PMF IAS Current Affairs
PMF IAS Current Affairs

Habitat Rights of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG)

  • Context (IE): Baiga community, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG), became the second PVTG to get habitat rights in Chhattisgarh, after the Kamar tribal group.
  • Chhattisgarh has seven PVTGs: Kamar, Baiga, Pahadi Korba, Abujhmadiya, Birhor, Pando, and Bhujia.

Habitat Rights

  • Habitat rights recognition grants communities the right to their traditional territory, socio-cultural practices, livelihoods, ecological and traditional knowledge, and the protection of their natural and cultural heritage. (Habitat rights don’t grant ownership to property).
  • Habitat rights are given to PVTGs under section 3(1) (e) of The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 or Forest Rights Act (FRA).
  • According to FRA, “Habitat comprises the customary habitat and such other habitats in reserved forests and protected forests of primitive tribal groups and pre-agricultural communities and other forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes.”

How the Government Fixes a Habitat

  • The procedure is based on guidelines from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) in 2014.
  • The tribal leaders are consulted about the extent of their culture, traditions, and occupation.
  • The government corroborates it, and then a habitat is declared.
  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provides technical assistance to the administration to implement the habitat rights law.
  • Four state-level departments, i.e., Forest, Revenue, Tribal, and Panchayati Raj, coordinate with the UNDP team to ascertain habitats.

Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG)

  • PVTG (previously known as a Primitive Tribal Group) is a sub-classification of Scheduled Tribes considered more vulnerable among the tribal groups.
  • Dhebar Commission (or Tribal Panchsheel Committee) recommended the creation of Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs). Based on this, the Indian Government created PTGs in 1975.
  • In 2006, PTGs were renamed as PVTGs.
  • At present, there are 75 PVTGs out of 705 Scheduled Tribes.
  • Odisha has the highest number of PVTGs.

Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG)

  • Criteria followed for identification of PVTGs are:
  1. Pre-agricultural level of technology
  2. Low level of literacy
  3. Economic backwardness
  4. A declining or stagnant population
  • In India, the tribal population makes up 8.6% of the total population. Tribal people live in about 15% of the country’s geographical area.

PVTGs with Habitat Rights

  • Only three PVTGs have habitat rights.
    1. Bharia Tribe (Madhya Pradesh): 1st PVTG to get habitat right.
    2. Kamar Tribe (Chhattisgarh)
    3. Baiga Tribe (Chhattisgarh)

Benefits of Habitat Rights to PVTGs

  • Protect traditional habitats from developmental activities: Habitat rights require consent and consultation of gram sabha for development activities. This provision helps protect traditional habitats from harmful activities like mining.
  • Forest Rights have legal protection under the Forest Conservation Act, the Land Acquisition Law of 2013, and the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
  • The grant of habitat rights under the Forest Rights Act provides additional legal protection.
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