Tribal welfare administration, Tribal sub-plan, and Single-line administration in Himachal Pradesh – HPAS Mains

By | January 9, 2022

Article 244 of the Indian constitution empowers the President to declare any area as a scheduled area or as a tribal area.

Criteria to declare any area as a scheduled/tribal area-

  • Distinctive culture
  • Geographic isolation
  • Economic backwardness
  • Primitive traits

Tribal welfare administration is significant to provide better administration along with improving the socio-economic development of tribal areas. It mainly comprises tribal sub-plan and single line administration.

Tribal areas were divided into 2 categories-

  • Tribal sub-plan– Area having more than 50% of tribal population.
  • Modified area development– Area which have dispersed tribal population.

The tribal sub-plan was started in 1974-75 in the state and the entire area brought in this plan by 1987-88. Tribal areas constitute 42.49% of the total area of the state according to census 2011. Tribal areas have a 77.1% literacy rate and 1018 sex ratio which is far better than the average state sex ratio which is 942.

5 Integrated tribal development project (ITDP) under tribal sub-plan –

  • ITDP Lahaul at Keylong
  • ITDP Spiti at Kaza
  • ITDP Kinnaur at Reckong Peo
  • ITDP Pangi at Killar
  • ITDP Bharmour

Funding for tribal sub-plans (TSP)-

  • Tribal sub-plan (TSP) fund from state government and central ministry
  • Special central assistance (SCA) by the Central govt.
  • Grant under Article 275 of the constitution to the states
  • Fund through centre sector scheme

Criteria for funding under tribal sub-plan-

For equitable flow of funds to the 5 ITDP are following

  • Population basis-40%
  • Relative economic backwardness basis-40%
  • Area basis-20%

Based on this formula, share of each ITDP –

                         DISTRICT           Share under tribal sub-plan
                       KINNAUR                         30%
                     BHARMOUR                          19%
                       LAHAUL                          18%
                        PANGI                           17%
                        SPITI                           16%

Objective/Strategy/Focus area under tribal sub-plan-

Social development-

Protection of tribal against exploitation-

  1. Elimination of all forms of exploitation and social evil such as domestic violence, dowry, female infanticide, sexual exploitation, labor exploitation etc.

Development of Social and community service-

  1. Provide social and community activities in tribal areas such as child care, aged care disability support system, health care, job training institute, Police, fire services community management.

Improvement of infrastructure in primary school, high school, college

Improvement of infrastructure in Public health centre, hospital etc.

Economic development-

Agriculture and allied activities-

  1. Provide better practices of agriculture and allied activities through provision of minor and medium irrigation facilities
  2. Provide allied services through programme for animal husbandry, dairy, poultry and soon on.
  3. Build and strengthen infrastructure for agriculture and allied activities.
  4. Conducting special training programme for farmers to enhance the benefits of agriculture extension in tribal areas.

Transport and communication-

  1. Road , helipad, system of communication like T.V, Internet, computer education in school and college are the basic tenets of economic development to bring change in lifestyle of tribal areas.
  2. To ensure connectivity of tribal area with other region of HP during winter season.
  3. To ensure service of helicopter during winter season.

Water and power development-

  1. Electricity is used to determine standard of living of population. Rural electrification is done in tribal areas by several project such as tidong project in Kinnaur, Sanjay vidhyut project, Rongtong project in Lahaul spiti.
  2. Rural electrification is to promote small scale industry/cottage industry in tribal region.
  3. Ensure development of water activities in tribal region such as minor & medium irrigation, rainwater harvesting, provision of clean drinking water, river water management that divert water to dry land.

Land acquisition- of tribal land to be addressed under PESA act.

Impart right to minor forest produce to tribal communities.

Monitoring and evaluation system-

  • Monitoring of social and economic development in tribal region through report, review meeting, field visit by Finance commissioner.
  • At the state level, the chief secretary holds quarterly review meeting with different departmental heads.


The single line administration was introduced in 1986 for Pangi and it has implied the entire scheduled area of the state by 1988 with the following objective –

  1. To ensure speedy disposal of work and execution of development schemes.
  2. To generate flexibility in development work
  3. To minimize the bottleneck in administrative planning
  4. Augmenting governance through proper coordination among various departments of government.

Power and authority under single line administration-

  • Deputy Commissioner is the executive head of the district looking after development, civil administration, panchayat etc.
  • District Magistrate is responsible for the maintenance of law and order and is the head of police.
  • District Collector is apex body of the revenue administration and is responsible for the collection of land revenue.
  • Deputy Commissioner has been declared ‘Head of department’ for all office functioning in the district.
  • Deputy Commissioner ensures the execution of several schemes and co-ordinates with the function of other departments.
  • Deputy Commissioner can transfer class-3, 4 employees within the district and sanction their leave.
  • In addition, Deputy Commissioner has been empowered with much other administration and financial powers.

Impact/changes due to tribal sub plan/tribal single administration-

Social changes-

  • Literacy rate and digital infrastructure has been increased in tribal region.
  • Awareness among tribes regarding government schemes has been increased due to efficient tribal welfare administration.
  • Modernization, Industrialization and administration awareness program etc. changing orthodox, stereotypes value in tribal region.
  • Change their value system, now they believe in scientific way of life.

Economical changes-

  • With the help of single line administration, marketing facilities of horticulture products has been expanding day by day.
  • Rural electrification, road connectivity, fast system of communication i.e. internet, fax, use of helicopter has brought change in the life style of tribal areas.
  • Small scale industries i.e. cottage industries, weaving, transport workshop have been developed.
  • Standard of school, college infrastructure, health infrastructure, connectivity infrastructure has also gone high.


Social problem-

  • Illiteracy- high incidence of illiteracy impart impetus to tribal superstitions, prejudice, extreme poverty, non-development process etc. in tribal region.
  • Orthodox, stereotypes, gender discrimination, non-scientific value etc. are major impediment to social development aspect.
  • Erosion of identity-Extinction of tribal dialects and languages is another cause of concern as it indicates an erosion of tribal identity in certain areas.

Environmental problem-

Physical constraints-

  1. Harsh climatic condition, remote places in tribal region, dense forest, mountains etc. are certain challenge that still exist.
  2. Transportation and means of communication get stuck during winter season which hampers the life & livelihood of tribal people.

 Economic problem-

  • Lack of infrastructure in hospital, school, college and road connectivity affects the life of tribal people.
  • Lack of employment opportunities (except hunting, collecting, shifting cultivation) causes extreme poverty, food security and indebtedness.
  • Displacement and rehabilitation- The migration of these tribal to the urban areas force to live outskirts in slums.
  • Lack of awareness about government schemes.

Read also: Medicinal and Aromatic plants resources of the State of Himachal Pradesh

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