The development of the tribal population in India has been a major concern of the GOI as well state governments. The scheduled tribes (ST) exhibit a whole spectrum of human and cultural evolution –from hunter-gatherer-fisher (foragers) through shifting cultivation, pastoralism, marginal farming, to agriculture based on irrigation. The ST population accounts for 8.2% of the total population in the country. Known for their unique way of life, customs, traditions, beliefs and practices, the tribals of India are scattered all over the country. While the condition of the tribals has improved over the years, their situation vis-a-vis the rest of the population may even have worsened on various counts of development. The concept of primitive tribal group (PTG) tried to redress the balance in favour of the weakest section of tribals. The special provisions for tribes are based on the assumption that all the tribes are equally deprived equally disadvantaged, and equally poor which over the years has proved wrong.
The National Policy on Tribals recognizes that a majority of Scheduled Tribes continue to live below the poverty line, have poor literacy rates, suffer from malnutrition and diseases and are vulnerable to displacement. It also acknowledges that Scheduled Tribes in general are repositories of indigenous knowledge and wisdom in certain aspect. There is and urgent need to address each of these problems in a concrete way. At the same time it is important to take measures to preserve and promote tribals’ cultural heritage.
Jharkhand Known as Tribal State :::
The tribes of Jharkhand consist of 32 tribes inhabiting the Jharkhand state in India. The tribes in Jharkhand were originally classified on the basis of their cultural types known as follows: