National Commission for ST

National Commission for ST

In accordance with Article 342 of the Constitution, the scheduled communities are called Scheduled Tribes in Article 366(25) of the Constitution.

National Commission for ST


In accordance with Article 342 of the Constitution, the scheduled communities are called Scheduled Tribes in Article 366(25) of the Constitution. The Scheduled Tribes are those tribes, tribal communities, parts of, or groups within those tribes and tribal communities that have been declared as such by the President through a public notification, according to Article 342 of the Constitution.

Few Committees

  • To examine the standards for classifying Schedule Tribes, the Lokur Committee (1965) was established. The Committee recommended five criteria for identification: primitive characteristics, distinctive culture, geographic isolation, reluctance to interact with the larger community, and backwardness.
  • Bhuria Commission (2002–2004) issues included the 5th Schedule, tribal land and forests, health and education, the operation of Panchayats, and the status of tribal women.
  • Under the leadership of Prof. Virginius Xaxa, a High-Level Committee (HLC) was established in 2013 to investigate five crucial issues about tribal communities: (1) livelihood and employment, (2) education, (3) health, (4) involuntary displacement and migration, (5) and legal and constitutional issues. 

Amendment in Articles

The Constitution (89th Amendment) Act of 2003 amended Article 338 and added a new Article 338A, establishing the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST). This amendment established two new commissions, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST), effective with the former National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Indian Scheduled Tribes National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

The Scheduled Tribes make up 104 million people, or 8.6% of the nation's population, according to the 2011 Census. These Scheduled Tribes are dispersed nationwide, primarily in hilly and forested areas.

  • These communities' fundamental qualities include the following:
    • Basic Characteristics
    • Geographic seclusion
    • Unique culture
    • Avoiding social interaction with the general public
    • Undeveloped economically
  • The Plan's goal of empowering the tribals is being met through a three-pronged strategy of social empowerment, economic empowerment, and social justice, just as it was with the SCs.

Members of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)

One chairperson, one vice-chairperson, and three full-time members make up the NCST. There should be a minimum of one woman among the three members. Each Commission member is appointed for a three-year term.

The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes's duties

  • The NCST conducts investigations, keeps track of developments, and assesses how well the Constitution's protections for Scheduled Tribes are working.
  • NCST will look into specific complaints involving the infringement of STs' rights and protections.
  • In addition to taking part in and offering advice on the planning process for the socioeconomic development of the STs, the Commission also assesses how well the various developmental activities are going.
  • An annual report on the effectiveness of those safeguards will be given to the President. In addition to the annual reports, other reports will be submitted to the President as and when required.
  • The Commission will also provide reports on the steps that need to be taken by the federal government and the various state governments to ensure the effective implementation of the safeguards for the protection, growth, and welfare of the STs.
  • The welfare, protection, development, and advancement of the STs are some other duties NCST performs.

What are the NCST's problems?

  • Reports are pending, but they have only been met four times during the fiscal year 2021–22. The time it takes to resolve the complaints and cases it receives is also close to 50%.
  • The Committee expressed shock at how labour and financial shortages had almost brought the Commission to a complete standstill.
  • Due to a lack of applicants and an excessively high eligibility bar, the Commission's recruitment process had to be modified to accommodate many more candidates.

What are the Panel's Recommendations? 

  • Since the recruitment rules have been appropriately revised, there should be no reason to delay filling the positions any longer.
  • In order to prevent the Commission's operations from being hampered by a lack of funding, the budgetary allocation for the Commission needs to be reviewed.

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