ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A M KurupSubscribe to A M Kurup

Status of Kerala Scheduled Tribes-A Study Based on Ethno-Demographic Data

A Study Based on Ethno-Demographic Data A M Kurup This is an exercise in measuring the degree of rank correlation existing between ethnographic data and the data thrown up by the 1961 census in respect of a purposively selected sample of the Scheduled Tribes of Kerala, with a view to assessing the validity of the census data in delineating the 'weaker sections' of the Scheduled Tribes. Standardised values of different variables from the census data are FOR the purpose of welfare administration, 'Scheduled Tribes' as defined under the Constitution, form an entity, irrespective of the fact that among them are 'the more needy and the more backward' as well as the 'socially and economically progressive'. An administrative unit, say a district, may have both these groups. For extending benefits, however, all are 'Scheduled Tribes'. The prerequisite of uniform development, it is generally accepted on all hands, is the location of the 'weaker links' in viable administrative units. Social scientists and administrators engaged in tribal welfare programmes are, therefore, naturally anxious to delineate the weaker sections among the Scheduled Tribes, Attempts in this direction have been made by different institutions, the most recent among them being by tile office of the Commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. With more than three hundred Scheduled Tri- bes in the country about whom authentic up-to-date information of their socioeconomic conditions is not available, it is difficult to categorise them according to their level of development based on qualitative data. It becomes, therefore imperative to go in for quantitative data in respect of each community, and if possible, pertaining to the viable lowest administrative unit to provide reliable indices for the purpose. Census data, particularly of 1961, are the only source to satisfy the above need. But before making use of the data it may be useful to assess the extent of their validity. This paper is an exercise towards that direction.
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