Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
The Ministry, vide Gazette Notification dated 12.02.2014 had constituted National Commission for De-Notified and Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNT) for the period of 3 years from the date of Notification.
National Commission for Denotified Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNSNT)
- The National Commission for Denotified Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNSNT) is a national commission set under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India,
- The commission appointed to study various developmental aspects of Denotified and nomadic or semi-nomadic tribes in India.
- The Commission was first was set up on 22 November 2003 and reconstituted on 16 March 2005 as the earlier commission could not make much headway for a number of reasons.
- Mr. Balkrishna Sidram Renke, Laxmanbhai Kalidas Patni and Laxmi Chand were appointed as the Chairperson, Member and Member Secretary of the commission, respectively.
- The commission assumed its functioning w.e.f. 6 February 2006
- The Commission submitted its report in January 2018. It mentioned that a permanent commission for De-notified, Semi Nomadic, and Nomadic Tribes should have a prominent community leader as its chairperson, and a senior Union government bureaucrat, an anthropologist, and a sociologist as members.
- A Development and Welfare Board for De-Notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities (DWBDNCs) has been constituted and a Committee has also been set up by the NITI Aayog to complete the process of identification of the De-Notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities (DNCs).
- The survey work of identification of DNT Communities and placing Sthem in a category of SC/ST/OBC is also under process in NITI Ayog and Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI).
Terms of reference of the commission
The commission had following terms of reference:
- To specify the economic interventions required for raising the living standards of Denotified, Nomadic and Semi Nomadic Tribes by asset creation and self-employment opportunities;
- To recommend measures to utilize the existing channeling agencies set up for the economic development of SC/STs and OBCs for extending an economic development package to these groups, keeping in view their specific requirements; and
- To identify programmes required for their education, development and health;
- To make any other connected or incidental recommendation, that the Commission deems necessary.
Who are DNTs
The term ‘De-notified Tribes’ stands for all those communities which were once notified under the Criminal Tribes Acts, enforced by the British Raj between l87l and I947. These Acts were repealed by the Independent lndian Government in l952, and these communities were “De-Notified”. A few of these communities which were listed as de-notified were also nomadic.
Terms such as nomads and semi-nomads are applied to ‘social groups who undertook a fairly frequent, usually seasonal physical movement as port of their livelihood strategy in the recent past. The term semi-nomad is mostly used to describe those sections of nomads whose duration, distance and frequency of movement is comparitively less than others. The distinction between nomads and semi-nomods do not involve distinguishable ethnic categories or social groups, it rather describes the degree of mobility practiced by them.
Denotified and Nomadic Tribe Status In India
- It has been estimated that South Asia has the world’s largest nomadic population.
- In India, roughly 10 per cent of the population is Denotified and Nomadic.While the number of Denotified Tribes is about 150, the population of Nomadic Tribes consists of about 500 different communities. While the Denotified Tribes have almost settled in various States of the country, the Nomadic Communities continue to be largely nomadic in pursuit of their traditional professions.
- The Government in July 2014 had constituted National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNT) for a period of three years to prepare a State-wise list of castes belonging to Denotified and Nomadic Tribes and to suggest appropriate measures in respect of Denotified and Nomadic Tribes that may be undertaken by the Central Government or the State Government.
- The Renke Commission (2008) was earlier commissioned to identify and list the DNT communities.
- A Development and Welfare Board for De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic communities has also been constituted vide gazette Notification dated 21.02.2019 for Development and Welfare of De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic communities.
- To access the Idate Commission Report, CLICK HERE
- The Renke Commission Report, CLICK HERE
- To access the Status of Inclusion of Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes among Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes (Provisional) 2016, CLICK HERE
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is implementing the following schemes for the welfare of the DNTs.
- Dr.Ambedkar Pre-Matric and Post-Matric Scholarship for DNTs :
- This Centrally Sponsored Scheme was launched w.e.f. 2014-15 for the welfare of those DNT students who are not covered under SC, ST or OBC. The income ceiling for eligibility is Rs. 2.00 lakh per annum. The scheme is implemented through State Governments/UT Administrations.
- The expenditure is shared between the Centre and the States in the ratio of 75:25.
- Nanaji Deshmukh Scheme of Construction of Hostels for DNT Boys and Girls.
- This Centrally Sponsored Scheme launched in 2014-15 is implemented through State Governments/ UT Administrations/ Central Universities. The aim of the scheme is to provide hostel facilities to those DNT students; who are not covered under SC, ST or OBC; to enable them to pursue higher education. The income ceiling for eligibility is Rs. 2.00 lakh per annum.
- The Central Government provides a maximum of 500 seats per annum throughout the country. The cost norm is Rs. 3.00 lakh per seat plus Rs. 5000/-per seat for furniture. The expenditure is shared between the Centre and the States in the ratio of 75:25.
- From the year 2017-18, the scheme “Assistance to Voluntary Organization working for the Welfare of Other Backward Classes (OBCs)” has been extended for DNTs and EBCs as “Central Sector Scheme of Assistance for Skill Development of Backward Classes (OBCs)/ De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (DNTs)/ Economic Backward Classes (EBCs)”.
- Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNT Communities (SEED) for welfare of this community having following four components:-
- To provide coaching of good quality for DNT candidates to enable them to appear in competitive examinations.
- To provide Health Insurance to them.
- To facilitate livelihood initiative at community level; and
- To provide financial assistance for construction of houses for members of these
Bhiku Ramji Idate Commission
- The Idate Commission submitted its report in January 2018. It mentioned that a permanent commission for Denotified, Semi Nomadic, and Nomadic Tribes should have a prominent community leader as its chairperson, and a senior Union government bureaucrat, an anthropologist, and a sociologist as members.
- Some of the major recommendations of the panel include granting Constitutional protection to these communities under a separate third schedule after Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, making them eligible for reservation, and extending the protective cover of Prevention of Atrocities Act to them.
- Some of the issues raised by the report involve the repealing of the Habitual Offenders Act, provision of Public Distribution System (PDS) cards, special housing schemes for the largely landless community, establishment of a separate academy to preserve their art and culture, special education and health schemes.
- The Commission noted that post-independence policies for these communities have been mostly symbolic reparations, with post-liberalisation policies alienating them further from their land and occupations.
- The Ministry had also written to the NITI Aayog, asking whether it would set up a Working Group for framing Vision 2030 for development of these communities as per the UN Sustainable Development Goals.