Inclusion in the ST List

2023 AUG 5

Preliminary   > Polity   >   Miscellaneous   >   Scheduled Caste/Tribe

Why in news?

  • The Indian government has introduced the Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2023, aiming to include four communities in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) list in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The proposed inclusion of the "Gadda Brahmin," "Koli," "Paddari Tribe," and "Pahari Ethnic Group" has sparked apprehensions regarding the distribution of reservation benefits.

About Scheduled Tribes list:

  • The Constitution does not define the criteria for recognition of Scheduled Tribes and hence the definition contained in 1931 Census was used in the initial years after independence.
  • However, Article 366(25) of the Constitution provides process to define Scheduled Tribes:
    • “Scheduled Tribes means such tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342 to be Scheduled Tribes for the purposes of this Constitution.”
  • Article 342(1):
    • It states that “The President may with respect to any State or Union Territory, and where it is a State, after consultation with the Governor, by a public notification, specifies the tribes or tribal communities or part of or groups within tribes or tribal communities as Scheduled Tribe in relation to that State or Union Territory.”
    • Accordingly, the Scheduled Tribes list is notified for each State or Union Territory.
    • These lists are valid only within the jurisdiction of that State or UT and not outside.

What are the criteria for inclusion in ST List?

  • (a) Indications of primitive traits
  • (b) Distinctive culture
  • (c) Geographical isolation
  • (d) Shyness of contact with the community at large
  • (e) Backwardness.
  • However, these criteria are not mentioned in the Constitution.

Process for inclusion in ST List:

  • The process begins with a recommendation from the respective State governments.
  • These recommendations are then sent to the Tribal Affairs Ministry. After review, the Ministry sends them to the Registrar General of India for approval.
  • This is followed by the approval of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes before the list is sent to the Cabinet for a final decision.


Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

1. National Commission for Scheduled Tribes doesn’t have any role in inclusion and exclusion of tribes in Schedule Tribe list

2. The Constitution does not define the criteria for recognition of Scheduled Tribes

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2