ask his/her question in Hindi or Local language. FTA accesses “Farmer’s Portal” linked with TRIFED’s “MFP net” website to make the information available to the Caller instantly. In order to keep information on TRIFED’s website updated, its 13 Regional offices located across India collects and feed information about market prices for different MFPs.

            All the stakeholders of this service are benefitted with this convergence between two Ministries. The other benefits to tribals include:

·        Tribals get market information about MFPs and Minimum Support Price (MSP) free of cost.
·        Tribals also get information about Agro commodities.
·        TRIFED is able to create a network for collection and dissemination of information without any extra cost.
·        TRIFED has saved its precious and scarce resources which would have otherwise gone into creating a parallel system.
·        Inclusion of MFPs has expanded the ambit of “Farmer’s Portal”
·        Convergence between two Ministries created synergy and optimum utilisation of existing infrastructure which will prove to be a trend setter for others.
·        A database of tribals using telephony gets created which can be used for spreading multiple social messages and general awareness about various Government programmes.

In order to facilitate infrastructure for provision of quality education to the tribals, the Ministry has sanctioned 184 Eklavya Model Residential Schools. These schools are intended to be equipped with requisite infrastructure and conducive environment for ensuring delivery of quality education among the tribals. Holding of this consultation is part of the process of sensitizing the State Government towards the bigger goal of tribal development at par with mainstream fellow population of the country.

Orders have been issued to prepare detailed Tribal Map of India utilizing the technology of Geographical Information System.(GIS) which will help the government while implementing different programmes and introducing new schemes and projects fo tribal people.

The welfare of tribal girls and student welfare is one of the focus areas of the Ministry. An outlay of Rs 473.00 lakh has been proposed for 2014-15 for various tribal welfare programmes which include for assistance of ST girls to reduce the burden of marriage expenses and Financial Assistance to Traditional Tribal Healers.

Educational assistance to scheduled tribe children has also been given high priority. It includes assistance for study tour to school & college going students, supply of study material to all students studying in high school, higher secondary school & colleges and assistance to provide laptop to ST students studying professional courses in approved University/institutes.

The Minister for Tribal Affairs Shri Jual Oram  inaugurated the new MFPnet portal of Tribal Co-operative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) in New Delhi. The MFPnet portal is designed to act as an adjunct and a catalyst for implementing the scheme of Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce (MFP). It is a one stop destination for all information needs on MFPs and facilitate stakeholders in MFP trade and users to take decisions backed by requisite information. It is intended with the main objective to ensure fair price to MFP gatherers who are mainly tribals, enhance their income level and ensure sustainable harvesting of MFPs. It is initially implemented for 10 main identified MFPs namely Karanj Seed, Mahua Seed, Sal Leed, Lac, Chironjee, Wild Honey, Myrobalan, Tamarind, Gums (Gum Karaya) in 102 districts of 8 States of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan & Gujarat. It is expected to increase quantum of MFP procurement substantially thereby benefitting tribal people. The Scheme also envisages training of 1,00,000 MFP gatherers of tribal origin on sustainable harvesting and value addition activities. This portal provides information about TRIFED, MFP trade in India, marketing prospects for MFPs, MSP for MFP, its current status, MFP development training beside its retail marketing activities.
Moreover, the portal is a network of stakeholders in the trade of MFP which includes individuals, agencies and institutions. It is a platform to collect and disseminate MFP trade related information and latest developments in this field. The information shall be available commodity wise and state wise for different markets. Emails & SMSes about daily market prices shall be sent to all those interested in knowing the market prices and registered with the MFPnet. In addition to information collection and dissemination, MFPnet also has the provision to upload information on buying and selling. Buyers and sellers can upload the trade leads about the MFP stock they want to sell or buy directly and the same shall be visible to all other visitors on the site. The buyer/seller interested to pursue these trade leads can get in touch with each other directly.

A one-day consultation meeting with the Ministers of Tribal Welfare Departments of States/UTs was organized by Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs in Delhi recently. The consultation was aimed to provide a platform for the states to initiate a meaningful dialogue for better planning, coordination and implementation of the programmes to ensure comprehensive, all-encompassing strategy for welfare of Tribals.

The in-principle approval for recognizing the Vishva Bharati, Shanti Niketan as the other centre of excellence in the filed of Tribal language and literature has been given.

A proposal to establish a National Research Centre in the Tribal Research Institute, Bhubansehwar to promote research activities on subjects/issues for socio-economic development and culture of States has also been approved by the Ministry.


Amendments made in the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved certain amendments in the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

The Act came into effect from 01.01.2014 but it has been reported that many difficulties are being faced in its implementation.  In order to remove them, certain amendments have been made in the Act to further strengthen the provisions to protect the interests of the ‘affected families’.  In addition, procedural difficulties in the acquisition of lands required for important national projects required to be mitigated.

States, Ministries and stakeholders had been reporting many difficulties in the implementation of this Act.  Several suggestions came up in interactions with State Revenue Ministers and key implementing Ministries. Proposed amendments meet the twin objectives of farmer welfare; along with expeditiously meeting the strategic and developmental needs of the country. 

Pro-farmer step: Excluded Acts brought under RFCTLARR Act for Compensation and R&R

The existing Act vide Section 105 (read with Schedule IV) has kept 13 most frequently used Acts for Land Acquisition for the Central Government Projects out of the purview. These acts are applicable for national highways, metro rail, atomic energy projects, electricity related other projects etc. Thus a large percentage of famers and affected families were denied  the compensation and R&R measures prescribed under the Act.

The present amendments bring all those exempted 13 Acts under the purview of this Act for the purpose of compensation as well as rehabilitation and resettlement. Therefore, the amendment benefits the farmers and the affected families.

Pro-development: Faster processing without compromising on compensation or R&R measures to farmers

The second important aspect of the amendment is to make developmental and security related works much faster without compromising on the benefits/compensation to be given to the farmers.

In the process of prolonged procedure for land acquisition, neither the farmer is able to get benefit nor is the project completed in time for the benefit of society at large.

Therefore the present changes allow a fast track process for defence and defence production, rural infrastructure including electrification, housing for poor including affordable housing, industrial corridors and infrastructure projects including projects taken up under Public Private Partnership mode where ownership of the land continues to be vested with the government.

These projects are essential for bringing in better economic opportunities for the people living in these areas and would also help in improving quality of life.


Department of Disabilities Affairs renamed as Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities 

The Department of Disability Affairs (Nishaktata Karya Vibhag) under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has renamed as Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Viklangjan Sashaktikaran Vibhag). 

The Gazette notification in this regard has been issued by the Government of India. 


Government has set a target to achieve one percent share in global tourism arrivals by next year: Dr Mahesh Sharma 
Five theme based-circuits i.e., Ganga , Krishna , Buddha , North East and Kerala circuits being developed by the Ministry of Tourism 

The Minister of State of Tourism (Independent Charge), Culture (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma has said that the Government has set a target to achieve one percent share in global tourism arrivals by next year. He was speaking at ‘Make in India’ National Workshop on Tourism, Media, and Entertainment in New Delhi today. Dr. Mahesh Sharma said that to achieve this target a multi- pronged strategy is being worked out. The focus of the Government is on improving the cleanliness, hospitality and safety aspects of Tourism, he added. Also the synergy of the three Ministries i.e., Tourism, Culture, and Civil Aviation will be improved substantially to take tourism to new heights, he said. 

Highlighting the aspect of accessibility, the Minister said that good connectivity to tourist destinations is the key factor for improving tourism. The Ministry of Tourism has allotted Rs. 500 crore for the development of theme based tourist circuits. Accordingly, the Tourism Ministry has drawn plans for the development of five important circuits i.e., Ganga circuit, Krishna circuit, Buddha circuit, North East circuit, and Kerala circuit, the Minister explained. Elaborating the new initiatives, Dr. Sharma said that a ‘Cruise plan’ will be ready for implementation soon. Similarly, a comprehensive plan will be prepared with the Ministry of Environment and Forests for promoting wild life tourism. 

Dr Sharma said that since Dhabas along the highways are very popular among tourists, the Dhaba owners will be trained to provide hygienic food to tourists and travelers. Similarly, the souvenir industry should be developed to give fillip to local skills and craftsmanship. 

Among the steps taken recently, the Government has identified 25 monuments for Adarsh Smarak Campaign, in which they will be developed as model monuments. The path breaking initiative of E-Ticketing at monuments has already begun with the launch of E-Ticketing at the Taj Mahal at Agra and Humayun’s Tomb at Delhi. Dr. Mahesh Sharma said that his focus will be to promote both foreign as well as domestic tourism. He urged the leaders in the tourism sector to take bold decisions to improve the Tourism industry. 

Secretary (Tourism) Shri Lalit Panwar said that the Ministry is taking several new measures to re-launch tourism and taking India’s rich cultural heritage to all corners of the world. 

The Minister of State for Commerce & Industry (Independent Charge), Smt. Nirmala Sitharamanwas also present at the workshop. 


Regularization of all unauthorized colonies 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today approved amendment to the existing guidelines that enables regularization of all unauthorized colonies that have come up till June 1, 2014 namely extension of cut-off date for regularization from March 31, 2002 to June 1, 2014. 

This will provide the benefits accruing from regularization to a large number of people in unauthorised colonies that have come in existence between 31.03.2002 and 01.06.2014. 


Achievements and Initiatives of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs Achievements and Initiatives of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 9:19 AM Rating: 5

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