4th Five Year Plan
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Chapter 21:

Members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes together comprise more than one-fifth of the total population. In addition, there are the nomadic, semi-nomadic and denotified communities. Tn order to raise the social, educational and economic standards of the backward classes special schemes have been taken up. They are intended to supplement the general programmes in various sectors. The programes in the backward classes sector are conceived as only a part of the total effort to be made for promoting the social and economic well being of the backward classes and accelerating the pace of their advancement.

21.2. In the first eighteen years of planning, about Rs. 277 crores were spent on special programmes for the welfare of backward classes, in addition to the outlays from general development programmes, from which too, benefits have flown to the backward classes. Of this 100 crores was for members of the Scheduled Castes, Rs. 150 crores for the members of the Schduled Tribes, and Rs. 27 crores for other backward classes. A programme-wise break up of the '"expenditure shows that Rs. 117 crores were spent onJschemes of educational development, Rs. 19 crores on economic development, and Rs. 69 crores on health, housing and other schemes. The expenditure on some of the important programmes in the Third Plan and the three Annual Plans and the outlay proposed for Fourth Plan are :

Table 1 Expenditure on Some Important Programmes
(Rs. crores.)

sl. no. item third plan expenditure 1966-69 anticipated expenditure fourth plan outlay
(0) 0) (2) (3) (4)
I centre 36.91 38.92 60 00
2 tribal development blocks 15.53 20.04 32.50
3 post-matric scholarships 9.48 !3.01 11.00
4 girls' hostels 0.14 0.58 2.00
5 coaching and allied scheme'   0.11 1.00
6 research training and special projects 0.39 0.39 1.50
7 cooperation (special schemes) 3.06 1.13 2.50
8 improvement in working and living conditions of those in unclean occupations 3.44 1.13 3.00
9 denotified tribes and nomadic tribes 3.82 1.77 4.50
10 aid to voluntary organisations 1.05 0.76 2.00
11 states 58.69 27.64 77,43
12 education 32.70 19.22  
13 economic developmen 14.73 4.06 77.43
14 health, housing and other programme- 11.26 4.36  
15 union territories 3.54 1 93  
16 education 0.49 0.45  
17 economic deveiopment 1.96 1.09 4.95
I8 health, housing and other programmes 1.09 0.39  
19 total (1+11+15) 99.14 68.49 142.38

21.3. Although there is still a difference in the percentage of literates between the backward classes and the general population, an encouraging feature is the significant progress in the enrolment of children from these communities. A study by the Programme Evaluation Organisation on extension of primary education in rural areas has indicated that the rate of growth in enrolment of children belonging to the Scheduled Castes was higher than others in each of the two Plan periods. Enrolment data collected from 11 States by the Ministry of Education show that between the period 1960-61 and 1964-65, the percentage enrolment of Scheduled Tribe students has improved in all states. In the Third plan, 1,022 million and 1.718 million children belonging to the Scheduled Tribes ?and Scheduled Castes were given prematric scholarships or stipends. The number of students of the Scheduled Caste., and Scheduled Tribes awarded post-matric scholarships increased from 2180 in 1951-52 to 127,684 in 1967-68. In 1968-69 this is expected to increase to 145,000. Four hundred and eighty-nine -tribal development blocks have been started of which 43 were initiated in the Second plan, 415 in the Third plan and 31 in 1966-67. Coaching centres were organised for assisting students to compete in the examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to Class I and subordinate services. In the centre at Allahabad, out of 411 candidates given pre-examination coaching between May 1959 and October 1966, 153 were selected for IAS or IPS and the Central Services. In addition, a large number of schemes of economic assistance and Housing were implemented.

21.4. For the last two years, tribal development blocks have not obtaired their normal allotment of funds on account of financial constraints. The schemes of development undertaken in these blocks through special allocations have not been pioperly integrated with the general development plans of the region. These were also not related to the special problems of the communities living in the area. In the sphere of education, the incidence of stagnation and wastage has been high, particularly at the primary and secondary stages. There is also considerable variation in extent of literacy between different tribes as well as between different castes. For instance, in Kerala and Assam the difference between the maximum percentage of leteracy in a Schduled Ti ibe and the minimum percentage of leteracy in a Scheduled Tribe is 51% and 40% respectively (1961 census). Enrolment in technical and professional courses has been low. Schemes of economic development have tended to relay on standardised patteins. They have not been coordinated properly with other programmes of development in the district. The functioning of the tribal research institutes has not been sufficiently development-oriented. Improvement in working and living conditions of those in unclean occupations has been slow. The development of cooperatives has been rather uneven. There have also been weaknesses in the implementation of legislative and executive measures for the protection of the interests of members of the Schedued Castes and Scheduled Tribe.

21.5. In the Fourth Plan it is proposed to lay emphasis on consolidation, improvement and expansion of the services so that the process initiated in the earlier plans is accelerated. The objective of integration with the rest of the society is proposed to be related mainly to the equalisation of opportunities for development. Since the allocations from the backward classes sector are additive to what is available for the backward cisses from the general sectors, development plans in each State and district will have to ensure that the general development outlays provided for the normal growth of the infra-structure in tribal areas and for other development activities. Programmes for the welfare of backward classes should be fully integrated with the development plans of the district which would take into account the physical features and resources, the institutional structure and local conditions and circumstances. The large number of individual schemes in States in the backward classes sector need to be woven together and integrated with general development schemes so that the effort will be of a magnitude which produces an impact. Moreover, the tribal welfare departments in States need to be more closely associated in the planning and. implementation of tribal development programmes

21.6. Problems of development of members of the Scheduled Tribes vary in different regions. The development strategy of tribal welfare has to take into consideration the level of attainment among the communities in different parts of the country. The more bakward groups among the tribals in a region require special attention.

21.7. The first step necessary for raising the economic condition of the tribal population is protection from exploitation. This has to be supported by legislative and executive measures. It is also necessary to ensure that the protection to tribes in the matter of eviction and land alienation, scaling down the debts, regulating money lending and controlling the rates of interest, is properly enforced at the field level. The present weaknesses in the administrative machinery and loopholes in legislation need to be remedied. The tribes should .be actively assisted by the State and the voluntary organisations to ensure that the benefits intended for them actually accrue to them. Executive and legislative measures of protection will by themselves be inadequate unless Tribal economy is lifted from its present level of low productivity. It would, therefore, be necessary t" concentrate on promotional and developmental activties intended to raise the economic standards of different tribes, improve the earnings of the people and give them adequate returns for their produce und their labour. Included in such measures are provision of credit, organisation of co-operative societies for undertaking various functions for meeting the needs of tribals production, consumption marketing and supply, replacement of contractors in forests by forest labour cooperatives and setting up of units for the processing and marketing of agricultural and forest produce. Ths experienc of the Madhya Pradesh Co-operative Development Corporation and the Andhra Pradesh Tribal Co-operative Finance and Development Corporation will need to be evaluated. In the light of the situation in each State having a sizeable tribal population, it will be useful to examine what type of institutional organisation is most suitable under certain conditions. The policy of replacing contractors and other intermediaries by forest labour cooperatives should be progressively followed so that the interests of tribals who are an integral part of the forest economy, receive due recongnition. The responsibility for meeting credit requirements for the development of co-operatives among backward classes should be assumed by the normal co-operative banking institutions and credit agencies.

21.8. The most important programme for the economic betterment of members of the Scheduled Tribes is that of tribal development blocks started in the Second Plan from intensive development of areas with large concentrations of tribal population. A review of the level of development achieved in these blocks has brought out the need for extention of the period of supplementary allocations in a tribal development block. The extension suggested is from 10 to 15 years and involves the introduction of a State III with an allotment of Rs. 10 lakhs per block for a five-year period. Accordingly, in the Fourth Plan tribal development blocks which have completed State II will enter State III and get an allotment of Rs. 10 lakhs for a . further period of five years. There will be no further expansion of the programme of tribal development blocks until the existing ones are stabilised. Programmes for increasing agricultural production and livestock produce should get the first priority. Programmes for diveisifying and modernising the occupational pattern of landless labourers should come next. Steps would be necessary to ensure that the resources provided under general development programmes are drawn to these areas so that once the infra-structure for development has been created, supplementary allocations from the backward classes sector funds are able to generate a higher rate, of growth. Not more than 10 to 15 per cent of the total allotment should be spent on the salaries and allowances of the staff at the block headquarters.

21.9. Schemes of economic uplift such as land allotment, grant of subsidies for purchase of ploughs, bullocks and improved seeds for development of agriculture and animal husbandry, schemes for poil conservation, land colonisation, minor irrigation, and organisation and development of cooperatives will be continued. Assistance will also be given for the promotion of cottage industries, including financial assistance for improving srade or business, marketing facilities, technical guidanc^ and setting up production and training centres. These schemes are proposed to be linked together and integrated with the general sector programmes in a more effective manner than in the past so that the intensity of effort is large enough to produce an impact.

21.10. In the field of higher education, the scheme of post-matric scholarships will be continued. In the Fourth Plan an outlay of Rs. 11 crores is provided for the award of post-matric scholarships to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. In addition, about Rs. 33 crores would be available for the scheme as committed expenditure for awarding post-matric scholarships. Facilities'bf pre-examination coaching are proposed to be expanded. In the States sector, schemes for grant of stipends, scholarships, free studentships, mid-day meals, uniforms, exemption from payment of examination fees, book grants and hostel facilities will be continued. Special efforts will be made to spread education among members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes who educationally are at a very low level and to reduce dropouts and wastages at the middle and secondary stages.

21.11. An outlay of Rs. 1.5 crores is provided for research, training facilities and special projects. The Planning Commission has constituted a Study Team on Tribal Research Institutes to examine their research and training activities, functions and actual working, to explore the feasibility of including within the scope of their functions the problems of Scheduled Castes and denotified communities in addition to Scheduled Tribes, and to examine the need for setting up a Central Research and Training Institute for coordinating the activities of the regional institutes and for training personnel.

21.12. For the welfare of nomadic and semi-nomadic groups, assistance for settled living by way of extending facilities for housing, agricultural land, agricultural credit, cattle breeding farms and cooperatives and setting up of cottage industries will be continued. It would, however, be necessary to work out the programmes of rehabilitation of each nomadic group separately so that the schemes are integrated with the general development programmes in the region. The impact of settlement and welfare schemes will have to be studied to ensure that social change does not lead to problems of mal-adjustment and dis-organisation. In the planning of new institutions or modification of existing ones the needs and aspirations of the group, their skills, customary modes of activity and social framework v/ill be kept in view.

21.13. For denotified communities, a combined correctional-cum-welfare approach started in the earlier Plans will be continued. It will be supported by schemes of general education, social education, economic uplift and housing. There is need for a close study of the attitudes and problems of the different denotified communities who are now in different stages of adjustments The obective of assimilation shoul d guide the programme of rehabilitation and development from the very start. Progressive elements among the denotified communities themselves should be identified and encouraged to play an increasing part in this effort.

21.14. In the past 18 years various measures have been initiated for the removal of untouchability through legislation, publicity, educational schemes, organisation of special programmes and expansion of opportunities for social and economic betterment. A sustained drive is s^ill necessary. The provisions of the Untouchability (Offences) Act 1955 should be rigorously enforced. An outlay of Rs. 3 crores has been provided at the Centre for improvement in .living and working conditions of those in unclean occupations. This is intended to be additive to the general sector measures for the improvement of sanitation. Unless the problem is considered in its totality,'success is bound to be limited. Fora lasting solution, the problem of improving scavenging conditions has to be viewed in the context of the genera problem of conservancy.

21.15. Since voluntary organisations play an important role in extending welfare activities among the backward classes, assistance will be given to them for taking up projects like publicity and propaganda for removal of untouchability, running hostels and educational institutions, organising welfare and community centres, social education and conducting training and orientation courses.

21.16. Each State should review its legislative arid executive measures for providing house-sites to members of the Scheduled Castes and other weaker sections and conferring proprietary rights on homestead land already occupied by them. Remedial steps may be undertaken to bring about effective enforecement of the measures at the field level and for the removal of loopholes. Those members of the Scheduled Castes who are landless should at least be provided with house sites, if resources do not permit the grant of housing aid to them for construction of houses. Mixed settlement of various communities should be encouraged. At the same time there should be a scheme under which member of the Scheduled Castes may be given loans if they wish to build houses on a co-operative basis. Adequate funds for this purpose should be provided in the general sector and the programme of housing in the backward classes sector should be fully integrated with the general village planning and layout. Indigenous materials should be used and local labour employed for construction of houses. It would be necessary for the States to accord high priority to this programme.

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