Centre set to clear policy for protecting tribal rights today

New Delhi, May 30 | Updated: May 31 2007, 05:30am hrs
The Centre is all set to approve a national tribal policy on Thursday, which aims to bring in a series of measures including constitutional guarantees to protect fundamental rights of tribals, according forest dwelling rights to them and enabling the deprived class--constituting 8.2% of the populationto catch up with the rest of the country.

The Union ministry of tribal affairs is expected to seek approval of the Union Cabinet on Thursday for the policy.

The policy will allow the government to frame legislations that will check illegal transfer and restoration of tribal land holdings by seeking changes in the Indian Registration Act, set up fast track courts in tribal areas to expedite settlement of land disputes and ensure that they are the rightful beneficiaries of the forests and other resources on which their claim lies first.

The policy, once adopted by the government, will also evolve a quantifiable tribal development index with the aim of developing tribal areas at par with the rest of the country by 2020.

The Cabinet note on the subject also proposes tribal centric strategies in all sectors, so that they are able to access opportunities in education and jobs.