Govt Committed to Empower Tribal Communities and Preserve Cultural Heritage: Arjun Munda

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GG News Bureau
New Delhi, 12th Feb.
 Union Minister for Tribal Affairs; Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Arjun Munda, emphasized the government’s unwavering commitment to the holistic development of tribal communities while preserving their socio-cultural heritage.

His statement followed the passage of three significant bills by Parliament, addressing long-standing demands of tribal communities in Jammu & Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha.

The Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2024, was successfully passed by Parliament, extending recognition to the ‘Pahari Ethnic Group, Paddari Tribe, Koli and Gadda Brahmin’ communities as Scheduled Tribes (STs) in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The bill, ratified by both houses, amends the Constitution (Jammu & Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order, 1989, marking a historic moment for tribal inclusion in the region.

In addition, the Lok Sabha passed the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2024, concerning Andhra Pradesh, and the Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2024, pertaining to Odisha. These bills aim to incorporate new tribal communities into the Scheduled Tribes lists of their respective states, ensuring their rightful representation and access to government schemes and benefits.

Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs; Health & Family Welfare, played a pivotal role in presenting the Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha, furthering the government’s commitment to tribal welfare.

Shri Arjun Munda highlighted that these legislative initiatives seek to deliver justice to Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) and enhance their socio-economic status. Notably, the bills propose amendments to the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, and the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950, to accommodate new tribal groups while omitting outdated or erroneous entries.

The proposed changes include:

• Inclusions of ‘Bondo Porja,’ ‘Khond Porja,’ and ‘Konda Savaras’ in the ST list of Andhra Pradesh.
• Recognition of four PVTGs and phonetic variations of existing tribes in the ST list of Odisha.
• Introduction of new entries for communities like Muka Dora, Konda Reddy, among others, with specific area restrictions.

Once these bills become acts, members of newly listed tribal communities will gain access to various government schemes and benefits, including scholarships, concessional loans, and reservations in education and employment.

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs oversees the implementation of crucial schemes such as Pre- and Post-Matric Scholarships, National Overseas Scholarships, and National Fellowship and Scholarship Schemes, ensuring the socio-economic upliftment of tribal communities across India.

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