'Data on socio-economic indicators of tribals inadequate'

ASI suggests proper baseline surveys of tribal communities

A nationwide survey by the Anthropological Survey of India (ASI) of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs), formerly primitive tribes, has found that there was not enough data regarding socio-economic indicators of these tribes, which would assist in policy making.

So far, there has not been any efforts to pool the data at the national level and there are no complete details, about key indicators such as literacy, male-female ratio, birth and death rates, disease profiles, malnutrition and others among the community.

A release by ASI, said that several observations were made following the survey, of which revision of PVTG list was among the important recommendations.

While the Central government recognises 75 PVTGs, the list contains synonyms and needs to be revised for the sake of accuracy in identifying tribal groups.

The inaccuracies in the list, was that some primitive tribes were distributed in different States. “Due to this, there are double entries in the list, which should be deleted,” said a cultural anthropologist at ASI, who did not want to be named.

The survey also noted that few groups were given PVTG status in one State, but not in the adjoining State. As a result, there are disparities in implementing developmental schemes, which benefit only a fraction of the community, while a majority do not benefit from them.

Research centre

The survey has also noted that some states have not initiated Conservation-cum-Development programmes as per the directive of the Centre. “The State of Karnataka did not even set up a Tribal Research Centre until 2012, let alone initiating Conservation-cum-Development programmes for PVTG groups, viz., Jenu Kuruba and Koraga,” the release said.

ASI has also suggested respective State governments to carry out proper base line surveys of tribal communities,which will at least ensure vital statistics are available for implementing development schemes.

ASI sources said that results of surveys conducted by seven other regional ASIs in the country, will be compiled and the findings will be submitted to the Centre soon.

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