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General Studies 1 >> Modern Indian History

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1. Context
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch a Rs 24,000-crore scheme aimed at holistic development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) on the occasion of ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Divas’ on November 15 in Jharkhand. The scheme will focus on the delivery of 11 interventions under nine ministries for 75 PVTGs
2.Why Janjatiya Gaurav Divas is celebrated?
  • "Janjatiya Gaurav Divas," or Indigenous People's Pride Day, is celebrated in India to honor and recognize the rich cultural heritage, traditions, customs, and contributions of the indigenous or tribal communities in the country.
  • The day aims to raise awareness about the unique identities, languages, art, crafts, rituals, and knowledge systems of these tribal groups. It acknowledges their significant role in the cultural mosaic of India and promotes respect for their way of life.
  • Moreover, the celebration of Janjatiya Gaurav Divas serves as a platform to highlight the challenges faced by indigenous communities, such as issues related to land rights, socio-economic disparities, cultural preservation, and access to education and healthcare. It endeavors to create a sense of pride and empowerment among these communities while also fostering inclusivity and understanding among the broader population regarding their diverse cultures and lifestyles.

3.Who was Birsa Munda?

Birsa Munda - Our Inspiration | The Avenue Mail

  • Birsa Munda, a youthful freedom fighter and tribal leader, is renowned for his fervent activism in the late 19th century, symbolizing a potent opposition to British rule in India. Hailing from the tribal regions of Bihar and Jharkhand, his accomplishments are notably exceptional as he attained them before turning 25. Jharkhand was established in honor of his impact on the national movement, marking his birth anniversary in 2000.
  • Born on November 15, 1875, Birsa grew up migrating across villages with his parents, belonging to the Munda tribe in the Chhotanagpur Plateau. His initial education was under Jaipal Nag's tutelage at Salga, where he later converted to Christianity at the recommendation of his teacher to attend a German Mission school. However, he eventually left the school.
  • The influence of Christianity shaped his later religious perspectives. Acquainted with British colonial rule and missionary attempts to convert tribals, Birsa initiated the faith of 'Birsait.' This faith garnered followers from the Munda and Oraon communities, posing a challenge to British conversion endeavors.
  • Between 1886 and 1890, Birsa spent substantial time in Chaibasa, a hub for the Sardars agitation. Influenced by these activities, he became part of the anti-missionary and anti-government movement. By 1890, he was deeply involved in the resistance against British oppression of tribal communities.
  • Birsa Munda was apprehended by British police on March 3, 1900, while resting with his tribal guerrilla army in Jamkopai forest, Chakradharpur. He passed away in Ranchi jail on June 9, 1900, at the young age of 25. Despite his short life and the movement's decline post his demise, Birsa Munda successfully mobilized tribal communities against the British. He compelled colonial officials to introduce laws safeguarding tribal land rights. His legacy endures through celebrations, and he remains a significant figure in literature, academia, and mass media.

4.Why Munda Rebellion is significant?


  • The Munda Rebellion, also known as the Ulgulan or the Munda Uprising, was a significant tribal revolt against British colonial rule in India. It took place primarily in the region of Chotanagpur plateau, present-day Jharkhand, between 1899 and 1900.
  • Led by Birsa Munda, a revered tribal leader and freedom fighter, the rebellion was a response to various grievances faced by the tribal communities, including exploitation by landlords, loss of traditional land rights, forced labor, and oppressive policies imposed by the British authorities and missionaries.
  • The movement was deeply rooted in the cultural and religious beliefs of the Mundas and other tribal communities in the region. Birsa Munda, considered a charismatic figure, unified various tribes under a common cause to resist British oppression and reclaim their rights and autonomy.
  • The rebellion was characterized by acts of civil disobedience, non-cooperation, and sporadic violent clashes with the British forces. Birsa advocated for a return to the traditional way of life and urged his followers to revolt against the oppressive practices enforced by the British administration and missionaries.
  • However, the rebellion faced significant challenges, including lack of resources, arms, and unified leadership. The British swiftly suppressed the uprising by employing military force and eventually captured Birsa Munda. He was arrested in 1900 and later died in custody in Ranchi jail.
  • Despite its relatively short duration, the Munda Rebellion holds historical significance as one of the earliest and notable uprisings against British colonial rule led by tribal communities in India. It symbolized the resistance of indigenous tribes against oppressive policies and became a catalyst for future movements advocating for the rights and autonomy of tribal populations in the country.

5. What are Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)?

  • PVTGs, previously referred to as primitive tribal groups, represent a subset of the Scheduled Tribes (STs), comprising those within the ST category recognized as particularly vulnerable compared to the general ST population. These endangered tribal groups were categorized by the government to prioritize advancements in their living conditions. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs identifies 75 PVTGs dispersed across 15 states and Union Territories.
  • The initiative was initially announced during the 2023-24 budget and is being rolled out preceding the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. These states harbor a substantial tribal population, with Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh recording ST proportions of 21.1% and 30.6%, respectively, as per the 2011 Census.
  • PVTGs represent the most susceptible factions within tribal communities, typically possessing unique cultures, residing in remote areas, and maintaining minimal interaction with other communities.
  • The program aims to comprehensively address the scattered, isolated, and hard-to-reach settlements of PVTGs by providing essential amenities such as infrastructure development including roads, telecommunications, electricity, secure housing, clean water, sanitation facilities, enhanced access to education, healthcare, nutrition, and sustainable livelihood opportunities.
  • Approximately 28 lakh individuals from the 75 PVTGs inhabit 22,544 villages spread across 18 states and Union Territories within India.

6. Way forward

The norms of certain schemes will be relaxed to cover these remote habitations.
In addition to the 11 interventions, saturation of other government schemes such as PMJAY health insurance scheme, the Sickle Cell Disease Elimination programme, TB Elimination programme, 100% childhood immunisation, PM Surakshit Matrutva to ensure free of cost antenatal care to all women, PM Matru Vandana Yojana for cash benefit to mothers, PM Poshan, and PM Jan Dhan Yojana.


For Prelims: Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.

For Mains: General Studies I: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present significant events, personalities, issues.

General Studies I: Social empowerment

General Studies II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation


Previous Year Questions

1.Consider the following statements about Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in India: (UPSC CSE 2019)

1. PVTGs reside in 18 States and one Union Territory.

2. A stagnant or declining population is one of the criteria for determining PVTG status.

3. There are 95 PVTGs officially notified in the country so far.

4. Irular and Konda Reddi tribes are included in the list of PVTGs.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

A.1, 2 and 3

B.2, 3 and 4

C.1, 2 and 4

D.1, 3 and 4

Answer (C)

Source: Indianexpress

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