Social Structure

After independence a number of rules were formulated for the backward Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes of country, and in 1960 a list identifying 405 Scheduled Castes and 225 Scheduled Tribes was published by the central government. An amendment was made to the list in 1975, which identified 841 Scheduled Castes and 510 Scheduled Tribes. The total percentage of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes combined was found to be 22.5% with the Scheduled Castes accounting for 17% and the Scheduled Tribes accounting for the remaining 7.5%.]Following the report many Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes increasingly referred to themselves as Dalit, a Marathi language terminology used by B R Ambedkar which literally means “oppressed”.

The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are provided for in many of India’s educational programmes. Special reservations are also provided for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in India, e.g. a reservation of 15% in Kendriya Vidyalaya for Scheduled Castes and another reservation of 7.5% in Kendriya Vidyalaya for Scheduled Tribes. Similar reservations are held by the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in many schemes and educational facilities in India. The remote and far-flung regions of North-East India are provided for under the Non-Lapsable Central pool of Resources (NLCPR) since 1998–1999. The NLCPR aims to provide funds for infrastructure development in these remote areas.

Women from remote, underdeveloped areas or from weaker social groups in:

  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Assam
  • Bihar
  • Jharkhand
  • Karnataka
  • Kerala
  • Gujarat
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Uttarakhand

fall under the Mahila Samakhya Scheme, initiated in 1989. Apart from provisions for education this programme also aims to raise awareness by holding meetings and seminars at rural levels.The government allowed 34 crore(US$5.3 million) during 2007–08 to carry out this scheme over 83 districts including more than 21,000 villages.

Currently there are 68 Bal Bhavans and 10 Bal Kendra affiliated to the National Bal Bhavan.The scheme involves educational and social activities and recognizing children with a marked talent for a particular educational stream.]A number of programmes and activities are held under this scheme, which also involves cultural exchanges and participation in several international forums.