Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 19 May 2020

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1. Consider the following statements regarding the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN).
1. It operates its activities from the Secretariat based in Phuket  of Thiland.
2. It is an intergovernmental wildlife law enforcement support body and promotes regional cooperation to combat wildlife crime in South Asian countries.
3. It was launched in January, 2011 in Paro, Bhutan during the second meeting of the South Asia Expert Group on Illegal Wildlife Trade.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 2 and 3 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c)  3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Answer-A
Explanation-
South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN)
It is an intergovernmental wildlife law enforcement support body of South Asian countries namely – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
It was launched in January, 2011 in Paro, Bhutan during the second meeting of the South Asia Expert Group on Illegal Wildlife Trade.
It promotes regional cooperation to combat wildlife crime in South Asia.
It focuses on policy harmonization; institutional capacity strengthening through knowledge and intelligence sharing; and collaboration with regional and international partners to enhance wildlife law enforcement in the member countries.
SAWEN operates its activities from the Secretariat based in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Mission
To strengthen, promote and co-ordinate regional co-operation for curbing illegal wildlife trade that threatens the wild flora and fauna of South Asia.
Goals
Strengthening wildlife law enforcement to combat wildlife crime through communication, coordination, collaboration, capacity building and cooperation.
Objectives
To take initiatives for bringing harmonization and standardization in laws and policies of member countries concerning conservation of wild fauna and flora;
To document the trend of poaching and illegal wildlife trade, and related threats to the natural biodiversity within and across countries in the region;
To strengthen institutional responses to combat wildlife crime by promoting partnership with relevant institutions for research and information sharing, training and capacity building, and technical support; and
To encourage member countries to prepare and implement their National Action Plans to combat wildlife crime and to collaborate towards effective implementation of such plans.
SAWEN Operation Modality
The operational modality of SAWEN consists of a General Assembly as an apex body of SAWEN comprising minister of the concerned ministry or his/her senior level government delegate, principal focal person of the SAWEN member countries, and one representative from each of the associate members and international/partner members.

2. Consider the following statements with respect to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
1. Only Enforcement Directorate (ED) officers are empowered to arrest an accused without warrant, subject to certain conditions under this act
2. It restricts the Government or the public authority to confiscate the property earned from the illegally gained proceeds.
3. Recent amendment under this deletes the provisos of Section 17 and Section 18, thus doing away with the pre-requisite of an FIR or charge sheet by other agencies that are authorised to probe the offences listed in the PMLA schedule.
Which of the following statements is/are correct?
(a) 2 and 3 only
(b) 3  only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Answer-B
Explanation-
Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA)
Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 was enacted to fight against the criminal offence of legalizing the income/profits from an illegal source. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 enables the Government or the public authority to confiscate the property earned from the illegally gained proceeds.
Introduction
Any person who directly or indirectly:
1. Attempts to indulge.
2. Assists the person who is actually involved in any process.
3. Is a party to the activity connected with the proceeds of crime.
As the supply of illegal arms, drug trafficking, and prostitution, which can generate huge amounts of money and projecting or claiming it as untainted property; shall be guilty of the offence of Money Laundering.
The Act was formulated for the following objectives:
1. Prevent money-laundering.
2. Combat/prevent channelising of money into illegal activities and economic crimes.
3. Provide for the confiscation of property derived from, or involved/used in, money-laundering.
4. Provide for matters connected and incidental to the acts of money laundering.
Money laundering vis-à-vis syphoning of funds
Mere earning of money or obtaining any property by committing a crime does not amount to money laundering, though it may amount to syphoning of funds. Obtaining or deriving any property by committing a crime which amounts to a Scheduled offence, and then projecting or claiming such money or property as untainted property amounts to money laundering.
Method of Operation
The first stage is when the money derived through crime is introduced into the formal financial system called ‘placement‘.
In the second stage, the money so introduced into the system is layered and spread over various transactions with a view to clear the tainted origin of the money and is called ‘layering‘.
In the third and the final stage, the money enters the financial system in such a way that original association with the crime is sought to be cleared so that the money can then be used by the offender or person receiving it as clean money and this is called ‘integration‘.
Common Forms of Money Laundering
Hawala, bulk cash smuggling, fictional loans, cash-intensive businesses, round-tripping, trade-based laundering, Shell companies and trusts, real estate, gambling, and fake invoicing are some of the common methods of money laundering.
Proceeds of Crime
‘Proceeds of Crime’, means and includes, any property obtained or is derived directly or indirectly as a result of criminal activity relating to a Scheduled Offence.
List of Offences
Under PMLA, the commission of any offence, as mentioned in Part A and Part C of the Schedule of PMLA will attract the provisions of PMLA.
Some of the Acts and offences, which may attract PMLA, are enumerated below:
Part A enlists offences under various acts such as:
Indian Penal Code, Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, Prevention of Corruption Act, Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, Copyright Act, Trademark Act, Wildlife Protection Act, and Information Technology Act.
Part B specifies offences that are Part A offences, but the value involved in such offences is Rs 1 crore or more.
Part C deals with trans-border crimes and reflects the dedication to tackle money laundering across global boundaries.
Authorities Entrusted for Investigation
The Enforcement Directorate in the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, and the Government of India is responsible for investigating the offences of money laundering under the PMLA.
Financial Intelligence Unit – India (FIU-IND) under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance is an independent body reporting directly to the Economic Intelligence Council (EIC) headed by the Finance Minister. FIU-IND is the central national agency responsible for receiving, processing, analysing, and disseminating the information relating to suspect financial transactions. It is also responsible for:
1. Coordinating and strengthening the efforts of national and international intelligence,
2. Investigations for pursuing the global efforts against money laundering and related crimes.
The scheduled offences are separately investigated by agencies mentioned under respective acts, for example, the local police, CBI, customs departments, SEBI, or any other investigative agency, as the case may be.
Actions
Actions that can be initiated against the Person Involved in Money Laundering
1. Seizure/freezing of property and records and attachment of property obtained with the proceeds of crime.
2. Any person who commits the offence of money laundering shall be punishable with –Rigorous imprisonment for a minimum term of three years and this may extend up to seven years.
Fine (without any limit).
If the proceeds of crime involved in money laundering related to Part A (offence specified under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, then the punishment shall be –
Rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend up to 10 years.
Fine (without any limit).
Over the past decades, several anti-money laundering policies have been adopted to overcome laundering. Financial institutions and governments are constantly looking for new approaches to fight against the money launderers.
The banks and financial institutions play a pivotal role in the world of financial crime. It is important that they are properly trained on how to identify and handle money laundering. Almost every bank employee receives training in anti-money laundering, and all financial institution and banks are legally required to report any suspicious activity.
With the help of technology such as special compliance platforms, companies are now able to easily research their customers and ensure that they are not doing business with criminals.
Changes in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act
The Centre has issued a notification on certain changes in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Key changes:
An explanation added to Section 45 clarifies that all PMLA offences will be cognisable and non-bailable. Therefore, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officers are empowered to arrest an accused without warrant, subject to certain conditions.
Amendment to Section 3 makes concealment of proceeds of crime, possession, acquisition, use, projecting as untainted money, or claiming as untainted property as independent and complete offences under the Act.
It deletes the provisos in sub-sections (1) of Section 17 (Search and Seizure) and Section 18 (Search of Persons), thus doing away with the pre-requisite of an FIR or charge sheet by other agencies that are authorised to probe the offences listed in the PMLA schedule.
Now, under Section 44, the Special Court, while dealing with the offence under this Act shall not be dependent upon any orders passed in respect of the scheduled offence, and the trial of both sets of offences by the same court shall not be construed as joint trial.
The scope of “proceeds of crime”, under Section 2, has been expanded to empower the agency to act against even those properties which “may directly or indirectly be derived or obtained as a result of any criminal activity relatable to the scheduled offence”.

3. Consider the following statements regarding the International Women’s Day 2020.
1. Since 1994, the United Nations Women is organizing International Women’s Day all over the world on March 8 to recognize women for their efforts in changing the individual lives as well as of nations.
2. The theme for International Women’s Day 2020 is “Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer-B
Explanation-
International Women’s Day 2020
International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year.
It is a day when the world comes together to appreciate womanhood and their importance in society.
The day also celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
International Women’s Day 2020: Theme:
According to the United Nations Women, the theme for International Women’s Day 2020 is “Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”.
Historical background:
Earlier, it was called National woman’s day and was acknowledged by the U.S. on February 28, 1909.
This was done because of the labour movement which was started in 1908 where 15000 female employees went on strike in New York City to protest against poor working conditions.
National Women’s Day was recognised as International Women’s Day only in 1910 after German women’s rights activist Clara Zetkin suggested at an International Conference.
Why March 8?
It was on this day that women in Soviet Russia gained the right the vote in 1917, hence March 8 was declared a national holiday for them.
The United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace in 1977.
The Ministries of Women and Child Development, India with other ministries have launched a campaign from 1st-7th March to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) 8th March 2020.
Key Points
The campaign has a theme for all the days beginning from 1st March 2020. The themes that are being observed include

o Education,
o Health and nutrition,
o Empowerment of women,
o Skills & entrepreneurship,
o Participation in sports,
o Rural women agriculture,
o Urban women.

4. Consider the following statements regarding the Basant Utsav.
1. Basant Utsav is held in the month of March on the day of Holi, spring is welcomed through music and dances.
2. The beautiful tradition of celebrating this festival in Bengal was first started by Rabindranath Tagore.
3. It is also known as ‘Dol Jatra’ or the ‘Dol Utsav’, the fiesta enjoys the repute as the “Rabindrik Basanta Utsav”.
Which of the following statements is/are correct?
(a) 2 and 3 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Answer-d
Explanation-
Basant Utsav
Basant Utsav is held in the month of March on the day of Holi, spring is welcomed through music and dances.
Teachers and students greet each other with Abirs in this festival day. Basant Utsav literally means the ‘celebration of spring’.
The beautiful tradition of celebrating spring festival in Bengal was first started by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, at Vishwabharati Shantiniketan, the University founded by him. Actually, Basant Utsav is no different from Holi, except for the gracefulness with which it is celebrated.
In Shantiniketan, Basant Utsav is celebrated with immense fervor and zeal.
Also known as ‘Dol Jatra’ or the ‘Dol Utsav’, the fiesta enjoys the repute as the “Rabindrik Basanta Utsav”.
Holi Celebration
Holi, the festival of colors, is the Hindu festival full of fun. Holi brings a lot of fun, music, and dance and of course lots of bright colors. It is celebrated with full enthusiasm and joy throughout the country. It falls on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun, ie February or March.
Holi is celebrated at the end of winter and the beginning of the spring season. It is known by different names in different regions of India, as Dhulendi, Lathmaar Holi, Mohhalla Hola, Basant
Utsav, Rangpanchami etc.
Holi the beginning of the period of harvest is celebrated. The crop is ready for harvest during this time. On Holi, farmers worship and pray for good harvests.
Various Legends of Holi
Holi is an ancient festival which has its mention in ancient Indian scriptures such as Narada Purana and Bhavishya Purana. There are many old paintings and murals in the ancient temples representing the festival of Holi. One of the most important legends associated with Holi is the story of Bhakt Prahalad.
Prahalad was the son of the king of demons, Hiranyakashipu. Unlike other demons, Prahalad was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. He worshiped Lord Vishnu day and night. Hiranyakashipu did not like his son’s devotion to God. He tried to stop Prahalad from doing so by various means, but it was useless. Finally, he decided to kill Prahalad.
Hiranyakashipu used various means to attempt to kill Prahalad but eventially, Prahalad is saved every time by mystical powers of Lord Vishnu. One such attempt was to convince Holika to kill her.
Holika was sister of Hiranyakashipu. She was blessed with a cloak (shawl) which made made her immune to harm by fire. Hiranyakashipu asked Holika to sit in the blazing fire, Prahalad in her lap.
Holika trapped Prahalad in her lap and sat on the fire. Prahalad prayed to Lord Vishnu to keep him safe. The cloak (shawl) flew as the fire roared and Holika burnt. Prahald survived, unhurt. The Holika Dahan or Holi Bonfire is held to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
However, there is another legend that is linked to playing of colors on Holi. Legend says that this tradition originated from Vrindavan. Legend says it that Lord Krishna was jealous of Radha’s white complexion and asked his mother Yashoda why she is so fair and why he is so dark. His mother jokingly suggested he should stain color on Radha’s face and change it to any color he wanted.
Krishna proceeded to do so and thus Holi as play of colors was introduced.
There is third legend which says that Lord Krishna killed the evil demon Pootna on the day of Holi.
Lord Krishna’s maternal uncle Kansa knew that Krishna the eighth son of his sister Devaki- would end his life. Following is the birth, the baby Krishna was transferred safely home of Nand and
Yashoda in Gokul. Kansa sent several demons to kill baby Krishna. When Pootna tried to breastfeed Krishna the poisoned milk, he sucks the life out of her. Evil Pootna fell dead on the floor. The end of Pootna happened on the day of Holi.
Holi Celebration
Holi celebrations continue for two days- Holi and or Dhulendi. It begins with the lighting of the sacred fire called Holika Dahan on the night of Holi. And the next morning, the colors or Dhulendi is played in a light-hearted manner.
Holika Dahan / Holi Bonfire
To Holika Dahan or Holi Bonfire is made from logs, leaves, twigs and other natural combustible materials. At night, the sacred bonfire is lit after the chanting of sacred mantras. This reminds us of the value of true faith and devotion to God.
The God of Fire-Agnideva is worshiped by presenting flowers, new crop grains and sweets on fire.
Smearing of the sacred bonfire ash on the forehead is considered to be very auspicious. It is said to save us from the evil spirits.
Since then, people hug and wish, ‘Happy Holi’ or ‘Holi Mubarak and apply gulal and abeer in the other’s face.
Dhulendi
The festival of Holi is the most beautiful and colorful festival is celebrated with much joy and enthusiasm in our country. There feast in the air with buzzing markets activity that traders are preparing for the festival. Lots of Gulal and other colors can be seen everywhere. Preparations
begin with children buy pichkaris, water balloons and colors well ahead of Holi.
Various delicacies like Gujiya, Dahi-bhallas, Chaat- papri etc. prepare for the day.
Holi is the favorite festival of children, as free to play jokes and fun. On the day of Holi, people leave their homes and gather in parks to celebrate the festival. Men and women form groups called ‘tolis’ and move into their colonies and application of colors and exchange greetings.
The setting echoes the sounds of “Holi Hai ‘and dhol beats are made. Gulal different colors like red, yellow, green and orange sprayed into the air. We see colors and unique colors everywhere.
Children play with water balloons and pichkaris filled with colored water. People of all ages enjoy the party to the fullest. Shops and offices are closed during the day.
Apart from the cultural and mythological importance, Holi has its social relevance as well. On Holi, people forget their enemities and become friends. There is a feeling of love, affection and brotherhood around.
At night, people wear new clothes and visit friends and relatives and exchanging gifts, sweets and greetings.
Different forms of Holi
Holi is played in different ways in different parts of the country. The popular Holi is celebrated in the Braj region, in locations connected to the Lord Krishna: Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandagaon, and Barsana. These are the places associated with birth and childhood of Lord Krishna.
In these places, Holi is celebrated in a manner. The preparations and celebrations begin a month before Holi. The temples and streets are decorated tastefully. Here, Holi is played with gulal, abeer and flowers. The melodious and fascinating dances Holi songs are performed in the streets.
In the village of Barsana, the Lathmar Holi is played where women playfully beat the men with sticks. Also in Haryana Dhulendi Holi, it is customary to beat the men with a stick while playing Holi.
The game more enjoyable childhood mischief associated with Lord Krishna is the rupture of a uterus (pot) full of butter, for the young guys. It is most popular in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
In this game, the matki butter is hung too high. Thereafter, the boys make human pyramids and one of them gets on top of breaking matki head. While the children try to climb to the top, women and girls throw buckets of water over them to stop them reaching the top.
Throughout the game, people sing folk songs and dances associated with Holi on drums. It is a delight to see this wonderful game matki.
Health and Environment Hazards of Holi
Holi festival has always been associated with shades and colors. Tradition ally, Holi was played with natural colors made of flower petals. Such colors in the form of gulal and abeer were extracted from Tesu, Spinach, Henna, Beet, Turmeric, Marigold etc. However, in recent times, the Holi colors are made from artificial dyes, which contain toxic chemicals that are extremely harmful to our skin and can cause serious diseases of the skin and eyes. Many of such colors are having carcinogenic components.
Further, such artificial colors also have adverse impact on micro-flora and micro-fauna.

5. Consider the following statements regarding the Forest Rights Act (FRA).
1. The Act provides the right to hold and live in forest land for habitation or for self-cultivation for livelihood by a member or members of a Forest Dwelling Scheduled Tribe (FDSTs) or Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFDs).
2. The Forest Rights holders are also bound to protect and conserve biodiversity, wildlife as well as forest resources of the area.
3. The act also provides for a diversion of forest land for public utility facilities managed by the government like schools, dispensaries, fair price shops, electricity and telecommunication lines, water tanks, etc. with the recommendation of the GramSabhas.
Which of the following statements is/are correct?
(a) 2 and 3 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Answer-d
Explanation-
Forest Rights Act
The act was passed in December 2006. It deals with the rights of forest-dwelling communities over land and other resources. The Act grants legal recognition to the rights of traditional forest dwelling communities, partially correcting the injustice caused by the forest laws.
Rights under the Act:
Title rights – Ownership to land that is being farmed by tribals or forest dwellers subject to a maximum of 4 hectares; ownership is only for land that is actually being cultivated by the concerned family, meaning that no new lands are granted.
Use rights – to minor forest produce (also including ownership), to grazing areas, to pastoralist routes, etc.
Relief and development rights – to rehabilitation in case of illegal eviction or forced displacement; and to basic amenities, subject to restrictions for forest protection.
Forest management rights – to protect forests and wildlife.
Eligibility:
Eligibility to get rights under the Act is confined to those who “primarily reside in forests” and who depend on forests and forest land for a livelihood. Further, either the claimant must be a member of the Scheduled Tribes scheduled in that area or must have been residing in the forest for 75 years.
Process of recognition of rights:
The Act provides that the GramSabha, or village assembly, will initially pass a resolution recommending whose rights to which resources should be recognised.
This resolution is then screened and approved at the level of the sub-division (or taluka) and subsequently at the district level.
The screening committees consist of three government officials (Forest, Revenue and Tribal Welfare departments) and three elected members of the local body at that level. These committees also hear appeals.
Forest Rights Act, 2006: A Perspective
The Forest Rights Act, 2006, was enacted to protect the rights of forest dwelling communities to land and other resources of the forest which are essential for their livelihood.
The Forest Rights Act, 2006 also gives the forest dwellers rights to use minor forest produce along with community rights.
The Forest Rights holders are also bound to protect and conserve biodiversity, wildlife as well as forest resources of the area.
The Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, was passed on the 18th of December, 2006. This Act is also known as the Forest Rights Act.
This act was enacted to recognize and vest forest rights and occupation of forest land for scheduled tribes and other traditional forest dwellers.
These people have been residing in forests for generations, but unfortunately, their rights have not been recorded.
The Act provides the right to hold and live in forest land for habitation or for self-cultivation for livelihood by a member or members of a Forest Dwelling Scheduled Tribe (FDSTs) or Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFDs).
It gives the right of ownership, access to collect; use and dispose of minor forest produce which has been traditionally collected within or outside village boundaries.
The act also provides for community rights and rights of entitlement such as fish and other products of water bodies, etc.
Habitat rights for primitive tribal groups and pre-agricultural communities.
Right to Protect, regenerate or conserve any community forest resource, which they have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use.
Right to in-situ rehabilitation in cases of illegal eviction or displacement, Rights of settlement and conversion of all forest villages, old habitation, etc. into revenue villages. However, conversion of forest villages into revenue villages is to be adjudicated by the GramSabha Sub-divisional level committee and the District Level Committee as per the procedure.
Who are Forest Dwellers?
The Act defines its beneficiaries as ‘Forest Dwelling Scheduled Tribes’, which means the members of the Scheduled Tribes who primarily reside in forests and depend on them for livelihood needs.
‘Other Traditional Forest Dwellers’ refers to any person who has for at least three generations prior to December 13th, 2005, primarily reside in forests and who depend on them for livelihood.
It is important to note that anyone who is dwelling in forests isn’t a traditional forest dweller.
Along with the rights, the holders of forest rights also have certain duties to perform.
Duties of the holders of Forest Rights:
They have to protect the wildlife, forest and biodiversity.
They have to ensure that the habitat of forest dwelling scheduled tribes and other traditional forest dwellers is preserved from any form of destructive practices affecting their cultural and natural heritage.
Ensure that the decisions taken in the GramSabha to regulate access to community forest resources and stop any activity which adversely affects wild animals, forests, and biodiversity are complied with.
The act also provides for a diversion of forest land for public utility facilities managed by the government like schools, dispensaries, fair price shops, electricity and telecommunication lines, water tanks, etc. with the recommendation of the GramSabhas. However, any of these facilities should not involve the felling of more than 75 trees per hectare.
A Few More Perspectives:
The tribal situation in India presents a varied picture. Some areas have high tribal concentration, while in other areas; the tribals form only a small portion of the total population. There are several challenges which the community has been facing, but the government has been giving a greater emphasis to the development of tribal population and the area.
It is important to note the challenges faced by tribals and forest dwellers along with the steps being undertaken by the Government.
The Supreme Court’s stay on its earlier order has once again focussed attention on the challenges faced by tribals in India. Issues of tribal development, integration, and autonomy, have confronted Indian society right from the British rule.
The complex nature of the tribal population has made their integration and autonomy, even more difficult. Autonomy allows development policies to be shaped to help tribal culture and lifestyle. However, at the same time, leaving the tribals in their own state only deepen the divide between the mainstream and the tribals.
If tribals are integrated into the mainstream, their own needs and desires are neglected. Also, exploitation of forests would get accelerated as most of the mineral resources fall in forest and tribal areas.
Tribal lands can get rapidly acquired for new mining and infrastructure projects.
Issues Faced By Tribals:
Small and uneconomical landholdings that give less yield and keep them chronically indebted.
The Tribals mostly follow simple occupations based on simple technology.
Most of their occupations fall into the primary occupations like hunting, gathering, and agriculture. Their technology belongs to the most primitive kind.
Only a small percentage of the tribal populations participate in secondary and tertiary sectors.
Besides this, the literacy rates among the tribal populations are very low.
After independence, many steel plants, power projects and large dams came up in tribal inhabited areas.
Mining activities were also accelerated in tribal areas.
Acquisition of tribal land for these projects led to large scale displacement of the tribal population.
Because of economic backwardness, tribals face health problems, like malaria, cholera, tuberculosis, diarrhoea, and jaundice.
There are also problems such as tribal populations falling prey to malnutrition, iron deficiency, anaemia, high infant mortality rates, low levels of life expectancy, among others.
Degradation of the natural environment, particularly through the destruction of forests, and a rapidly shrinking resource base, has also harmed tribal women.
Further, extinction of tribal dialects and languages indicate an erosion of tribal identity in certain areas.
It is important to note that some areas of our country have a high tribal concentration, while in other areas; the tribals form only a small portion of the total population.
Steps taken by the Government:
The Constitution of India provides for the special provisions relating to Scheduled Tribes.
Article 342 of the Constitution of India lays down that the President of India may specify the tribes or tribal communities or part of or groups within tribes or tribal communities or parts which shall be deemed Scheduled Tribes.
Article 164 of the Constitution of India provides for a Ministry of Tribal Welfare in each of the State of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Odisha which have large concentrations of Scheduled Tribes population.
Article 244 of the Constitution of India provides a fifth Schedule in the Constitution of India for incorporating provisions for the administration of Scheduled Areas and Tribes of the States which have sizeable tribal population.
The Constitution of India prescribes protection and safeguards for Scheduled Tribes to promote their educational and economic interests.
Under Article 330 and 332 of the Indian Constitution, seats have been reserved for Scheduled Tribes in LokSabha and state VidhanSabha.
The Government has also made provisions for their adequate representation in the services.
‘Scheduled Areas’ have been declared in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The Scheme of administration of Scheduled Areas under the Fifth Schedule visualises a division of responsibility between the State and Union Governments.
The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of India provides for the setting up of Tribes’ Advisory Council in each of the States having Scheduled Areas.
Under Article 338 of the Constitution of India, a Commissioner has been appointed by the President of India to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and to report to the President on the working of these safeguards.
Also, measures to provide educational facilities have been taken by the Government.
Emphasis is being laid on vocational and technical training.
The Central Government awards scholarships to deserving students for higher studies in foreign countries.
Tribal research institutes, which undertake intensive studies of tribal arts, culture, and customs, have been setup in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, and West Bengal.