The Lok Sabha on Monday passed a Bill to include the Darlong community as a sub-tribe of the Kuki tribe on the list of Scheduled Tribes of Tripura even as Opposition members called for a more comprehensive law on including communities on the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe lists rather than in a piecemeal allocation.
Moving the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2022, in the Lok Sabha, Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda said the Union government was working towards betterment of living conditions of the tribal communities, and good results would be visible on the health, education and employment fronts.
“The government is committed to the development of tribal areas and sufficient funds have been allocated for the purpose,” he said.
Responding to issues flagged by members during the course of the debate, he said the Union Information and Technology Ministry had recently come up with a plan to develop broadband and 4G connectivity in aspirational districts. Funds for it will be allocated under the Scheduled Tribes component, Mr. Munda said.
On the issue of healthcare of tribal people, he said the issue assumed importance for the government and recently, the ICMR was allocated funds for research into the field.
Call for census
During the debate, Opposition members made a strong pitch for comprehensive legislation for inclusion of various castes from the States into Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) rather than doing it in a piecemeal manner.
Speaking during the debate, A. Raja of the DMK said there had been little uplift of many SCs and STs despite there being various mechanisms in place since Independence. This is a matter of concern, Mr. Raja said.
Pradyut Bordoloi of the Congress said many other communities including from Assam had been demanding inclusion in the SC and the ST categories.