In News: The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the constitution of Development and Welfare Board for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Communities (DNCs).
- These communities once branded as criminals under the colonial Criminal Tribes Act of 1871, the communities were ‘denotified’ in 1952.
- They continue to face stigma till this day.
- To this end, the condition of the denotified, nomadic and semi-nomadic communities merits special attention.
- The communities which have not been categorised as SC/ST/OBC do not get access to any welfare schemes.
- The earlier commissions — Renke and Idate — had tried to identify and list these communities but their major recommendations have not been implemented till date.
Development and Welfare Board
- The Government has decided to set up a Development and Welfare Board under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 under the aegis of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
- While most DNTs are spread across the SC, ST and OBC categories, some DNTs are not covered in any of these.
- These communities are hard to reach, less visible, and therefore frequently left out.
- It has, therefore, approved the setting up of a Committee under the Chairpersonship of Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog.
- It will complete the process of identification of the Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities (DNCs) that have not yet been formally classified.
- The term stands for all those communities which were once notified under the Criminal Tribes Acts, enforced by the British Raj between l87l and I947.
- These Acts were repealed by the Independent Indian Government in l952, and these communities were “De-Notified”.
- A few of these communities which were listed as de-notified were also nomadic.
Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Tribes
- Nomadic and semi-nomadic are social groups who undertook a fairly frequent, usually seasonal physical movement as part of their livelihood strategy in the recent past.
- The term semi-nomad is mostly used to describe those sections of nomads whose duration, distance and frequency of movement is comparatively less than others.
- On the other hand, Semi-nomadic groups tend to have a fixed abode for a part of the year and are itinerant in the rest of the year.
Status of these tribes in India
- It has been estimated that South Asia has the world’s largest nomadic population.
- In India, roughly 10 percent of the population is Denotified and Nomadic.While the number of Denotified Tribes is about 150, the population of Nomadic Tribes consists of about 500 different communities.
- While the Denotified Tribes have almost settled in various States of the country, the Nomadic Communities continue to be largely nomadic in pursuit of their traditional professions’
National commission for for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNT)
- The Government in July 2014 had constituted National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNT) for a period of three years to prepare a State-wise list of castes belonging to Denotified and Nomadic Tribes and to suggest appropriate measures in respect of Denotified and Nomadic Tribes that may be undertaken by the Central Government or the State Government