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Scheduled Tribes as defined by the Law

Tribal population is found in various States and UTs of India. In the post-Independence period, all the tribal communities were grouped together as "Scheduled Tribes", under the Constitution.

The main criteria adopted for specifying communities as "Scheduled Tribes" include: -

·         Traditional occupation of a definite geographical area.

·         Distinctive culture that includes a whole spectrum of tribal ways of life, i.e., language, customs, traditions, religious beliefs, arts and crafts, etc.

·         Primitive traits depicting occupational pattern, economy, etc.

·         Lack of educational and techno-economic development

The first specification of Scheduled Tribes in relation to a particular State/ Union Territory is by a notified order of the President, after consultation with the State Government concerned. These orders can be modified subsequently only through an Act of Parliament. As per Article 342 of the Constitution of India, the President, after consultation with the State Governments concerned, has promulgated 9 orders so far, specifying the Scheduled Tribes in relation to the concerned State and Union Territories.

What is a Tribe Certificate and Why Is it Needed?

A Tribe Certificate is the proof of one’s belonging to a ‘Scheduled Tribe’, as per the specifications mentioned in the Indian Constitution. The Government felt that the Scheduled Tribes need special encouragement and opportunities to progress at the same pace as the rest of the citizenry. As a result, as part of the Indian system of Protective Discrimination, there exist certain special privileges granted to this category of citizens, such as reservation of seats in the Legislatures and in the Government Service, waiving of a part or the whole of the fees for admission to schools and colleges, quotas in educational institutions, relaxation of upper age limits for applying to certain jobs, etc. To be able to avail these privileges, a citizen belonging to a Scheduled Tribe must be in possession of a valid Tribe Certificate.

How to Apply for a Tribe Certificate

People belonging to the tribes enlisted in the notified orders of the President can apply for obtaining a Tribe Certificate. Tribal development departments in some states provide certain online facilities such as downloading the concerned application form, details on tribal welfare schemes, etc., on their websites. Click on any of the States given below to access the ‘Tribe Certificate’ application form for that State.


Select a State to Download the Birth certificate, for that State.

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