Important Tribes of India : Types, Names | Tribal Groups in India | UPSC Notes

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Important Tribes of India : Types, Names | Tribal Groups in India | UPSC Notes

In this post, you will learn about the important tribes of India, which are also known as well-known tribal groups for the UPSC IAS.

Indian tribes

A tribe is a social group in a traditional society that is made up of families that share the same culture and language through social, financial, religious, or blood ties.

There are some things about a tribe that make it a unique cultural, social, and political group.

Ethnicity vs. Race

Even though all people are the same species, i.e. Homo sapiens and even sub-species, i.e. Homo Sapiens Sapiens. But there are small DNA differences around the world because of the different places people live. These include differences in skin colour, eye colour, face shape, and hair colour. These make people look different, which is called “race” and has to do with genes.

Ethnicity is a term for cultural factors like nationality, language, ancestry, and area culture. It means that the people in the group have similar cultural, linguistic, or religious traits and that they have the same past. For Ex. Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, and Mongoloid are all different kinds of people.

• India has been called a “melting pot” of people from many different races and groups. India is home to one of the world’s biggest and most diverse groups of tribal people.

• According to the 2011 census, there are 104 million tribal people in India, which is 8.6% of the total population.

• By number, Madhya Pradesh has the most people (15,3 million, or 21% of the total), and Lakshadweep has the most people (94,8% of the total), based on the number of people living there.

• The Bhils have almost 46 million people in their group, while the Andamanese only have 19 people in theirs.

The Indian Constitution has a section called “Schedule 5” that talks about the tribal groups. So, the Constitution calls the groups it recognises “Scheduled Tribes.”

Article 366 (25) said that scheduled tribes are “those tribes or tribal communities, or parts of or groups within those tribes or tribal communities, that Article 342 says are Scheduled Tribes for the purposes of this Constitution.”

Article 342

• The President can tell the public, after consulting with the state’s governor if it’s a state, which tribes or tribal communities, parts of tribes, or groups within tribes are considered “scheduled tribes” for that state or territory, depending on the situation.

• By law, Parliament can add to or take off from the list of Scheduled tribes in a notification issued under clause (1) any tribe or tribal community, part of a tribe or tribal community, or group within a tribe or tribal community. However, a notification issued under clause (1) cannot be changed by a later notification, except in the cases above.

• As a result, the first time Scheduled Tribes are named for a particular State or Union Territory, the President issues an informed order after consulting with the State governments involved. Acts of Parliament are the only way that these orders can be changed in the future. The above article also says that a list of scheduled groups can be made for each State/Union Territory instead of for all of India.

The Ministry for Tribal Affairs

• The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is in charge of how the scheduled tribes in India grow as a whole. After the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment was split up in 1999, this Ministry was made with the goal of focusing more on the integrated socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes (STs), which are the most disadvantaged people in Indian society. This was done in a coordinated and planned way.

• The Ministry of Tribal Affairs will be in charge of setting policies, making plans, and coordinating development programmes for the Scheduled Tribes. Concerning sectoral programmes and schemes for the development of these communities, policy, planning, monitoring, evaluating, etc., as well as their coordination, will be the responsibility of the relevant Central Ministries/Departments, State Governments, and Union Territory Administrations.

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)

• The Constitution (89th Amendment) Act of 2003 changed Article 338 and added a new Article 338A, which led to the creation of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST).

• With this change, the old National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was replaced by two different Commissions.

The NCSC is the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.

As of February 19, 2004, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) was put into place.

Strategy of the Tribal Sub Plan (TSP)

• The Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) approach is a plan by the Indian government to help tribal people improve their social and economic lives quickly.

• The amount of money given to each State or UT under its Tribal Sub Plan must be at least equal to the number of ST people in each State or UT.

• In the same way, Central Ministries and Departments must set aside money from their budgets for the Tribal Sub-Plan. Planning Commission rules say that the Tribal Sub Plan funds can’t be used for anything else and can’t be lost.

• It is the job of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes to take part in and give advice on planning for the socioeconomic development of STs, as well as to review how their development is going under the Union and any State.

Tribal groups that are especially vulnerable (PVTGs)

The tribal groups are more likely to have PVTGs. 8.6% of the people who live in India are from tribal groups.

• The Ministry of Home Affairs has put 75 tribe groups in a group called “Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups” (PVTG). In 18 states and the UT of A&N Islands, PVTGs live.

• Their population is shrinking or staying the same, they have a low level of literacy, they use technology that was used before agriculture, and they are economically poor.

• They usually live in places that are far away and don’t have good infrastructure or administrative help.


The Dhebar Commission made Primitive tribe Groups (PTGs), which are the least developed tribe groups, a separate group in 1973.

• In 1975, the Indian government started putting the most vulnerable tribal groups into a separate category called PVTGs. In 1993, 23 more groups were added to the category, bringing the total to 75 PVTGs, which are spread out over 18 states and one Union Territory (A&N Islands) in the country (2011 census).

• Out of the 75 PVTGs on the list, 13 are in the state of Odisha. Another 12 are in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

The Government of India changed the name of the PTGs to PVTGs in 2006.

Plan for the development of PVTGs:

• The “Development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)” Scheme is only for them and is run by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

Under the scheme, each state or union territory must make Conservation-and-Development (CCD)/Annual Plans for their PVTGs based on an assessment of their needs. These plans are then reviewed and passed by the Project Appraisal Committee of the Ministry.

Priority is also given to PVTGs under the schemes of Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Tribal Sub-Scheme (TSS), Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution, Grants-in-aid to Voluntary Organisations working for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes, and Strengthening of Education among ST Girls in Low Literacy Districts.

• Odisha Jiban Sampark Project

The project is being done with the help of UNICEF.

Its goal is to educate Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) in Odisha about the State Government’s development and social programmes, especially those that help women and children.

The Project is mostly about developing skills, giving communities more power, working together, and coming up with new ideas.

The following are the factors that are used to figure out PVTGs:

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1. A amount of technology before farming.

2. A stagnant or falling population.

3. Very little education.

4. A basic level of living in the economy.

Denotified tribes

• Denotified tribes were those that the British had put on a list of criminal tribes under the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871 because they regularly committed crimes that could not be forgiven.

• Once they were found out, they had to register with the local judge and were severely limited in where they could go.

• But after Independence, the Habitual criminals Act replaced the Criminal Tribes Act. So, they still have a lot of problems because of this, and they can’t even meet their basic wants.

• The Idate Commission, which was set up by the government, said that the Habitual offenders Act should be thrown out so that these groups can grow in a way that benefits everyone.

The most well-known tribes

Bhils People

• The Bhils are an ethnic group that lives mostly in the mountains around Udaipur and in some parts of Rajasthan.

• The Bhils are India’s biggest tribe.

• Often called the “Bow men of Rajasthan”

• Their language is Bhili.

• The Ghoomar dance, the Bhagoria Mela during Holi, the Than Gair dance play, and the Baneshwar Fair during Shivaratri are some of the ways they celebrate.

Gonds People

• The Gonds are the second largest group in India. They live in the Chhindwara district of Madhya Pradesh and parts of Maharashtra, Orissa, and Andhra Pradesh.

• They are known for their bravery and speak many Indian languages, including the Dravidian Gondi language.

• Their homes in the Gondi woods are made of mud and have thatched roofs.

• Most of what they do is related to farming.

• Their events are Keslapur Jathra and Madai.

Baiga Tribe

• The Baiga are one of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs). The word “Baiga” means “sorcerers.”

• Most of them live in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.

• In the past, the Baiga lived in a semi-nomadic way and used slash-and-burn farming. Now, they count mostly on small forest products to make a living.

Bamboo is the most important material.

• Tattoos are a big part of Baiga society, and there is a tattoo for every age and every part of the body.

Munda Tribe (which means “village chiefs”)

• This tribe lives in parts of Chattisgarh, Bihar, Odisha, and West Bengal, as well as in Jharkhand.

• They live a simple, basic life. The Mundari tongue is what they speak. The Mundas used to be hunters, but now they work on farms.

• They are Sarna people who worship a god named Singbonga, which means “Sun God.”

• They speak Killi, and Nupur dance is their most popular form of fun.

• The Mage, Karam, Sarhaul, and Phagu celebrations are held by the Munda tribes.

Tribes of Santhal

• One of the most important groups in West Bengal is the Santhal tribe. The biggest tribe in Jharkhand, they can also be found in parts of Bihar, Odisha, and Assam.

• The Santhal were the first group to fight back against the British in 1855, which led to the creation of a separate district called Santhal Paragans.

• They get their food from farming and animals, and they are great hunters.

• They don’t have their own churches. They don’t even believe in gods. The Sarna faith is what the Santhals follow.

• Traditional events like Karam and Sahrai are a big draw, but so is Santhali dance and music.


• They are found in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh

• The Meenas say they are related to the Matsya avatar, or fish form, of Vishnu in mythology. They also say they are related to the people of the Matsya Kingdom.

• The Meena tribe is made up of several clans and sub-clans (called “adakhs”), which are named after their ancestors. Some of the adakhs include Ariat, Ahari, Katara, Kalsua, Kharadi, Damore, Ghoghra, Dali, Doma, Nanama, Dadore, Manaut, Charpota, Mahinda, Rana, Damia, Dadia, Parmar, Phargi, Bamna, Khat, Hurat, Hela, Bhagora, and Wagat.

• In Rajasthan, people from the Meena caste don’t want the Gurjars to join the Scheduled Tribes, because they are afraid that their own Scheduled Tribe reservation rights will be taken away.

• This is one of the most remote tribes, and their way of life is still very primitive.

Tribe of Toto

• The Toto tribe lives in the town of Totapara in the West Bengal district of Alipurdoar.

• They don’t write their language, which is a mix of Nepali and Bengali.

• To keep their simple life going, they trade veggies and fruits.

• Even though they say they are Hindus, they believe in God Ishpa and Goddess Cheima.

Bodo Tribe

• There are Bodo people in parts of Assam, West Bengal, and Nagaland.

• People think they were the first people to live in Assam.

• They are related to the Indo-Mongoloids. The Bodo language they speak is a mix of Tibetan and Burmese.

• It is an important part of their society to make things by hand.

• They honour Lord Shiva, Hapsa hatarani, and Domashi with the Baishagu festival in the spring.

Angami Tribe

• The Angami Nagas are one of the most important groups in Nagaland’s Kohima district.

• The guys wear black Mhoushu and white Mhoushu. Women wear Mechala and jewellery made of beads, mask pendants, bands, and other things.

• The most well-known thing about the group is the famous Hornbill Festival, which brings people from all over the world.

The Hornbill Festival began in the year 2000 and is held every year in the month of December. It begins on December 1, which is Nagaland Statehood Day, and lasts for 10 days, finishing on December 10.

 The 17 groups that take part in the festival are Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Chang, Dimasa Kachari, Garo, Khiamniungan, Konyak, Kuki, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sangtam, Sumi, Yumchungru, and Zeliang.

• Their work in wood, bamboo, and cane is beautiful because it is so detailed. They have different ways of speaking, such as Gnamei, Ngami, and Tsoghami.

Rengmas Tribe

• Distribution: Nagaland

• They are one of the 17 most important Naga Tribes.

• They have a system based on patriarchy.

• They used to believe in spirits. They thought there were many gods and goddesses. There are also Christians in the tribe.

• Most people work in agriculture. They take part in Jhumming. The best weavers are women.

The name Koyank Tribe means “black head.”

• Distribution: Nagaland

• They are the biggest of the 17 tribes in Nagaland that are recognised by the government.

• People call them “those dangerous headhunters with tattooed faces.”

• One of the last headhunters, they now farm and hunt only during certain times of the year. They follow Christianity more than 95% of the time.

• The men wear deer horn earrings, a necklace made of pig tusks, and brass heads.

• Festivals: Aoling to welcome spring and ‘Lao Ong Mo’ harvest festival

Bhutia Tribe

• Most Bhutias live in Sikkim, but there are also some in parts of West Bengal and Tripura.

• They come from Tibet and speak either Lhopo or Sikkimese.

• People know them for their art and food. Momos, which are steamed meat cakes, are their main food.

• Thukpa is another one of their meals. It is noodles in a broth. Festivals are held for Losar and Loosong.

Bru or Reang Tribe

• The Bru or Reang people are from Northeast India. Most of them live in Tripura, Mizoram, and Assam. Reangs comes from a race called Indo-Mongoloid.

• The Reang tribe is the second largest in Tripura. They are known as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group in the state of Tripura.

• In Mizoram, people who don’t think of them as native to the state have tried to hurt them.

In 1997, after there were fights between different groups, about 37,000 Brus left Mamit, Kolasib, and Lunglei areas in Mizoram and went to relief camps in Tripura.

Since then, 5,000 people have gone back to Mizoram in eight stages, while 32,000 people are still living in six aid camps in North Tripura.

o In June 2018, community leaders from the Bru camps signed a deal with the Centre and the governments of the two states. This made it possible for the people to go back to their homes in Mizoram. But most people in the camp didn’t agree with the terms of the deal.

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o The people who lived in the camp said that the deal didn’t make sure that they would be safe in Mizoram.


• Distribution: Mizoram, Tripura, Arunachal pradesh

• The Chakma share a lot of physical traits with the Tibeto-Burman people of northeast India and the people of East Asia.

• They think they are also from the Himalayan tribes of Buddha’s Sakya clan. After a long time of struggling to stay alive, they slowly moved to Arakan and took over the close hills of Chittagong Hill Tracts.

• When the Kaptai Dam was being built in the 1960s, many Chakma villages were flooded when the manmade Kaptai Lake was made.

• When the Chittagong Hill Tracts war broke out in the mid-1970s, some Chakma people had to flee to NEFA (now Arunachal Pradesh). With the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord in 1997, the war was over.

• Chakma is a language that is part of the Indo-Aryan group.

• Theravada Buddhism is the major religion.

Bizu, Alphaloni, Buddha Purnima, and Kathin Civar Dan are all festivals.

Tribe of Lepcha

• The Lepcha are an Indian tribe that lives in the north-east part of the country. Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Bhutan, Sikkim, and Darjeeling are where most of them live.

• The Lepchas are a group of Mongoloids. Their language is a mix of Nepalese and Sikkimese, so it sounds a lot like the Indo-Chinese language. They are the ones who say “Wrong.”

• Lepchas raise a lot of cattle and milk cows and also grow agricultural and horticultural crops to make a living.

• In the past, the Lepchas worshipped nature and believed in witchcraft and ghosts. But in the end, they made Buddhism look bad.

• In Tripura, they are called Nepalese, and they also have close social and community ties with Nepalese.

Khasi Tribe

• This group is most often seen in the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya and in parts of Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, and West Bengal.

• Most Khasi people are Christians.

Khasi is an Austro-Asian language that they speak.

• The Khasis’ property is given to the youngest daughter by the mother.

• The men wear big earrings and the women wear silver or gold crowns on their heads.

• The group makes a lot of music with drums, guitars, flutes, cymbals, and other instruments.

• The Nongkrem holiday, which is their biggest, lasts for five days. The women wear a dress called Jainsem, and the men wear a shirt called Jymphong.

Garo Tribe

• Most Garo groups live in the hills of Meghalaya, as well as in some parts of Assam, Nagaland, and West Bengal.

• The group is one of the few in the world that is run by women. Garo architecture is quite special. Some of them are Nokmong, Nokpante, Jamadaal, and Jamsireng.

• The women of the tribe wear a range of traditional accessories. The guys wear traditional clothing, which includes a turban with feathers in it.

• They have a party at the Wangala fair.

Nyishi group: This group lives in the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh. Most of them live in the districts of Kurung Kumey, Papum Pare, Upper Subansiri, and Lower Subansiri. They speak Nishi, and most of them have become Christians.

Gaddis Tribe

• Himachal Pradesh is where it is.

• They mostly live in the places around the Dhauladhar mountain range, Chamba, Bharmaur, and Dharamshala.

Pastoralism is their main job, and they raise and sell sheep, goats, mules and horses to make a living. Most of them are Hindus, but a few are Muslims.

• They speak the Gaddi language, but Takri and Hindi are used for writing.

• Holidays: Jatra and Shivarathri.


• Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Kashmir all have it.

• The Gurjars/Gujjars were without a doubt a unique people who lived in Kashmir, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. They gave Gujarat its name, built kingdoms, joined the Rajputs as the dominant lineage of Badgujar, and still live today as a pastoral and tribal group with both Hindu and Muslim members. • They mostly do herding and dairy farming. • They move from one place to another.

Warli Tribe:

This tribe lives on the border between Maharashtra and Gujarat and in the areas around it. They are known for their Warli Art, which is made with cow dung, earth, rice paste, bamboo sticks, and red ochre. They also do the Tarpa dance during the harvest season and the Warli Folk Art Dancing People Festival every March.

Khonds and Dongari Khond are found in Orissa.

• They speak Kui, which is a Dravidian tongue written in the Oriya script.

• They live in the forest and worship the natural world.

• The mining company Vedanta Resources planned to destroy the Dongria Kondh people’s woods, wildlife, and way of life. After four years of protests, the government has now told Vedanta that it can’t mine on Niyamgiri Mountain or in the surrounding woods.

• Use Podu, which is a local term for shifting agriculture.

Chenchu Tribe: This tribe lives in the woods of the Nallamala Hills in Andhra Pradesh.

• They can also be found in Kurnool, Nalgonda, and Guntur.

They hunt and sell honey, roots, gums, fruits, and tubers they find in the jungle. They speak Chenchu with a Telugu accent and have a lot of rituals.

• Festivals: They have a big party for Mahashivarathri, especially in the Amarbad tiger reserve in Telangana.


• Distribution: AP, Karnataka, Rajasthan

They are the largest tribe in AP, and they live in their own communities called Tandas, which are usually far from the main town. They are very proud of their culture and ethnicity, and they work hard to keep it that way.

• They know how to raise cattle well and make most of their money from selling milk and milk products.

• Festivals: Teej, Ugadi etc.

Apatani Tribes (or Tanni) • The Aaptani are a group of tribal people who live in Arunachal Pradesh’s Ziro valley.

• They worship the sun and the moon and speak a language called Tani.

• They use a sustainable method of social forestry.

• They have big festivals, like Dree, where they pray for a good harvest and the happiness of everyone, and Myoko, which is a fair about friendship.

• On their plots, the Apatanis do both rice farming and fishing. In the valley, two kinds of rice (Mipya and Emoh) and one kind of fish (Ngihi) are grown together. This is a unique practise in the state.

• UNESCO wants to make the Apatani valley a World Heritage Site because it has “extremely high productivity” and a “unique” way of keeping the environment safe.

Siddis Tribe: This Karnataka tribe is thought to have come from Southeast Africa’s Bantu people. According to history, the Portuguese brought the people there as slaves.

They live in different parts of Karnataka. Most of them are Christians, but there are also Hindus and Muslims among them. They like to do rituals, dance, and listen to music.

Kodava Tribe:

Most Kodava people live in Coorg. They are from Mysore, Karnataka.

The group is from Kodagu or Coorg, and they are known for being brave. They speak the Kodava language, and most of them work in agriculture. Both men and women in the tribe are very passionate about hockey.

• Only Kodavas are allowed to carry guns without a licence in India.


• Distribution: Karnataka and Kerala

• In the past, they lived in homes made of leaves, called koppus, and wore clothes made of leaves, too.

• They had to go through the cruel Ajalu practise, which was banned by the Karnataka Government in the year 2000. But it’s been in the news because it’s so common.

• They marry people from their own main groups, which are the Sappina, Ande, and Kappada Koraga.

They believe in ghosts called Bhutas, gods called Devas, and a sun god. The Koraga people are known for their drum beating (called dollu or dolu beating) and flute music and dance, which both men and women take part in. Their language is Koraga, which doesn’t have any written characters.


• Kerala and Tamil Nadu are where they are found.

• They live in woods and don’t do any farming. Instead, they are experts at gathering honey, wax, and other things that they trade for food.

They make temporary homes out of thatch leaves and move around depending on where jobs are. They worship many jungle gods.

Toda Tribe:

The Todas live in the Nilgiris mountain range in Tamil Nadu. They make a living by raising cattle and making milk. The oval and tent-shaped bamboo homes with thatched roofs show how good they are at building.

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• Pukhoor, which is Toda needlework work, is well known. Modhweth is their most important holiday.

Irular Tribe:

• The tribe lives in parts of the Nilgiri mountain in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

• They are the second-largest tribe in Kerala, and most of them live in Palakkad.

The majority of them are farmers who grow rice, dhal, Raggi, chilies, turmeric, and plantains. They are ritualistic, believe in their own gods, and are good at black magic.

Kattunayakan (King of Jungle)

• Distribution: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka

• The main ways to make a living are hunting and getting food from the forest.

• The Kattunayakar are Hindu, and their language is a mix of all the Dravidian languages. The main god of the group is Lord Shiva, who is also known as jakkamma (Nayakkar) and Bhairava. Along with the Hindu gods, they also worship animals, birds, trees, rock hills, and snakes.

• Before the 1990s, it was normal for girls to get married before they reached puberty. Most people in the Kattunayakar group are monogamous.

• Kattunayakar don’t eat only plants, and they like music, songs, and dance.

• They also go by the names Cholanaickar and Pathinaickar.

Cholanayakan: They live in the southern part of the state of Kerala, especially in Silent Valley National Park. They are called Cholanaikan because they live in the woods inside the park. Deep evergreen forest is what “Chola” or “Shoals” means, and “King” is what “naikan” means. People say that they came from the Mysore woods.

• The Cholanaikkans speak Cholanaikkan, which is part of the Dravidian family of languages.

• They live in places called “Kallulais,” which are made of rocks, or in open-air camps made of leaves.

• They get food by gathering, hunting, and getting a few small things from the forest.

Kanikaran Tribe:

• The Kanikkaran are an Indian tribe group who live in the south of the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. • They grow everything and their main job is farming, but they love fishing and hunting the most.

The Kanikkars are semi-nomadic and live in portable huts made of bamboo and reeds. Kaanikkar Nritham is a type of group dance that is done as a gift in the countryside. These are usually on the sides of hills.

• This is a large group that lives in parts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. They were among the first people to move to the Western Ghats.

• They have a simple way of life based on farming and collecting honey and wax.

• They are good at making herbal drugs that have been used for a long time.

• People in the area know them for how good they are at witchcraft and magic.

The Great Andamanese Tribe lives on the “Strait Island” of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The members of the tribe speak Jeru dialect with each other, and the last study done by the Andaman Adim Janjati Vikas Samiti in 2012 says that there are 51 of them.

Before the British came to the Islands in the 19th century, there were more than 5,000 Great Andamanese living there.

But hundreds died in the war as they fought to keep the British from taking over their land, and thousands more died in outbreaks of measles, flu, and syphilis, which is a bacterial infection.

The Onge were semi-nomadic and got all of their food from hunting and gathering. They are one of the least fertile groups of people in the world. Only about 40% of married couples can’t have children.

• Most Onge women don’t get pregnant before they are 28 years old.

• The death rate for babies and young children is around 40%.

• The Ong speak a language called Onge. It is one of the two South Andamanese languages that people know.

• Contact with the outside world has changed the way the Onge eat, which is a big reason why their number is going down.


• The Shompen live off of hunting and gathering. They hunt wild animals like pigs, birds, and small animals and look for fruits and other foods in the bush.

• The lowland Shompen build their homes on stilts. The walls are made of woven material on a wooden frame, and the roof is made of thatched palm leaves.

• A man usually carried a bow and arrows, a spear, and a hatchet, knife, and fire drill in his loincloth belt. The Shompen are a hunter-gatherer people who hunt wild animals like pigs, birds, and small animals and gather food from the forest.

• The Shompen language is part of the Austroasiatic language family.


• They are one of the last uncontacted peoples in the world. • They live by hunting and gathering. They probably use bows and arrows to hunt land animals and simple tools to catch local fish like mud crabs and mollusk shells. Some of their habits haven’t changed much since the Stone Age, and it’s not known if they do any farming. Investigations have shown that they use fire, but it is not clear if they know how to make it.

The Jarawas are the native people of India’s Andaman Islands. They live in parts of South Andaman and Middle Andaman Islands.They haven’t really talked to people from other places much, so not much is known about their society, culture, and customs.

• The controversial Great Andaman Trunk Road was built through their western forest home starting in the 1970s. As a result, the Jarawas started to meet more people from other places. This led to some trade but also to the spread of diseases.

• On January 21, 2013, Justices G.S. Singhvi and H.L. Gokhale issued a temporary order saying that tourists couldn’t use the trunk road that went through the Jarawa area.

• In reaction to this temporary order, local people filed a petition saying that the Andaman Trunk Road is a very important road that links more than 350 villages.So, on March 5, 2013, the Supreme Court overturned its temporary order. This meant that the road could be fully used again, but cars could only drive on it four times a day in big groups.

The Xaxa Committee on Indian Tribal Communities

• In 2013, the Prime Minister’s Office set up a High-Level Committee (HLC), which Prof. Virginius Xaxa led.

• The Committee’s job was to look at the social, economic, educational, and health conditions of tribal groups and suggest ways to make things better. In May 2014, it turned in the report.

• The Xaxa Committee has looked into five important problems: (1) income and jobs, (2) education, (3) health, (4) forced migration and displacement, and (5) legal and constitutional issues.

 The first three problems have to do with issues that have been at the heart of the post-colonial State’s development agenda for tribes: livelihood and employment, education, and health.

o Large amounts of money have been set aside for tribes in all of these areas, and from the beginning of India’s planned growth, special programmes and schemes have been made to deal with problems in these areas.

o But the status of tribes in these areas is still one of India’s biggest problems on the road to progress. This also makes me wonder about the institutions and processes that make sure public goods and services get to the people who need them.

As part of the wrong way of building a country, there has been a lot of growth in tribal areas, including industry, mining, infrastructure projects like roads and railways, and water projects like dams and irrigation.

o These have been followed by the development of cities.

o It has often meant losing a way to make a living, moving a lot of people, and forcing groups to move.

The Committee also looks at how laws work, which is another important topic.

o The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act (FRA) of 2006 and the Provisions of Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) of 1996, which were passed to make up for wrongs done to tribal and forest communities in the past, were important steps that changed their legal status.

o However, policies and practises have been slow to catch up with the changes in the world that the law recognises.

o These laws and how they are broken have been looked at so that they can be changed in the future.

o Topics like land acquisition, food security, detention and imprisonment, and the situation of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) and De-notified Tribes have also been brought up.