News: On November 29, the Union Cabinet approved the Pradhan Mantri Janjati Adivasi Nyaya Maha Abhiyan (PM JANMAN).

Instructions: The article covers PVTG’s in detail, the schemes for their development and how PM JANMAN scheme will address challenges faced by PVTG’s in India. You are advised to remember the names of PVTG’s in India details of which will be available on internet.

What is PM JANMAN?
• It is aimed at providing PVTG households and habitations with basic facilities such as safe housing, clean drinking water and sanitation, improved access to education, health and nutrition, road and telecom connectivity, and sustainable livelihood opportunities.
• In addition, saturation will also be ensured for schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), Sickle Cell Disease Elimination, TB Elimination, 100% immunisation, PM Poshan, PM Jan Dhan Yojana, etc. This initiative is part of the Pradhan Mantri-PVTG Development Mission announced in India’s 2022-23 Union Budget, allocating Rs 15,000 crore over three years to develop them.

Who are PVTGs?
• In 1960-61, the Dhebar Commission identified disparities among Scheduled Tribes, leading to the creation of the “Primitive Tribal Groups” (PTG) category.
• In 2006, this category was renamed Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
• PVTG are 75 groups in 22,544 villages across 18 states and one Union Territory of India, totalling about 28 lakh individuals. These groups, living mainly in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu, are characterised by pre-agricultural lifestyles, low literacy, small or stagnant populations, and subsistence economies.

What are their development challenges?
• PVTGs are severely marginalised due to their isolation, low population, and distinct socio-economic and cultural traits.
• They suffer from vulnerability to displacement from development and natural disasters. They have little political representation, hindering their participation in decision-making.
• They are also battling loss of traditional livelihoods and resource rights, lack of market knowledge for Non-Timber Forest Produce, and exploitation by middlemen, threatening their traditional occupations.

What schemes have been floated for them?
• The PVTG Development Plan provides education, healthcare, and livelihood opportunities while preserving traditional knowledge.
• The Pradhan Mantri Janjatiya Vikas Mission (PMJVM) focuses on market linkages and Minor Forest Produce (MFP) procurement at Minimum Support Prices.
• Pradhan Mantri Adi Adarsh Gram Yojana, Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) and Tribal SubPlan (TSP)
• Eklavya Model Residential Schools, land titles under the Forest Rights Act 2006, Support to Tribal Research Institute (STRI) scheme, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989, The Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act 1996, and direct recruitment through reservations further aid in education, self-governance, and protection against discrimination.

What does PM-JANMAN do differently?

Proper identification and recognition
o Challenges are observed in identifying what constitutes actual PVTG’s, whether significant tribes miss out on inclusion, lack of comprehensive surveys covering all PVTG’s in India.
o The government’s initiative to create a Human Development Index for PVTGs is a significant step towards addressing these vulnerabilities.

Participatory bottom-up approach
o It actively involves PVTGs in decision-making, addressing land rights, social inclusion, and cultural preservation.

Livelihood promotion
o Providing skills training and resources, like land and credit, will help in sustainable livelihoods. Implementing the Forest Rights Act by granting land titles secures access to forest resources.

Health, nutrition and education
o Outreach strategies like Mobile Medical Health Units will be crucial for providing healthcare in remote areas.
o These strategies need to be tailored for specific health issues like teenage pregnancies and oral health, and overcoming language and cultural barriers through sensitised healthcare workers or hiring those from within the community.

Infrastructure development
o The habitations of PVTGs often don’t meet the criteria for schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and Jal Jeevan Mission
o Guidelines for infrastructure schemes, thus, have been relaxed to improve access to housing, water, sanitation, electricity, and connectivity. 

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