In News: The Tribal Affairs Ministry insisted once again that the current procedure for inclusion of communities on the Scheduled Tribes list was “adequate”.

  • It was responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha, which raised concern about

the need for a revision in the criteria and procedure for inclusion on the list.



 Modalities for inclusion

  1. According to the modalities for inclusion first framed in 1999, the proposal for inclusion must originate from the respective State or Union Territory government.  
  2. Following this, the proposal is sent to the Union Tribal Affairs Ministry, which sends it to the Office of the Registrar General of India (ORGI).
  3. If the ORGI approves the inclusion, the proposal is forwarded to the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.
  4. Only after the concurrence of these institutions, will the proposal go forward to the Cabinet to bring in the appropriate amendment to the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950.


  • In response to an RTI query, the ORGI had said in January, 2022 that it continues to follow the criteria set out by the Lokur Committee in 1965 to decide whether a community can be included in the ST list. 
  • These criteria include:
    • indications of “primitive traits”,
    • distinctive culture,
    • geographical isolation,
    • shyness of contact with the community at large, and
    • backwardness.
  • Both the procedure and criteria for inclusion of communities had been strongly criticised by an internal government task force formed in February 2014, for being “obsolete”, “condescending”, “dogmatic” and “rigid”.