Introduction on Sub-Plan, MADA Pockets, Clusters and Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs)

Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP)

The Fifth Five Year Plan marked a significant change in the process of tribal development. The plurality of occupations marked variations in the levels of development and varied geo-ethnic milieu of various tribes give rise to plethora of problems, which are not amenable to uniform approach for their development. Therefore, area specific strategy has been evolved basing on the recommendations of expert committee set up by the Ministry of Education and Social Welfare in 1972 under the Chairmanship of Prof. S.C. Dube for the rapid socio-economic development of tribal people inhabiting the Scheduled Areas where more than 60% tribal population are living. The main objectives of Tribal Sub-Plan are:

The salient features of TSP are:

Modified Area Development Approach (MADA) Pockets and Clusters

After removal of area restriction as per the provisions of SC & ST Orders (Amendment) Act, 1976, the Yerukula, Yenadi and Lambada tribes living in Telangana region became STs. This change necessitated extending developmental activities on large scale to tribals living in plain area.

Three criteria have been laid down for identification of the tribal pockets under Modified Area Development Approach (MADA).

In accordance with the above guidelines, 41 MADA Pockets were identified and sanctioned. The working group on development of STs during Seventh Five Year Plan (1985-90) suggested relaxation of present norm of total population of 10,000 population to 5,000 of which not less than 50% must be STs and they are called as "Clusters". Accordingly, 17 Clusters have been identified.

Primitive Tribal Groups

Various tribal groups of our country are at different stages of economy, starting from food collection stage to settled agriculture. The most disadvantaged groups who are at food gathering, hunting and fishing stage are facing multifarious problems in modern times in their own habitats.

The question of tackling the problems of more backward communities has received the attention of various Commissions and Study teams connected with Tribal Welfare. The Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes Commission (1961), popularly known as the Dhebar Commission classified the Scheduled Tribes of our country into the following four different groups. (i) those that are living in the remotest corners and for that reason are almost in a primitive stage; (ii) those in the 'Jhum' (shifting) Cultivation stage; (iii) those who have taken to regular agriculture; and (iv) those who have already been assimilated. The study team on Tribal Development programmes (1969) (Shilu AO team) discerned marked imbalance development among the tribal communities and a large number of tribal communities continuing to be extremely backward, some of them still in the Primitive Food gathering stage. They reiterated the view of the Dhebar Commission that the 'Lowest Layer' needed the utmost consideration and should be made the special concern of the State Government. They suggested that State Governments and administrations of Union Territories should make an objective study of the extent to which each of the tribal communities living in their respective areas had benefited from the tribal development programmes and select on the basis of such a study the really backward communities need special attention. Further, separate schemes for imparting education and economic uplift should be framed and treated as Central Schemes, including special provision in the plan for the purpose.

At the time of review of tribal development programmes on the eve of the Fifth Five Year Plan, it was recognized that Special Programmes for the extremely backward tribal groups known as primitive groups, should be taken up on the basis of proper identification on the lines suggested by the Shilu AO Team. It was also envisaged that the Programmes would be financed entirely by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. The important guidelines for identification of Primitive Tribal Groups are:

In Andhra Pradesh, Government of India have identified three communities viz., Chenchus of Ranga Reddy, Kurnool, Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda, Prakasam and Guntur districts in the year 1975-76, Kolams of Adilabad and Konda Reddis of East Godavari, West Godavari and Khammam districts in the year 1980. In the year 1982-83, Government of India have also recognized the following five communities as Primitive Tribal Groups.

(1) Thoti; (2) Khond; (3) Porja; (4) Gadaba; and (5) Konda Savara.

The Central Sector Schemes for the development of Primitive Tribal Groups are being implemented through Integrated Tribal Development Agencies (ITDAs) in Andhra Pradesh.