The Narikoravan and Kurivikkaran communities are to be included in the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) of Tamil Nadu.
A meeting of the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved a Bill in this regard. Chief Minister M.K. Stalin welcomed the decision and recalled the continuous efforts made by the DMK government in this regard.
In a statement, Mr. Stalin said the decision followed “continuous efforts made by the Tamil Nadu government” and contended that it would help the youth of these communities get social justice in education and employment. He said the decision was a garland for his party’s struggle for the downtrodden, and for reservation. “In the history of social justice, the DMK is in power to register this achievement,” Mr. Stalin said.
The Union Cabinet approved the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Second Amendment) Bill, 2022, which seeks to make certain amendments to the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes Order, 1950), so as to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) of Tamil Nadu, a release from the Press Information Bureau (PIB) said. Once the Bill becomes an Act, members of these communities would be able to derive benefits meant for the STs under the existing schemes of the government.
“They will also be entitled to benefits of reservation in services and admission to educational institutions as per the government policy,” it said. Some of the major schemes of this kind include Post Matric Scholarship, National Overseas Scholarship, National Fellowship, Top Class Education, Concessional Loans from the National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation and hostels for students.
In a statement issued on Wednesday evening, Mr. Stalin recalled that the DMK’s election manifesto, too, had assured the voters that the party would insist that the Union government include these communities in the list of STs. “The DMK government under me would continue to take steps for the education, employment and economic development of the Narikkorava community,” he said. He also listed the steps being taken by his government for these communities.
In March this year, Mr. Stalin wrote to Mr. Modi, highlighting the delay in the inclusion of the Narikoravan and Kuruvikaran communities of Tamil Nadu in the list of STs in the State. Based on the recommendations of the the Tamil Nadu government, the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs had in 2013 informed that the Registrar-General of India had also agreed to the proposal for inclusion of these two communities in the list of STs.
Pointing out that the Lokur Committee and the Joint Committee of Parliament had also recommended the inclusion of the community in 1965 and 1967 respectively, Mr. Stalin had contended, “The Narikoravars constitute one of the most deprived and vulnerable communities in Tamil Nadu and therefore deserve all constitutional protection and welfare measures envisaged, by its inclusion in the list of STs.”
Underlining that several representations had been made in this regard, he said the inclusion of these communities in the list was pending for long. “Therefore, I request you to kindly intervene in this matter to expeditiously include these communities in the list of STs in Tamil Nadu.”