Over eight crore tribal population as per 2001 census

In his written reply, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Mahadeo Singh Khandela said there are 2,474 forest villages/habitations spread across 12 states.

Of these 12 states, Assam has the maximum number of forest villages at 499 and Uttar Pradesh has the least at 12, Khandela said.

Regarding finalising the national tribal policy, the minister said a draft policy was prepared and it was sent for approval but added that no time frame was finalised for this as yet.

On the issue of complaints received by the government in regard to activities related to religious conversion of tribals by offering them temptation or forced conversion, the minister said representations were received on various issues including those relating to socio-cultural and religious issues of tribals/tribal areas.

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