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The major Schemes/Programme of the Tribal Ministry of Tribal Affairs


Special Central Assistance is given to States/UTs to supplement their efforts in tribal development through Tribal Sub-Plan. This assistance is basically meant for family-oriented income-generating schemes in the sectors of agriculture, horticulture, minor irrigation, soil conservation, animal husbandry, forests, education, cooperatives, fisheries, village and small scale industries and for minimum needs programme. 

Grants are also given to States/UTs, under the first proviso to article 275(1) of the Constitution to meet the costs of projects for tribal development and for raising the level of administration of Scheduled Area therein on par with the rest of the State/UT. Part of the funds are utilised for setting up of Residential Schools for providing quality education to tribal students.





Based on pre-agricultural level of technology, low level of literacy, declining or stagnant populations, 75 tribal communities in 17 States and 1 Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Island, have been identified and categorized as Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs). Considering the vulnerability of these groups, a Central Sector Scheme was introduced in the year 1998-99for the all round development of PTGs. The scheme is very flexible, and covers housing, infrastructure development, education, health, land distribution/development, agriculture development, cattle development, social security, insurance, etc. During 2007-08, comprehensive long term “ Conservation-cum-Development (CCD) Plans” for PTGs have been formulated for Eleventh Plan period through baseline surveys conducted by respective State Governments/Union territory. These Plans envisage a synergy between efforts of State Governments and non-governmental organizations


Fourteen Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs) have been set up by Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura. These Institutes are engaged in providing planning inputs to the State Governments, conducting research and evaluation studies, collection of data, codification of customary law and conduct of training, seminars and workshops. Some of these Institutes are also having museums exhibiting tribal artifacts.


Girls hostels scheme was started in Third Five-Year Plan with the aim of providing residential facilities to tribal girls in pursuit of education. Central assistance of 50 per cent cost of construction to the States, cent percent to the Union Territories is provided under the scheme. During 1999-2000 funds were released to the States/UTs for construction of 29 Girls’ Hostels and 11 Girls Hostels during 2000-2001. Boys hostels scheme was started in 1989-90 under the same pattern as the Girls’ Hostels. During 2000-2001, funds were released for construction of 15 boys’ hostels.


This Centrally-sponsored scheme was started in 1990-91 to provide Central assistance to the States and Union Territories on 50 per cent and 100 per cent basis, respectively. During 1999-2000 were released for construction of 36 Ashram schools.




The scheme aims at upgrading the skills of the tribal youths in various traditional/modern vocation depending upon their educational qualification, present economic trends and the market potential, which would enable them to gain suitable employment or enable them to become self employed. The scheme provides 100% grant, and is implemented through State Governments, UT Administration and NGOs. The scheme prescribes fixed financial norms. No construction cost is provided.

The proposals by NGOs are required to be routed through State Government and the recommendation of the “State Committee for Supporting Voluntary Efforts” constituted under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary/Secretary, Tribal Welfare/Development Department of the State/UT are mandatory. The recommendation of State Committee is valid for that financial year in which it is made



It is a gender scheme of the Ministry. The scheme aims to bridge the gap in lieracy levels between the general female population and tribal women, through facilitating 100%

enrolment of tribal girls in the identified Districts or Blocks, more particularly in naxal affected areas and in areas inhabited by Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs), and reducing drop-outs at the elementary level by creating the required ambience for education. The scheme recognises the fact that improvement of the literacy rate of tribal girls is essential to enable them to participate effectively in and benefit from, socio-economic development.

The scheme covers 54 identified districts in 12 States and 1 Union Territory where the ST population is 25% or more, and ST female literacy rate is below 35% or its fractions, as per 2001 census. In addition, any other tribal block in a district, other than aforesaid 54 identified districts, which has scheduled tribal populations 25% or above, and tribal female literacy rate below 35% or its fractions,as per 2001 census, are also covered. The scheme also covers PTG areas and gives priority to areas affected by naxalism. The scheme is implemented by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and autonomous societies of the State Governments/Union Territory.

The scheme primarily envisages the running and maintenance of hostels linked with schools running under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan or other schemes of Education Department. Where such schooling facilities are not available, the scheme has provision for establishing a complete educational complex with residential and schooling facility. The scheme has provision for tuitions, incentives and periodical awards to encourage the ST girls. The scheme does not provide and construction cost. The scheme prescribes fixed financial norms. The scheme also envisages the establishment of District Education Support Agency (DESA), which would be a non-government organization or a federation of non-governmental organizations, for varied functions like ensuring 100% enrolment, reducing drops outs, arrangement of preventive health education, monitoring the performance of NGOs, etc.

The proposals by NGOs are required to be routed through State Government and the recommendation of the “State Committee for Supporting Voluntary Efforts” constituted under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary/Secretary, Tribal Welfare/Development department of the State/UT are mandatory. The recommendation of State Committee is valid for that Financial year in which it is made.


The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) was set up by the Government of India in 1987, with the prime objective of providing marketing assistance and remunerative prices to ST communities for their minor forest produce and surplus agricultural produce and to wean them away from exploitative private traders and middlemen. The federation is a National level Cooperative apex body functioning under the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 1984. The authorized share capital of TRIFED is Rs. 100 crore and the paid up capital is Rs. 99.98 The Government of India’s contribution is Rs. 99.75 crore and the balance of Rs. 0.23 crore has been contributed by other shareholders.


The scheduled tribe candidates coming from deprived families and disadvantaged environment find it difficult to compete with those coming from a socially and economically advantageous background. To promote a more level playing field, and give ST candidates a better chance to succeed in competitive examinations, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs supports a scheme for coaching for disadvantaged ST candidates in quality coaching institutions to enable them to successfully compete in examinations for jobs/admission to professional courses.

The scheme supports free coaching to scheduled tribe students for various competitive examinations viz. Civil Services/State Civil Services/Other Exams conducted by UPSE like CDS, NDA, etc./professional courses like Medical, Engg., Business Administration/Banking/Staff selection Commission/Railway Recruitment Boards/insurance companies, etc. The financial norms of the scheme have been revised during 2007-08. The scheme covers coaching fees, monthly stipend @ Rs.1000/- per ST student per month and boarding/lodging charges for outstation students @ Rs.2000/- per ST student per month for the period of coaching.


The prime objective of the scheme is to enhance the reach of welfare schemes of Government and fill the gaps in service deficient tribal areas, in the sectors such as education, health, drinking water, agro-horticultural productivity, social security net etc. through the efforts of voluntary organizations (VOs)/non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and to provide an environment for socio-economic upliftment and overall development of the Scheduled Tribes (STs). Any other innovative activity having direct impact on the socio-economic development or livelihood generation of STs may also be considered through voluntary efforts.

Under this scheme 90% grant is provided by the ministry and 10% cost is required to be borne by the non-governmental organizations from their own resources, except in Scheduled Areas where the Government bears100% cost. The scheme provides a list of categories of projects viz. residential school, non-residential schools, 10 or more bedded hospitals, mobile dispensaries, computer training centers, etc., which could be covered under the scheme, and also prescribes fixed financial norms. The scheme does not provide any construction cost.

The Proposals by NGOs are required to be routed through State Government and the recommendation of the “State Committee for Supporting Voluntary Efforts” constituted under the chairmanship of principal Secretary/Secretary, Tribal Welfare/Development Department of the State/UT are mandatory. The recommendation of State Committee is valid for that financial year in which it is made.



1. a .) Post-Matric Scholarship for Scheduled Tribes Students

The objective of the scheme is to provide financial assistance to students belonging to Scheduled Tribes pursuing Post-Matriculation recognized courses in recognized institutions.  The scheme covers professional, technical as well as non-professional and non-technical courses at various levels and the scheme also includes correspondence courses including distance and continuing education.  The scheme is implemented by the State Government and UT Administrations, which receive 100% Central Assistance over and above the committed liability which is required to be borne by them from their own budgetary provisions.  The committed liability is equal to the expenditure reached in the last year of the Plan period.  Accordingly, the expenditure incurred in the last year of the Xth plan period, i.e. 2006-2007, has become the committed liability of State/UTs, which is required to be borne by them during each year of the 11th Five Year Plan period.  The requirement of committed liability of North Eastern State has been dispensed with from 1997-98. The Scheme is in operation since 1944-45.


The value of the existing scholarship includes maintenance allowance, reader charges of blind students, study tour charges, thesis typing/printing charges, book allowance to students pursuing correspondence course and compulsory non-refundable fees charges by the educational institutions.  The maintenance allowance for hostlers is between Rs. 235/- p.m. to 740/- and for day scholars from Rs. 140/- p.m. to Rs. 330/- p.m., depending upon the level of courses.  The prescribed annual income ceiling of both the parents/guardians, under the scheme is up to Rs. 1,08,000/-, as applicable w.e.f. 1-4-2007. The income ceiling has been linked   with the consumer price index for industrial workers. 


1. b. ) Upgradation of Merit of ST Students

          The objective of the scheme is to upgrade the merit of ST students by providing them remedial and special coaching in classes IX to XII.  While remedial coaching aims at removing deficiencies in various subjects, special coaching is provided with a view to prepare the students for competitive examinations for seeking entry into professional courses like Engineering and Medical disciplines.  The scheme provides for 100% central assistance to the States/UT’s.  A package grant of Rs. 15,000/- per student per year is provided and the State/UTs are not required to bear any financial burden.  Besides the amount of scholarship, students with disabilities are also eligible for the following assistance:  

(a)      Reader Allowance of Rs. 100 per month for blind students in classes IX to XII.

(b)      Transport allowance of Rs. 50 per month for the disabled student if such a student does not reside in the hostel, which is within the premises of educational institution. The disability as per the said Act is defined as blindness, low-vision, leprosy-cured, hearing impairment, locomoter disability, mental retardation and mental illness.

(c)      Special pay of Rs. 100 per month is admissible to any employee of the hostel willing to extend help to a severely orthopedically handicapped student residing in a hostel managed by the educational or by the State Govt./Union Territory Admn. who may need the assistance of a helper.  

(d)      Escort allowance of Rs. 50 per month for severely handicapped day scholar students with lower extremity disability.  

(e)      Allowance of Rs. 100 per month towards extra coaching to mentally retarded and mentally ill students in classes IX to XII.  

          The provisions proposed in (a) to (e) above, also apply to leprosy cured students.

2. a. ) Girls’ Hostels for Scheduled Tribes

          The scheme of Girls’ Hostels, which started in the Third Plan, is a useful instrument of spreading education among ST Girls, whose literacy still stands at 34.76% as per 2001 census as against the general female literacy of 54.28%.  Under the scheme, Central assistance is given to States/UTs for construction of new hostel buildings and/or extension of existing hostels. In this scheme the cost of the construction of the hostel building is equally shared between the Centre and the State in ratio of 50:50.  In case of UTs, the Central Government bears the entire cost of the building.  The cost of construction is based on the State PWD schedule of rates or local CPWD schedule of rates, whichever is lower.  Maintenance of the hostel is the responsibility of the concerned States/UTs.  The number of seats in a hostel is up to 100.  The hostels are for ST girls primary, middle, secondary, college and university.

          2. b. )Boys’ Hostel for Scheduled Tribes

          The objectives, terms and conditions as well as the pattern of assistance of this Scheme are same as that of the scheme for Girls’ Hostels. The scheme is in operation since 1989-90. The scheme of Boys’ hostels has been merged with scheme of girls’ hostels in the Xth plan.


This Scheme was introduced in the year 2005-06. Under the Scheme, fellowship is provided to ST students for pursuing higher studies such as M.Phil. and Ph. D.  The maximum duration of a fellowship is 5 years.  Every year 667 fellowships are to be provided to ST students.  The scheme is being implemented by University Grant Commission (UGC) on behalf of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.  Any ST student who has passed post-graduation from a UGC recognized University can apply under the scheme.

 Amount of Scholarship per student:-  






@ Rs. 8000/- p.m. for initial two years (JRF)

@ Rs. 9000/- p.m. for remaining tenure (SRF)


Contingency for Humanities and Social Sciences

@ Rs. 10000/- p.a. for initial two years

@ Rs. 20500/- p.a. for remaining tenure.


Contingency for Sciences

@ Rs. 12000/- p.a. for initial two years

@ Rs. 25000/- p.a. for remaining tenure


Departmental assistance

@ Rs. 3000/- p.a. per student to the host institution for providing infrastructure.


Escorts/Reader Assistance

@ Rs. 1000/- p.a. in case of physically and visually handicapped candidates.


House Rent Allowance

As per the UGC pattern.

4. ) Scheme of Top Class Education  for ST Students

Ministry of Tribal Affairs has introduced a new Central Sector Scholarship Scheme of Top Class Education for ST Students from the academic year 2007-08 with the objective of encouraging meritorious ST students for pursuing studies at degree and post degree level in any of the identified institutes.  There are 127 institutes identified under the scheme in both the Government and private sectors covering the field of management, medicine, engineering, law and commercial courses.  Each institute has been allocated five awards, with a ceiling of total 635 scholarships per year.  The family income of the ST students from all the sources shall not exceed Rs. 2.00 lakh per annum.

 The ST students will be awarded scholarship covering full tuition fee and other non-refundable dues in respect of Government/Government-funded institutions.  However, there will be a ceiling of Rs.2.00 lakh per annum per student for private sector institutions and Rs.3.72 lakh per annum per student for the private sector flying clubs for Commercial Pilot Training.  In addition to the above, the scholarship also provides for (i) living expenses @ Rs.2200/- per month per student subject to actuals, (ii) books and stationery @ Rs.3000/- per annum per student and (iii) cost of a latest computer system along with its accessories limited to Rs.45000/- as one time assistance during the course.


5. ) Establishment of Ashram School in Tribal Sub-Plan Area

          The scheme of Ashram Schools was launched in 1990-91 with the objective to extend facilities like establishment of residential schools for STs in an environment conducive to learning to increase the literacy rates among the tribal students and to bring them at par with other population of the country.  The funding for the scheme to the State is done on matching (50:50) basis, while cent percent assistance is given to UTs.

6. ) Vocational Training in Tribal Areas

 The main aim of this scheme is to develop the skill of the tribal youth in order to enable them to gain employment/self employment opportunities.  This scheme was introduced in 1992-93 and is being implemented through the State Governments/UT Administrations, Institutions or Organizations set up by Government as autonomous bodies, educational and other institutions like local bodies and cooperative societies and Non-Governmental Organizations.  The capacity of each vocational training center is 100 with hostel facility for 50.  Each center may cater to five vocational courses in traditional or other skills depending upon the employment potential of the area.  Each tribal boy/girl is trained in two trades of his/her choice, the course in each trade being for duration of three months.  Each trainee is attached at the end of six months to a Master Craftsman in a semi-urban area for a period of six months to learn his skill by practical experience, the practical experience in each trade being of three months duration.  There is provision for monthly stipend and for raw material for the trainees.


7. ) National Overseas Scholarship Scheme for Scheduled Tribes

The Scheme provides financial assistance to meritorious students belonging to STs for pursuing higher studies abroad in specified fields of Master level courses, Ph.D. and Post-Doctoral research programmes, in the field of Engineering, Technology and Science.  The selected candidates are given cost of tuition and other educational fees charged by the foreign university etc., maintenance and other grants along with travel expenses.  In addition passage grants are also available to candidates belonging to ST who are in receipt of merit scholarship for postgraduate studies, research or training abroad (excluding attending seminars, workshops, conferences) from a foreign government/organization or under any other scheme where cost of passage is not provided. Scheme of NOS has been revised in 2007-08 as Plan scheme. 15 awards would be sanctioned to ST students per year.