Scheduled Tribes Current Affairs - 2020

Study of Community Forest Resources by Ministry of Tribal Affairs

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs recently commissioned a study about Community Forest resource Rights. According to the study, broad guidelines are needed to implement Community Forest Rights.

Legislation

The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) act, 2006, also called the FRA act defines the Community Forest resource Rights. The FRA also says that a village shall get its traditionally held forest land. It provides the Gram Sabhas the right to protect, conserve and regenerate.

Suggestions provided by the Study

Apart from FRA act, 2006, the 73rd amendment of the constitution also empowers the Gram Sabhas to govern community forests. However, there are no guidelines to implement Community Forest Rights. The State Governments should create guidelines according the locals and their traditions. It should also focus on capacity building of Gram Sabha members. Micro-plans should be prepared so that the Gram Sabhas shall facilitate sustainable forest management.

Cabinet Approval: Occupancy rights to Scheduled Tribes of Lakshadweep

On February 26, 2020, the Union Cabinet approved amendments to provide occupancy rights to Scheduled Tribes of Lakshadweep. The approval was provided to amend the Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands Land Revenue and Tenancy Regulation, 1965.

Highlights

The Scheduled Tribes in the island did not have occupancy rights so far. The Occupancy right is the right to occupy and use tribal area.

Background

Lakshadweep is an Archipelago with 12 atolls, five submerged banks and three reefs. There are 17 uninhabited islands in the region. According to Census 2011, there are 64,429 persons in the island. Of this 93% of the population are indigenous and the entire indigenous population in the island has been classified as Scheduled Tribes due to their social and Economic Backwardness.

According to the SC and ST list (modification order), 1956, the inhabitants born to both parents born in the islands are alone treated as Scheduled Tribes.

Malayalam is the spoken language in the island.