Simple Overview on Denotified Tribes Upsc – 2021

Denotified tribes Upsc


India is the 2nd largest populated country in the world. In India population is categorized into urban population, rural population, educated population, uneducated and tribal population, etc. 

We know that many tribes are found in the world as well as in India also. Tribes found in India are Kharia, Bhils, Murias, Birhors, Baigas, Katkari, Kol, Bharia, Khond, Gonds( found in Madhya Pradesh).

Warlis, Khond, Bhaina, Katkari, Bhunjia, Rathawa, Dhodia( found in Maharashtra), Thadou, Aimol, Maram, Paite, Chiru, Purum, Kuki, Monsang, Angami( found in Manipur), etc.


Why do we call them tribes? 

Tribes live in groups and follow their specific custom, culture, wearing style and living style, etc. Their way of living different from rural and urban areas people mainly tribes found in the forest area. 


What is the meaning of denotified tribes? 

1) Denotified tribes are those tribes who were listed under the criminal tribe’s act 1871 by the British government in view of strong tribal rebellion against the British empire, the British government enacted the notorious criminal tribe’s act in 1871.

2) After the independence of India in 1947, the government repealed the criminal tribe’s act 1871 in 1952 & after that listed tribes in a criminal act known as denotified tribes( Vimukta jati). 

3) In British rule Denotified tribes known as ‘being born’ criminal tribes or addicted to the criminal offenses. After the independence of India, the Indian government was repealed the criminal tribe’s act in 1949, the act was replaced by the habitual offender’s act in 1952.





denotified tribes upsc



Denotified tribes listed in India


As we know India is 2nd largest population country with a 1.25 cr population. In India total population of tribal people is 10,42,81,034 according to the 2011 census of India, it is around 9% of the total population of India. 

There are 198 tribes with nearly 1500 nomadic and semi-nomadic in India according to the Renke commission 2008.


Who are Nomad?

A nomad is a group of people who have no fixed residence, move from one place to another in search of livelihood and hunter-gathering. 

After the 20th century, the population of nomadic tribes gradually decreased. Nomad follows the oldest human subsistence method. 


Semi nomad

A group of people living usually temporary dwelling and practicing seasonal migration, having base camp at which crops are cultivated in other words they also live nomad lifestyle but they have seasonal migration. 


What are criminal tribes act? 

1) During British rule in India, the British government imposed the criminal tribe’s act 1871(north India) and called them criminal tribes. 

2) In order to criminal tribes act they criminalized entire community of tribes by designating them being born and habitual criminal also restriction imposes on their movement and male member of the tribal group were forced to weekly report to the local police.

3) This act applied to the Bengal presidency and another part of India in 1876.


Criminal tribe act of 1871


During colonial rule of the British government in India were various reasons to repealed the criminal tribe’s act 1871, one of the reasons behind repealing of criminal tribe act 1871, a kind of non-bailable warrant issued against the 160 tribal groups, were ordered to register themselves in police station & banned the movement of tribal groups without police permission.

When the tribe people go out of the village, they had to show licenses to every police station on the way. 

The license was also issued for limited areas. If any people were found without a British government license, there was the provision of imprisonment up to 3 years. 

This act was implemented in Bengal in 1876 after that these tribal groups were declared criminal tribes, this act led the fact in these communities,  criminal activities. 





Why British government imposed the criminal tribe act 1871?


there was reason to imposed the criminal tribal act of 1871 because of strong tribal rebellion, agitations against the British empire, and the British government repealed this act to suppress, control, and eliminate this movement of tribal groups and British government also succeeded to suppress the rebellion.


Committee on denotified tribes upsc


In order to eliminate and improve the tribal problems in India, the Renke Commission was formed on 22 November 2003 headed by Mr. Baalkrishna Sidram Renke later in January 2015 formed Idate commission recommend ways of upliftment for tribal people chaired by Bhiku Ramji Idate and submitted its report on May 2018. 


Denotified tribes majority states 


Some states of India are tribal majority states, some states have less population of tribals. The tribal majority states are – 


1) Mizoram -94%

2) Tripura – 31.8%

3) Sikkim – 33 .8%

4) Manipur -35.1%

5) Jharkhand– 26.2%

6) Chhattisgarh– 30.6%


The government needs to provide better education and security to the tribals in these states. It is only by the efforts of the government that these people can be brought to their rightful place.



Renke commission

The Renke commission specifies a requirement for raising the living standards of Denotified, Nomadic, and Semi Nomadic Tribes. 


Recommendations of Renke commission

1) To create self-employment opportunities and raising living standards. 

2)  Recommend extending an economic development package to these groups to fulfill their basic requirements for uplifting

3) To set up programs for their education, development, and health. 



Idate commission 


Idate commission constituted in 2015 headed by Bhiku Ramji Idate & submitted report in 2018. The report recommended identifying tribal communities & uplift them by educating, legal protection, and reservation. 


Recommendations of Idate commission-


1) Government should ensure &  provide strong legal protections & safeguards by creating a third schedule for denotified tribes, semi nomad and nomads tribes

2) Idate commission recommended to the government giving protection under the atrocities act

3) Recommended making specific policies for these communities. 





After independence, the government repealed the criminal tribe act in 1952 by habitual offenders act 1952 but the situation of tribal remains the same as before.

On the suggestion of committees, the central government took initiative to uplift them but the state government could not Implimplent those suggestions if some state government implement those suggestions but it could not work effectively.

Due to the inclusion of denotified tribes in scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and other backward classes but they could not get any benefit of reservation and any other facilities of the government of upliftment. 

The candidates in tribal communities could not compete with the St/sc and backward classes candidates in competition. 

Now the government of India will have to work on the ground level for the upliftment of these tribal communities on suggestions of the Renke and Idate commission.


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