156.4 Indigenous communities: Demographic and socio-economic conditions of scheduled tribes in India

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 3:15 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Rajendra PATIL , Department of Sociology, Shivaji University, Kolhapur, India
Indigenous population has been estimated as 300 million by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations, Geneva whereas International Work Group on Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) has estimated it as 350 million at the start of 21st century. This is just fewer than 6% of the world population.

The vast regions of Asia contain the majority of the world's present-day Indigenous populations, about 70% according to IWGIA figures. The most substantial populations are in India collectively referred as Adivasis. These are constitutionally recognized as Scheduled Tribes. The Constitution of India defines Scheduled Tribes as such tribes or tribal communities or part of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342. According to the 2001 census, the ST population in India is 84.3 million which is about 8.2% of the total population.

The paper focuses on description of demographic and socio-economic conditions of the Scheduled Tribes in India after independence in 1947. The secondary data from Census of India, 1951 to 2001 have been used. The description of Scheduled Tribes  has been done with special reference to demographic situation (share of Scheduled Tribes in total population, decadal growth rate, percentage to total population by sex and  residence, fertility rates, early childhood mortality rates), health and literacy related conditions (literacy rates, gross enrolment ratio of students in classes I-VIII) ,Job and employment situation (job-seekers, representation in the central government services, work participation rates, sector-wise total main workers), conditions in agricultural setting(number of holdings, operated area and average size of holding, area of operational holdings) and policy initiatives by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Govt. of India.