The tribal situation in the country presents a varied picture. Some areas have high Tribal concentration while in other areas, the tribals form only a small portion of the total population. There are some tribal groups, which are still at the food gathering stage, some others practice shifting cultivation, yet other may be pursuing primitive forms of agriculture.
#The Constitution of India provides for a comprehensive framework for the socio-economic development of Scheduled Tribes and for preventing their exploitation by other groups of society. A detailed and comprehensive review of the tribal problem was taken on the eve of the Fifth Five Year Plan and the Tribal sub-Plan strategy took note of the fact that an integrated approach to the tribal problems was necessary in terms of their geographic and demographic concentra- tion -
If a faster development of this community is to take place. Accordingly, the tribal areas in the country were classified under three broad categories:
#States and Union Territories having a majority scheduled tribes population.
#States and Union Territories having substantial tribal population but majority tribal population in particular administrative units, such as block and tehsils.
#States and Union Territories having dispersed tribal population.
#In the light of the above approach, it was decided that tribal majority States like Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and U.Ts. of Lakshadweep and Dadra & Nagar Haveli may not need a Tribal sub-Plan, as the entire plan of these States/Union Territories was primarily meant for the S.T. population constitutioning the majority. For the second category of States and Union Territories, tribal sub-Plan approach was adopted after delineating areas of tribal concentration. A similar approach was also adopted in case of States and Union Territories having dispersed tribal population by paying special attention to pockets of tribal concentrations, keeping in view their tenor of dispersal. To look after the tribal population coming within the new tribal sub-Plan strategy in a coordinated manner, Integrated Tribal Development Projects ere conceived during Fifth Five Year Plan and these have been continued since them. During the Sixth Plan, Modified Area Development Approach (MADA) was adopted to cover smaller areas of tribal concentration and during the Seventh Plan, the TSP strategy was extended further to cover even more smaller areas of tribal concentration and thus cluster of tribal concentration were identified.
#At the time of delineation of project areas under the Tribal sub-Plan strategy, it was observed that the ITDPs/ITDAs are not co-terminus. Areas declared under Fifth Schedule of the Constitution. The Scheduled Areas as per the Constitutional orders have been declared in eight States viz A.P., Bihar, Gujarat, H.P., Maharashtra, M.P., Orissa and Rajasthan, As per the provisions contained in the Fifth Schedule of the
Constitution, various enactment in the forms of Acts and Regulations have been promulgated in the above states for the welfare of scheduled tribes and their protection from exploitation
Since TSP strategy also has twin objectives namely Socio-economic development of Schedule tribes and protection of tribal against exploitation, the Govt. of India in Aug., 1976 had decided to make the boundaries of Scheduled Areas co-terminus with TSP areas (ITDP/ITDA only) so that the protective measure available to Sch. Tribes in Sch. Areas could be uniformly applied to TSP areas for effective implementation of the development programmes in these areas. Accordingly, the TSP areas have been made co-terminus with Sch. Areas in the State of Bihar, Gujarat, H.P., Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Rajasthan. The State of A.P. where the TSP areas are not co-terminus with sch. Areas has also furnished a proposal to this effect which is under examination.