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Terms of Reference

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(1) The HLC will propare a report on the overall socio-economic, health and educational status of the tribal communities of India. The HLC will finalise and present its report within nine months from the date of this notification.

(2) More specifically, the HLC will :

(a) Obtain relevant information from departments/agencies of the Central and State Governments and also conduct an intensive survey survey of literature to identify published data, articles and research on relative social, economic, health and educational status of Scheduled Tribes in India at the State, regional and district levels, to address, inter alia, the following questions :

(i) In which States, Regions, Districts and Blocks do tribal communities of India mostly live? What changes have been visible in the wake of involuntary displacement and enforced migration?

(ii) What is the geographical pattern of their economic activity, i.e. what do they mostly do for a living in various States, Regions and Districts? In view of rapid urbanization of the country and consequent shrinking of their original habitats, What are the newer avenues of employment and livelihood available to them?

(iii) What is their asset base and income levels relative to other groups across various States and Regions? Have there been changes in the patterns of ownership and productivity of immovable assets of STs? What role do public policy and the legal framework play in facilitating/inhibiting such changes?

(iv) What is the level of their socio-economic development in terms of relevant indicators such as literacy rate, dropout rate, MMR, IMR etc.? How does this compare with other communities in various States and the causes of disparity, if any?

(v) What is their relative share in public and private sector employment? Does it vary across States and what is the pattern of such variation? Is the share in employment in proportion to their population in various States? If not, what are the reasons for their under-representation? What are the steps taken by States/UTs for capacity building and improving employability of Scheduled Tribes? Does this take into account their cultural diversity?

(vi) Do the ribal communities have adequate access to education and health services, municipal infrastructure, bank credit, and other services provided by Government/Public sector entities? How does this compare to access enjoyed by other communities in various States? What is the level of social infrastructure (schools, health centers, ICDS centers etc.) located in areas of tribal concentration in comparison to the general level of such infrastructure in various States? What are the causes for disparity, if any?

(vii) Are there adequate systems and structures for implementation of protective legislations such as Prevention of Atrocities Act, Forest Rights Act and Food Security Ordinance, etc.? What steps are needed for more effective implementation of these legislations? Are the Constitutional safeguards guaranteed under Articles 244 and 371 of the Constitution and in Schedules V and VI of the Constitution being effectively implemented?

(b) Consolidate, collate and analyze the above information/literature to identify areas of intervention by Government to address relevant issues relating to the socio-economic, health and educational status of the tribal communities.