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Tribal Sub Plan

Tribal Sub Plan

Schedule Tribes

  • The tribal population in India, though a numerically small minority, represents an enormous diversity of groups.
  • While tribes have a distinct culture and history, they also share commonalities with other marginalised sections of Indian society, such as the lack of adequate political representation, economic deprivation and cultural discrimination.
  • They vary among themselves in respect of language and linguistic traits, ecological settings in which they live, physical features, size of the population, the extent of acculturation, dominant modes of making a livelihood, level of development and social stratification.
  • However, tribal society must be appreciated and it must be recognised that non-tribal people have much to learn from the richness of tribal cultures and systems of knowledge.
  • The category of ‘tribe’ entails a social and cultural dimension but the Scheduled Tribe category has politico-administrative implications.
  • About 12 per cent inhabit the North-eastern region, about five per cent in the Southern region and about three per cent in the Northern States.
  • A majority of the Scheduled Tribe population is concentrated in the eastern, central and western belt covering the nine States of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.

What is Tribal Sub Plan?

  • It is a plan or strategy which was introduced by the government  to ensure the socio-economic development of the Tribal people of India.
  • It is a part of the annual plan of a state or UT ( Union Territory).
  • The funds that are given under Tribal Sub Plan are in proportion with the Scheduled Tribe (ST) population in the region.


  • The Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) aims to bridge the gap between the Schedule Tribes (STs) and the general population with respect to all socio-economic development indicators in a time-bound manner


  • To eradicate the exploitation and develop the remote areas.
  • To reduce poverty and unemployment of the Tribal.
  • To provide physical and financial security against any kind of oppression and  exploitation
  • To improve the life there by providing adequate health and educational services.

Key features

  • The Tribal Sub Plan was proposed on the basis that no development is possible without the elimination of exploitation in any field.
  • TSP is not applicable to states where tribals represent more than 60% of the population.
  • There are 30 Central Ministries / Departments, and 23 States and 4 UT, having specific fund allocation obligation for Tribal Sub Plan (TSP).
  • State Governments are supposed to earmark TSP funds in proportion to ST population (Census 2011) in the State with respect to total State Plan.
  • Tribal Sub Plan funds are to be non-divertible and non-lapsable.
  • Central Ministries and Departments are obligated for earmarking of TSP funds as per percentage prescribed by Ministry of Finance.
  • Monitoring of TSP: Ministry of Tribal Affairs(MoTA) has been mandated for monitoring of Central TSP as per the framework and mechanism designed by NITI Aayog

Public Accounts Committee Report On TSP

  • The Public Accounts Committee (Chair: Mr. Mallikarjun Kharge) submitted its report on ‘Tribal Sub-Plan’ on December 18, 2017.
  • The Committee looked at the implementation of TSP in three ministries: (i) Human Resource Development; (ii) Health and Family Welfare; and (iii) Ayush.
  • The Committee noted several discrepancies in the implementation of the TSP, including: (i) non-adoption of specific norms for release of funds, (ii) weak programme management, (iii) deficient monitoring system, (iv) and non-implementation of information programmes

Key Observations And Recommendations Of The Committee

  • Non-lapsable pool for TSP fund: The Committee observed that presently, funds at the end of the financial year were not being transferred into a non-lapsable pool of TSP fund, that could be utilised later.  It recommended that: (i) efforts should be made towards optimal utilisation of allocated TSP funds for a given financial year; and (ii) a non-lapsable fund should be created to pool funds that could not be utilised in a financial year.
  • Financial management: The Committee noted that there has been no segregation of TSP funds under a separate head at the state, district or block level.  Funds under TSP are required to be put into a separate head of account, to strengthen administrative arrangements for proper utilisation and monitoring of TSP funds.  The Committee recommended that strict adherence to earmarking of funds into a separate head at every level should be made mandatory for release of funds.  It also suggested that a more proactive approach should be taken to keep track of monitoring, fund utilisation, and implementation of schemes.
  • Nodal units at state/district level: The Committee noted that NITI Aayog had suggested that TSP ministries or departments should set up nodal units for programme monitoring.  These units should also indicate state-specific allocation and release for STs separately under centrally sponsored schemes and central sector schemes.  The Committee stated that presently, the Departments of School Education and Literacy and Higher Education have a dedicated unit to formulate and implement TSP under the Ministry of Human Resource Development.  It recommended that all TSP ministries or departments should set up their own dedicated nodal units for effective monitoring of TSP at the implementation stage.
  • Central nodal unit for overview: The Committee noted that guidelines detailing the process for an oversight had not been put out by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.  The basic objective of TSP is to channelize the flow of outlays from central ministries by earmarking funds for the development of STs in states (in proportion to their population).  The Committee reasoned that to oversee this implementation of fund flow, a central unit of oversight should be set up.  It recommended that the Ministry of Tribal Affairs should create a central nodal unit for oversight which will facilitate better co-ordination and efficient implementation of TSP through an online monitoring system.
  • Involvement Of Local Community In The Planning Process: A Comptroller and Auditor General audit report in 2015 had highlighted that plans for schemes were being formulated without specific consideration of tribal beneficiaries as required under TSP.  The Committee noted that the planning process could be strengthened with the involvement of the community in tribal dominant blocks.  It recommended that inputs/ suggestions of local tribal community should be sought before finalising the plan for implementation of any programme under TSP.



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