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Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes

2022 DEC 28

Preliminary   > Social Justice   >   Welfare Schemes   >   Tribal affairs

Why in news?

  • The Parliamentary panel on Social Justice and Empowerment has asked the government to expedite categorisation of Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes under either the SC/ST/OBC lists. Delay would increase their suffering and deprive them of welfare schemes.

About Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes:

  • These are communities that are the most vulnerable and deprived.
  • Denotified Tribes:
    • DNTs (Denotified) are communities that were ‘notified’ as being ‘born criminals’ during the British regime under a series of laws starting with the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871.
    • These Acts were repealed by the Independent Indian Government in 1952, and these communities were "De-Notified".
  • Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes:
    • A few of these communities which were listed as de-notified were also nomadic.
    • Nomadic and semi-nomadic communities are defined as those who move from one place to another rather than living in one place all the time.
  • Historically, Nomadic Tribes and De-notified Tribes never had access to private land or home ownership.
  • While most DNTs are spread across the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) categories, some DNTs are not covered in any of the SC, ST or OBC categories.
  • 1262 communities have been identified as de-notified, nomadic and semi-nomadic.
  • The Renke commission (2006) estimated their population at around 11 Cr based on Census 2001.
  • Many commissions and committees constituted since Independence have referred to the problems of these communities.
  • These include :
    • Ananthasayanam Ayyangar Committee in 1949 (it was based on the report of this committee the Criminal Tribes Act was repealed),
    • Kaka Kalelkar Commission (also called first OBC Commission) constituted in 1953.
    • The B P Mandal Commission constituted in 1980 also made some recommendations on the issue.

Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNTs (SEED):

  • It aims for the welfare of De-notified, Nomadic and Semi Nomadic Communities
  • It is being implemented through an online portal (from 2021 to 2026) and would issue a unique ID to each applicant. But delay in the categorization of 1262 tribes is delaying the implementation of the scheme.
  • Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is implementing this umbrella scheme for empowerment

National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes:

  • It is setup under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in 2006 to study various developmental aspects of denotified and nomadic or semi-nomadic tribes in India.
  • The Commission submitted its report in 2008 making several recommendations


Scheme for Economic Empowerment of De-notified, nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes (SEED) is an umbrella scheme implemented by:

(a) Ministry of Tribal Affairs

(b) Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

(c) Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

(d) Ministry of Rural Development