The Ministry of Tribal Affairs of Government of India was created with the
objective of placing more focused attention on integrated socioeconomic
development of the most underprivileged section of Indian society, the
Scheduled Tribes (STs) in a coordinated and planned manner.
India has the largest concentration of tribal people anywhere in the world
except perhaps in Africa.
The tribals are children of nature and their lifestyle is conditioned by
the ecosystem. India, with a variety of ecosystems, presents a varied tribal
population throughout its length and breadth.
The areas inhabited by the tribals constitute a significant part of the
underdeveloped area of the country.
The tribals live mostly in isolated villages or hamlets. They were never
hunted down and slaughtered, or enslaved, by the Hindu kingdoms adjacent to
their areas. Rather, they were allowed to continue living as they had from
A smaller portion of their population has now settled in permanent villages
as well as towns and cities. On the whole, as per rough estimates, the
prominent tribal areas constitute about 15 percent of the total geographical
area of the country.
According to the 1991 census the population of Scheduled Tribals in the
country is 67. 8 million, which is 8.1 percent of the total population of the
country. There are an estimated 533 tribes in India.
This extensive website at "source" details the Ministry, Programs, Grants,
Research, Publications and Films, as well as providing abundant information
about the tribals.