By Our Correspondent
NEW DELHI:Improvements in socio-economic conditions of Scheduled Tribes (STs) across country are assessed through decennial Census conducted by Office of Registrar General, India; large scale sample surveys conducted by National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation; various surveys conducted by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare; Agricultural Census conducted by Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, etc, this information was given by Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Jual Oram in a written reply in Lok Sabha on Monday.
In addition to above, officials of Ministry of Tribal Affairs (including Ministers) and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (Chairman, Vice Chairman and Members) visit often States / different locations and review progress of tribal development programmes.
Very often cognizance of media report is the basis on which special visits of officers are undertaken and reports from concerned State Governments are also called.
Guidelines for release and utilisation of grants under proviso (1) of Article 275 of Constitution issued by this Ministry on 2nd July, 2002, have stressed on peoples’ participation in tribal development. (Also, reiterated in guidelines for Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) dated 2nd May, 2003 and on 4th March, 2014). Names and nature of benefit of individual beneficiaries should be disclosed to the Gram Sabha and the Gram Panchayat.
Revised Guidelines issued by Ministry on 17.6.2016 (SCA to TSP) and 20.6.2016 [Article 275 (1) Grants] (on Ministry’s website – http://tribal.nic.in) also emphasize feedback of Panchayati Raj Institutions and representatives. In addition, evaluation studies and surveys are also a must.
Corrective measures are worked out based on feedback from field functionaries and representatives of tribals. Recently, guidelines for projects / activities have been modified accordingly. Initiatives are taken to ensure that tribals get their due.
Occasionally, evaluation of projects / schemes run by Ministry through Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) / Voluntary Organizations (VOs) is also done through outside agency / third party. Inspections are also being conducted by officials of Ministry, National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation (NSTFDC), National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) and Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED).