AIR Summaries

AIR Discussions (November 3rd Week)

21st November, 2021




The Union Cabinet has approved 15th November as Janjatiya Gaurav Divas to commemorate the brave tribal freedom fighters as part of the year-long celebrations of 75 years of India’s Independence.



  • The Janjatiya Gaurav Divas will be celebrated every year to recognize the efforts of the tribals in the preservation of cultural heritage and promotion of Indian values of national pride, valour, and hospitality.
  • They held several tribal movements across different regions of India against the British colonial rule. These tribal communities include Tamars, Santhals, Khasis, Bhils, Mizos, and Kols to name a few.
  • A tribal freedom fighter museum at Ranchi was inaugurated by the Prime Minister.
  • 15th November also marks the birth anniversary of Birsa Munda who is revered as God by tribal communities across India.


Tribal Freedom Fighters:

  • Birsa Munda: spearheaded an Indian tribal religious Millenarian movement during British rule in the late 19th century across the tribal belt of modern-day Jharkhand and Bihar.
  • Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh: considered the Pride of Sonakhan in Chhattisgarh, he looted trader’s grain stock and distributed them amongst the poor after the 1856 famine. He became the first martyr from Chhattisgarh in the independence struggle of 1857.
  • Shri Alluri Seetha Ram Raju: best remembered for leading the Rampa Rebellion against the British in which he organised the tribal people of Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts to revolt against the foreigners.
  • Rani Gaidinliu: was a Naga spiritual and political leader who led a revolt against British rule in India.
  • Sidhu and Kanhu Murmu: organised 10,000 Santhals and proclaimed a rebellion against the British.


Tribals in India:

  • According to 2011 census, the tribal population in India is over 104 million which is spread across 705 tribes and accounts for 8.6% of country’s population.
  • More than 90% of tribal people live in rural areas.
  • Madhya Pradesh has highest tribal population followed by Maharashtra, Odisha and Rajasthan.
  • Livelihood status - 6% of tribals live below poverty line vis-a-vis 20.5% non tribals.
  • The 2011 census data shows that access to tap water, sanitation facilities, Drainage facilities and clean cooking fuel is much lower among the tribal population.
  • There is also a stark gap in educational status as 41% of STs are illiterate.
  • Sex ratio among tribals is 990/1000 as compared to national average of 933/1000.
  • Tribals suffer from a triple burden of diseases: Malnutrition and communicable diseases , Genetic disorders and lifestyle diseases, Mental illness and addictions


Initiatives for Tribals:

  • Swasthya Portal: e-portal on tribal health and nutrition which will be providing all health and nutrition related information of the tribal population of India in a single platform.
  • National Overseas Portal and National Tribal Fellowship Portal: to bring greater transparency and easy information to Scheduled Tribe (ST) students.
  • Online Performance Dashboard “Empowering Tribals, Transforming India” under Digital India to work towards empowering STs and will bring efficiency and transparency.
  • e-newsletter on health and nutrition- ALEKH.
  • Pradhan Manti Van Dhan Yojana: a market-linked tribal entrepreneurship development program for forming clusters of tribal SHGs and strengthening them into Tribal Producer Companies. Launched in 2018, the scheme is being implemented by TRIFED.
  • Eklavya Model Residential Schools: started in the year 1997-98 to impart quality education to ST children in remote areas. As per the budget 2018-19, every block with more than 50% Schedule Tribe (ST) population and at least 20,000 tribal persons, will have an Eklavya Model Residential School by the year 2022.
  • Minor Forest Produce: The number of Minor Forest Produce notified has been revised from 23 to 49 under ‘Mechanism for Marketing of MFP through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Development of Value Chain for MFP’ scheme. MFPs contribute up to 80% of tribal communities’ cash income.
  • Tribal Ministry is funding about 250 NGOs for 350 projects mainly on Health and Education in the deficient service area, LWS areas, Border areas.
  • Tribal Research Institute (TRI) Uttarakhand has been made nodal TRI for coordination of research works being conducted for tribal medicine by various Centres of Excellence and TRIS so as to create a centralized knowledge hub on the subject.
  • North Eastern Region Community Resource and Management Program: Livelihood and rural development project aimed to transform the lives of poor and marginalized tribal families in North East.
  • Pre-matric Scholarship Scheme for Tribals: Centrally Sponsored Scheme meant for needy ST students studying in classes IX and X.
  • Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED)’s initiatives:
  • Trifood Project: Aims to enhance the income of tribals through better utilization of and value addition to the Minor Forest Produce (MFP) collected by the tribal forest gatherers.
  • Tribes India e-Marketplace: Initiative through which TRIFED aims to onboard 5 lakh tribal producers for sourcing of various handicraft, handloom, natural food products.
  • Tech for Tribals: aims at capacity building and imparting entrepreneurship skills to tribal forest produce gatherers enrolled under the Pradhan Mantri VanDhan Yojana


Challenges in tribal governance:

  • Lack of population level data, centralized policy formulation and implementation, near absence of tribals from the process, weak state level intervention has accentuated dismal health conditions among tribals.
  • Though tribals are heavily dependent on public health services but there is a shortfall of public health centres, sub-centres, community health centres by 27-40% in about half of the states. This has resulted in low access and coverage, low outputs and outcomes in tribal health status.
  • There are severe shortages in health human resources in terms of PHC doctors (33% shortfall), CHC specialists (84% shortage), health workers
  • The tribal sub plan (TSP), though started with the noble goal of complementing existing finances for tribal policies, has shown a lackadaisical response.


Way Forward:

  • A bottom up approach with primary health care at the centre of public health services should be adopted.
  • A localized primary care system is more acceptable as illustrated by SEARCH initiative of tribal friendly hospital at Gadchiroli district.
  • Awareness programmes through schools and media should be encouraged.
  • The new setup should include skilled local youth, traditional healers, ASHAs and PM’s tribal health fellows. Moreover, a remunerative service structure in the form of higher salaries, good housing and further opportunities has to be created for doctors.
  • The literacy drives in tribal areas based on Salunkhe committee report should be undertaken.
  • Knowledge, research and data on tribal health-A principled approach based on 4R’s i.e. Respect, relevance, reciprocity and responsibility should be followed for data and research.
  • A multi-level governance structure, starting from village level gram sabhas to national level tribal health advisory councils should be adopted. It will also have Self-Help group, making it responsive, participative, inclusive, and converging in nature.
  • Earmark of 8.6% of proposed 2.5% increase in health care expenditure in current health care policy to tribal health.
  • A holistic tribal policy based on intended goals should be formulated based on principles of justice, equity, inclusiveness, accessibility, integration, affordability, flexibility, decentralization, financial autonomy and empowerment.





Exercise SITMEX-21

  • Indian Navy participates in India, Singapore and Thailand Trilateral Maritime Exercise ‘SITMEX’.
  • This is the third edition of Ex SITMEX.
  • It is being held in the Andaman Sea.
  • It is being hosted by Royal Thai Navy (RTN).
  • SITMEX is being conducted annually since 2019 with an aim to enhance mutual inter-operability and imbibing best practices between the Indian Navy (IN), Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and RTN.


National Press Day

  • Every 16th day of November is commemorated as the National Press Day in order to honour the historic establishment of the Press Council of India.
  • The central theme for the year 2021 was ‘Who is not afraid of the Media?’
  • To regulate the Indian press, the Press Council was first established on the 4th of July, 1966 with Justice J R Mudholkar as the first chairperson.


Best Tourism Village

  • Pochampally village, often known as the Silk city of India, in Telangana has been selected as one of the best tourism villages by UNWTO.
  • This initiative of UNWTO awards the villages that are exemplary in showcasing the good practices in line with specified evaluation areas.
  • Pochampally is famous for its unique weaving styles and patterns and emphasizes the vision of the Prime Minister’s ‘vocal for local’ campaign
  • Pochampally Ikat is a unique style saree that received GI  status in 2004.
  • Ikat is a Malaysian, Indonesian word which means “Tie and Die” and which involves patterns formed by yarn and woven into fabric.


Rashtra Raksha Samarpan Parv

  • In order to pay homage to the gallantry of Rani Laxmi Bai on her birth anniversary, a three-day-long celebration has been organised wherein the Ministry of Defence will announce important initiatives.
  • A major focus has been applied to promote ‘Make in India, Make for the World’.