After the focus on the Food Security Act and Communal Harmony Bill,the National Advisory Council (NAC) will next give attention to upliftment of tribals including ways to integrate schemes for their development in UPAs top programmes like the Rs 44,000-crore Green India Mission unveiled some time back by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
NACs subcommittee on tribal issues held preliminary discussions earlier this week in which Planning Commission member Narendra Jadhav made a detailed presentation on the Tribal Sub Plan for Scheduled Tribes one of the subjects Sonia Gandhi has identified as a critical area deserving the NACs attention.
The Tribal Sub Plan which prescribed enhanced allocation from all Central ministries on the basis of percentage population of Tribals so that special development schemes could be implemented for them has been a disappointment as ministries have failed to earmark the outlays. In his presentation Jadhav enlightened members on various aspects of the Sub Plan and the Planning Commissions efforts to get ministries on board.
Madhav Gadgil,another member,also made a presentation on the Forests Act.
Members of the NAC subcommittee including noted scientist M S Swaminathan have agreed that the focus needs to be in four areas of nutrition,education,health and livelihood when it comes to tribal development. Several suggestions were understood to have been discussed in the meeting including a proposal that the Green India Mission unveiled recently by the Environment Ministry be designed in such a manner as to provide maximum benefit to tribals. One such view was that specific variety of trees be planted that would provide livelihood to tribals. NAC sub-committee is also likely to come up with marketing mechanisms for tribals so they are able to get better profit,a view proposed by Mirai Chatterjee,one of the members.
Although the issue of left wing extremism and exploitation of tribals was not taken up in the meeting,sources said this was an issue on which the NAC cannot turn a blind eye.