Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 17 August 2013 set up High Level Committee to assess the status of Scheduled Tribes (STs) to ensure their upliftment, particularly in socio-economic, health and education fields.
Prof. Virginius Xaxa was appointed as the chairman of the seven-member committee. The committee will submit its report within nine months from 17 August 2013.
The committee will work upon the following issues
1.The Committee will prepare a report on the overall socio-economic, health and educational status of the tribal communities of the country. The report will give an idea about the areas requiring Government intervention to support the tribal communities.
2.The committee will also suggest policy initiatives as well as effective outcome-oriented measures to improve development indicators and strengthen public service delivery to STs and other tribal populations.
3.The Committee will also look into the geographical pattern of their economic activity and explore what newer avenues of employment and livelihood are available to them.
4.The committee will assess whether the safeguards guaranteed under the Constitution are being effectively implemented and if there are adequate safeguards and structures for implementation of protective legislations such as Prevention of Atrocities Act and Forest Rights Act.
The High Level Committee
1. Prof. Virginius Xaxa - Chairman
2. Dr. Usha Ramanathan - Member
3. Dr. Joseph Bara - Member
4. Dr. K.K. Misra – Member
5. Dr. Abhay Bang - Member
6. Ms. Sunila Basant - Member
7. Secretary, Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs - Member Secretary
The committee head Prof. Virginius Xaxa is a sociologist, and a member of the National Advisory Council (NAC). NAC headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
The Prime Minister’s decision of setting up a committee came after the government found that the STs, who form 7.5 percent of the country’s population, are not getting enough dues despite the special status in the constitution.
Who: Prime Minister
When: 17 August 2013