SEED scheme for tribal communities – UPSC Notes

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Scheme for Economic Empowerment of Denotified Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities (SEED Scheme)

SEED scheme was launched by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in February 2022. This scheme is dedicated to provide economic empowerment to Denotified (DNTs), Nomadic (NTs) and Semi-Nomadic (SNTs) communities. 

SEED scheme is in the news because the process of classification of various beneficiaries into ST, SC and OBC is getting delayed.

UPSC Syllabus
This topic will come under General Studies Paper 2 – Issues related to SC and ST, Government Policies and Intervention.

Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) and Tribal Research Institute is studying the classification of unclassified communities into ST, SC and OBC.

It is to be noted that earlier in April 2022, the Parliamentary Standing Committee had also criticized the implementation of the SEED scheme, saying that a total expenditure of Rs 200 crore is set in the scheme for a period of five years from the year 2021-22 but nothing substantial has been done yet. Not even a single rupee has been spent in this period so far.

What is SEED Scheme?

  • It is an umbrella scheme of the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • It was launched to empower Denotified (DNTs), Notified (NTs) and Semi Nomadic Tribes (SNTs) communities.
  • The components of the SEED scheme include – educational empowerment (free coaching), healthy insurance coverage under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, providing pucca housing and improving livelihoods.
  • Under the SEED scheme, each applicant has to be given a unique identity card and efforts will be made to make this scheme successful through an online portal.

About Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities

  • Denotified communities are the communities that are most vulnerable and disadvantaged. They were notified as born criminals in the colonial law “Criminal Tribes Act, 1871”
  • After independence in the year 1949 on the recommendations of the Ananthasayanam Iyengar Committee, the said law was repealed and they were declared free.
  • The nomadic or semi-nomadic tribes are mostly nomadic tribes, who move from one place to another for a living.
  • Some communities are not included in any of the SC, ST or OBC categories. Based on the 2001 census, these communities have a population of around 1400 while the population is about 10.74 crores.
  • At present, the Nanaji Deshmukh Scheme and the Dr. Ambedkar Scholarship Scheme for scholarship are being run by the Central Government for the construction of hostels for the students of these communities.

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