New Delhi: On the pattern of Sachar Committee for Muslims, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has set up a panel to assess the status of Scheduled Tribes with an aim of ensuring their uplift, particularly in socio-economic, health and education fields.
The seven-member committee, to be headed by National Advisory Council (NAC) member Virginius Xaxa, has been asked to submit its report in nine months, sources told PTI here on Friday.
The Prime Minister`s decision came after the government found that the STs, who form 7.5 per cent of the country`s population, are not getting enough dues despite the special status in the Constitution.
Xaxa, a sociologist, recently joined the NAC headed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, replacing Aruna Roy who opted out of the Council in May.
The Committee will prepare a report on the overall socio-economic, health and educational status of the tribal communities of the country.
The report will give an idea about the areas in view the government can intervene to address issues related to these aspects of the tribal communities.
The committee will suggest policy initiatives as well as effective outcome-oriented measures to improve development indicators and strengthen public service delivery to STs and other tribal populations, the sources said.
The committee, among other things, will assess whether the safeguards guaranteed under the Constitution are being effectively implemented and if there are adequate safeguards and structures for implementation of protective legislations such as Prevention of Atrocities Act and Forest Rights Act.