What is the lifespan of Scheduled Tribe people in India ? 

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New Delhi, July 15, 2019 : According to the report of the expert committee of Tribal Health, the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai analysed data from the national Census 2011 to estimate, by indirect methods, the life expectancy for the Scheduled Tribes (STs) and non-ST population in India. These estimates, as published in the Lancet, 2016, show that life expectancy at birth for ST population in India is 63.9 years, as against 67 years for general population. The reasons for shorter lifespan include gaps in various health and nutritional indicators, education level, poverty level, between ST and non-STs, traditional life styles,remoteness of habitations & dispersed population.

The steps taken by the Government to increase the average age of the ST population include the following:

Under National Health Mission (NHM), support is being provided to States for strengthening their healthcare system including for upgradation of existing and setting up new public health infrastructure based on requirements posed by the States/UTs in their Programme Implementation Plans. Under NHM, tribal areas already enjoy relaxed norms for setting up public health facilities i.e., against the population norms of 5000, 30,000, and 1,20,000 for setting up of Sub Centre, Primary Health Centre and Community Health Centre in plan areas respectively, the norms in tribal and desert areas are 3000, 20,000 and 80,000 respectively. A new norm of ‘time to care’ has also been adopted for setting up Sub Centres in tribal areas within 30 minutes of walk from habitation and relaxed norm for Mobile Medical Units (MMU) for tribal areas; extra one MMU if it exceeds 30 patients per day against 60 patients per day in plain areas for bringing healthcare delivery to the doorsteps of the population.

All tribal districts whose composite health index is below the State average have been identified as High Priority Districts(HPDs) and receive more resources per capita under the NHM as compared to the rest of the districts in the State. Out of 256 identified new HPDs, 101 are tribal districts. Further, all the tribal districts which are not covered under HPDs have been designated as special focus districts. These districts would receive higher per capita funding, relaxed norms, enhanced monitoring and focussed supportive supervision, and encouraged to adopt innovative approaches to address their peculiar health challenges. Technical support from all sources is also being harmonised and aligned with NHM to support implementation of key intervention packages.

As per the budget announcement 2017-18, 1.5 lakh Health Sub Centres and Primary Health Centres are being transformed into Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) for provision of comprehensive primary care that includes preventive and health promotion at the community level with continuum of care approach across the country for all population including tribals.

The Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) aim to provide an expanded range of services to include care for non – communicable diseases, palliative and rehabilitative care, Oral, Eye and ENT care, mental health and first level care for emergencies and trauma as well as Health promotion and wellness activities like Yoga apart from services already being provided for Maternal and Child Health including immunization and communicable diseases.

So far, approvals for 52,744 AB-HWCs have been accorded and as reported by the States/UTs, 19,501 AB-HWCs are operationalized till 1st July, 2019.

The schemes implemented by Ministry of Human Resource Development include,Saakshar Bharat, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs), SamagraShikha on Scheduled Tribe Children, the Right of Children of Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009.

The Ministry of Rural Development is implementing major programmes namely Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) for wage employment, DeendayalAntyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission(DAY-NRLM) for livelihoods promotion through self-employment, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana for rural connectivity, National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) for social assistance to rural poor. These programmes are aimed at betterment of rural livelihoods and overall development of rural areas through creation of employment opportunities, infrastructures and providing social assistance to the rural poor including the scheduled tribes and backward categories of the country.

Ministry of Women and Child Development is also implementing a number of schemes such as Anganwadi Services under which six services i.e. Supplementary Nutrition, Pre-school Education, Health & Nutrition Education, Immunization, Health Check-up and Referral Services are provided at the AWCs; Pradhan MantriMatruVandanaYojana (PMMVY) under which cash incentives are given to the pregnant women for first child birth; Scheme for Adolescent Girls under which nutritional support is provided to the 11-14 years out of school Adolescent Girls, etc., for improving the health conditions of women and children including those in the tribal areas.

Ministry of Tribal Affairs supplements the efforts of Central line Ministries as well as State Governments for addressing needs of education, health and nutrition, skill development, livelihood etc. of tribals/ tribal areasby way of critical gaps filling. The schemes implemented by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs are given below:-


SI. No.

Name of Schemes / Programmes


Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Tribal Sub Scheme (TSS)


Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution of India.


Scholarships / Fellowship schemes for Scheduled Tribes (STs) Students:

  1. Pre Matric Scholarship Scheme for ST students
  2. Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for ST students
  3. National Overseas Scholarship for ST students
  4. National Fellowship and Scholarship for Higher Education of ST students


Development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)


Grants-in-aid to Voluntary Organisations Working for welfare of STs


Strengthening Education among ST Girls in Low Literacy Districts


Grants-in-aid to Tribal Research Institutes


Umbrella Programme for Development of Scheduled Tribes – Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojana

  1. Supporting Projects of All India or Inter-State nature:
  2. Centre of Excellence:
  3. Tribal Festival:


Institutional Support for Development and Marketing of Tribal Products/Produce


Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Mechanism of marketing of Development of Value Chain for MFP


Support to National / State Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporations

This information was given by Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Smt. Renuka Singh Saruta in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.