NIOS Class 12 Sociology Chapter 30 Problems Of Scheduled Castes And Scheduled Tribes

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NIOS Class 12 Sociology Chapter 30 Problems Of Scheduled Castes And Scheduled Tribes, Solutions to each chapter is provided in the list so that you can easily browse through different chapters NIOS Class 12 Sociology Chapter 30 Problems Of Scheduled Castes And Scheduled Tribes and select need one. NIOS Class 12 Sociology Chapter 30 Problems Of Scheduled Castes And Scheduled Tribes Question Answers Download PDF. NIOS Study Material of Class 12 Sociology Notes Paper 331.

NIOS Class 12 Sociology Chapter 30 Problems Of Scheduled Castes And Scheduled Tribes

Also, you can read the NIOS book online in these sections Solutions by Expert Teachers as per National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) Book guidelines. These solutions are part of NIOS All Subject Solutions. Here we have given NIOS Class 12 Sociology Chapter 30 Problems Of Scheduled Castes And Scheduled Tribes, NIOS Senior Secondary Course Political Science Solutions for All Chapters, You can practice these here.

Problems Of Scheduled Castes And Scheduled Tribes

Chapter: 30



(i) Deprivation is …………….. rights and freedom the poor and dependents (providing/snatching away).

Ans. Snatching away.

(ii) Scheduled Castes performed …………… occupations (clean/unclean).

Ans. Unclean.

(iii) Scheduled Castes had to suffer from a number of disabilities due to ……………….. (touchability/untouchability).

Ans. Untouchability.

(iv) Food cooked by Scheduled Castes was …………… by higher castes (accepted /not accepted).

Ans. Not accepted.

(v) Scheduled Castes used water of ………….. wells and pond (common/private).

Ans. Private.


Write true false for following:

(i) Scheduled Tribes are mostly found in plain areas. (True/False)

Ans. False.

(ii) The largest concentration of STs population is in Central Indian region. (True/False)

Ans. True.

(iii) Hunting and gathering was economic activities of tribals. (True/False)

Ans. True.

(iv) Low land is called Don. (True/False)

Ans. True.

(v) Tribals have to face the problems of land alienation and displacement. (True/False)

Ans. True.


Q.1. Define social problems. Gives examples. (100 words).

Ans. I. Definition of Social Problems: Social problems are defined as a situation that has attracted the attention of a majority of people in any community and requires immediate attention of the administration and wider community for speedy solution. 

Social problems thus are a condition affecting a significant number of people in ways considered undesirable, and about which it is felt that something can be done through collective social action. 

In our society scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward classes (OBCs), women and children constitute deprived sections. They are denied their due rights and freedom. It should be noted that a situation becomes a problem only after people become aware of it.

II. Examples of Social Problems: 

(i) Untouchability.

(ii) Bonded Labour.

(iii) Problem of poverty, backwardness among SCs/STs/OBCs.

(iv) Problem of poor health and Nutrition. 

(v) Lack of Education among weaker and backward sections of Indian society.

(vi) Problems of Identity among Scheduled Tribes.

Q.2. Explain Deprivation. (100 words)

Ans. Explanation of Deprivation: Sociologists generally use the phrase or term “social problems.” Our society is divided into a number of sections based on caste, age and sex. Some sections of the Indian society have been resourceless and powerless in comparison to other dominant sections. But when they fail to adjust themselves to the changing times, the result is social disorganization leading to social problems. Thus a discriminatory and in human behaviour (e.g. based on caste or feeling of low or upper caste or feeling of advanced and backwardness, or based on gender or sex-male and female, and based on age children, youth and old people etc.) appears in society. This gives rise to social problems in the form of deprivation.

Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other Backward Classes are included in deprived sections of the Indian society.

(a) Scheduled Castes (SCs) are those castes which were placed at the bottom in the traditional caste system. Usually they used to perform clean occupation. So they were treated as polluted or impure. The concept of pollution attached to them had made them untouchable. They had to suffer from the following types of disabilities: 

(i) No physical contact with the people of so called upper castes.

(ii) Ban on the use of common wells and tarks.

(iii) Prohibited from entering the Temple. 

(iv) Did not receive service from other occupational caste.

(v) Non-acceptance of cooked food.

The Scheduled castes were deprived of their economic rights. So that remaining poor and dependent upon others. They have to face the following problems: 

(a) Material Deprivation.

(b) Landlessness. 

(c) Educational Backwardness.

(d) Low level government jobs, posts and services.

(e) Indebtedness and Bonded labour.

Q.3. Define untouchability. Enumerate five disabilities related to it. (200 words)

Ans. Untouchability:

(i) Those caster which were placed at the bottom (in social structure in the traditional caste system are called schedulated castes.

(ii) Usually the people of scheduled castes used to perform unclean occupation. (e.g. to cary night soil and dead animals, cleaning urinals and cattle shed, washing dirty clothes, and performing certain duties at places of cremation etc.). So, they were treated as polluted or impure.

(iii) The concept of pollution attached to them had made them untouchable. Various names appear for them in literature dealing with Scheduled Castes-Shudras, Das, Chandal, Melezhha, Untouchables and Harijans. (शुद्र, दास, चांडाल, मलेच्छ, अछूत एवं हरिजन).

(iv) There are more than 700 scheduled castes in our country. The schedulated castes now identify themselves as Dalit.

(v) We can understand the problem of untouchability (pollution) under the following description:

Before 26th January 1950 the problem of untouchability (or pollution) was one of the most kmaughly social problems related with the Dalits.

The Scheduled Castes had to perform such unclean occupation such as carrying night soil and dead animals, cleaning urinals and cattle shed, washing clothes and performing certain duties at places of cremation. These occupations were treated as polluted or impure. So, people performing these occupations were ‘treated as untouchables. On account of the practice of untouchability traditionally the Scheduled Castes had to suffer from the following types of disabilities.

1. No physical contact: The persons belonging to untouchable Scheduled Castes did not participate in village meeting and worship. They lived in a separate hamlet. Their children did not attend school and play with children of higher castes. They had to play drum to pass through villages streets.

2. Ban on the use of common wells and tanks: The members belonging to Scheduled Castes were not allowed to use common village wells and tanks for fetching water. They had separate wells and ponds or depend on the courtsey of some are to pour water in their kitchens.

3. Prohibited from entering the Temple: The Scheduled Caste persons were not allowed to enter the temple for offering worship. They were not supposed to hear religious discourses, offer prayer, and study religious texts.

4. Did not receive service from other occupational castes: Priests, artisan castes, dhobi (washer man) and dom (death ritual performer) did not render their services to the persons of untouchable castes Scheduled Castes. 

5. Non-acceptance of cooked food: The food cooked by so called (Shudras) Scheduled Castes was not accepted by higher castes. Water from the hands of Scheduled Castes was also not acceptable.

6. Status incongruence and dependence proneness: Persistence of stigma of untouchability and the Constitutional status of scheduled castes were not congruent. They were dependent upon others for livelihood and survival.

Q.4. Who are Scheduled Castes? Name five problems related to their poverty.

Ans. I. The Scheduled Castes: On the recommendation of the Government of Independent India, the President in October 1950 included a number of castes as ‘Scheduled Castes’ in the constitution Indian Under Art. 34 (SC) and 342 (ST). With this, they enjoy benefit of development and welfare schemes. There are more than 700 schedule castes in our country. Chamar, Dusadh, Dom, Pasi, Mehtar, Balai, Adi-dravid etc. are numerically dominant Scheduled Castes. The schedules castes now identify themselves as Dalit. It is the change of social norms in independent India that has elevated them to the posts of Chief Minister of States like Bihar and U.P., and the President of India. SCS constitute nearly 15% of total population of the country. Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, show a maximum concentration of Sca. Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar each have a scheduled casts population exceeding ten millions. The state of Punjab has 29.6 percent and the state of Himachal Pradesh has 21.2 percent SC population. In fact Indo-Gangetic plain alone has 51 percent of total SC population in the country. The mountainous regions of U.P., HP., all north-eastern States, Karnataka and Maharashtra have low concentration od Schedule Castes. SCs have been given reservations in educational institutions, jobs, state assemblies and the Parliament.

II. Problem related to Poverty of the Scheduled Castes:

The Scheduled Castes were deprived of their economic rights. So they remained poor and dependent upon others. The problems associated with the poverty of Scheduled Castes are as follows:

1. Material Deprivation: The Scheduled Castes were not allowed to have house, land, animals, ornaments, etc. So they were deprived of material possessions.

2. Landlessness: The Scheduled Castes did not own land for the purpose of residence and agriculture. They lived in huts erected on the land of the master and worked as agricultural labour as good as a bounded labour.

3. Educational Backwardness: Due to deprivation and poor socio-economic condition, the Scheduled Castes did not attend school and remained backward educationally. After independence, schools have been thrown open for them. 

But it has not been possible to enroll all children of SC in schools.

4. Employment and Government Service: After independence, some of them have been employed in government jobs like sweepers, watchman, peon, etc. Now, some of them have received higher eduction and are well placed. But majority of them survive as agricultural labourers, where they are exploited in the payment of wages.

5. Indebtedness and Bonded Labour: A majority of families of Scheduled Caste are not in a position to take two meals daily. So they have to take loans for the purpose of consumption. Banks do not give them loan for it. They have to take loan from their employers at a high rate of interest. Because of their indebtedness, their inability to pay the capital with interest, they end up becoming bonded labourers. They lose freedom of all kind and receive nominal wages.

6. Health and Nutrition: The house of a SCs may not have window, urinal, latrine and drain. They live with cattle in the same room. They discharge urine and night soil on the street. They throw cow dung, ash and domestic waste in the street. They do not have pucca wells and hand pumps for drinking water. They live in unhygienic conditions. Because of poverty, they are often victims of malnutrition and undernourishment.

7. Atrocities: The Scheduled Castes have to face problem of atrocities. Their houses are burnt; their animals, goat and chicken are snatched away, women are subjected to humiliation. They are beaten mercilessly. They are also murdered and killed in groups. These are the forms of atrocities to which they are subjected to when they dare to resist and demand their social, economic or political rights. 

Q.5. Who are Scheduled Tribes? List their five important problems. 

Ans. Meaning of the term the Scheduled Tribes:

(i) Scheduled Tribes are those communities who are outside the caste system of our society. They live in hills, forest and coastal and desert areas, and even on islands. They have their own culture and social organization. They also had their own political system. In course of time, some of them have adopted Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. Tribal art, dance and craft still have an intrinsic value polygamy and both monogamy are prevalent polyandry, for example, Toda and Khasa of Jaunsar Bawar.

(ii) A large number of tribal societies are patrilineal, but matriliny is also prevalent among few tribes like Khasi, Jaintia and Garo. The traditional economy of tribals is characterized by gathering, hunting, fishing, shifting cultivation and agriculture. They have their weekly markets called haat. Previously, they practiced barter, but now money has become medium of exchange. The traditional economy of tribals is for subsistence, not for profit.

(iii) There are around 461 Scheduled Tribes in our country. Among them, 75 most backward communities have been identified as Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs). Identification of PTGs has been made on the basis of low population, low literacy and pre-agricultural technology. STs represent approximately 8 percent population in our country.

(iv) Most of the Scheduled Tribes today are followers of tribal religion, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. The adoption of other religious faiths has forced them to give up tribal customs, traditions, festivals, art, dance, etc. A number of tribal cultural traits have become extinct or are in disuse, for example, the institution of Akhra and youth dormitory. The marriage of tribal girls with non-tribal boys is also taking place.

(v) Entry of outsiders in to tribal areas and division of tribals in to different religious group has resulted in the identity problems. Culture contact, industrialization and urbanisation have also resulted in loss of tribal ways of life. They are also demanding autonomy of the region in which they live and employment of local people in employment and jobs. 

II. List of Problems of the Scheduled Tribes:

(i) Problems Related to Forest: It has brought the question of existence before a number of tribes living in forest based economy.

(ii) Problem of Agriculture. 

(iii) Land Alienation.

(iv) Indebtedness and Bonded labour.

(v)  Problem of Health and Nutrition. 

(vi) Lack of communication in remote areas of the Scheduled Tribes.

(vii) Migration, undertaken by some people of the Scheduled Tribes and adverse effects of it on the lives of the Scheduled Tribes.

(viii) Lack of education among the Scheduled Tribes. 

(ix) Displacement of tribals. and

(x) Problems of protection or maintaining identify of the Scheduled Tribes.



Q.1. What do you understand by the word/term “Tribe”? 

Ans. Tribe: A social group distinguished from a caste that consists of families and lineages (or clans) based on shared ties of kinship, ethnicity, common history or territorial, political organisation.

Q.2. Who are Untouchable castes? Make clear.

Ans. Untouchable castes: The people at the bottom of the social scale and suffering from social exclusion. It’s because of a social practice within the caste system thereby members of the lowest castes are considered to be ritually impure to such an extent that they cause pollution by mere touch.

Q.3. Explain the word “Varna” in about one sentence.

Ans. Varna: A nation-wide version of the caste system dividing society into four hierarchically ordered Varnas or caste groups viz. Brahmins, Ksatriyas, Vaishya and Shudra.

Q.4. What was the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi towards upliftment of lower castes?

Ans. (i) He declared them as Harijan (i.e. people of god).

(ii) Advocated abolition of untouchability. 

(iii) He declared caste as a social evil and colonial conspiracy to divide Indians.

(iu) He worked for abolition of caste distinctions.

Q.5. Discuss the meaning of the term/ word untouchability in about 2-3 lines.

Ans. Untouchability: A social practice within the caste system whereby members of the lowest castes are considered to be mutually impure to such an extent that they cause pollution by mere touch. Untouchable castes are at the bottom of the social scale/structure/ stratification and are excluded from most social institutions.

Q.6. Mention the present position of caste system?

Ans. The link between caste and occupation is declining rapidly. There hardly any ritual-religious prohibitions are we see on change in occupation. The correlation between caste and economic status has also today as one can find rich and poor people in every caste. 

Q.7. What are the three main dimensions of untouchability?

Ans. (i) Exclusion,.

(ii) Humiliation and subordination. and

 (iii) Exploitation.

Q.8. Who are untouchables?

Ans. These are people kept outside the caste hierarchy consisting of Brahman, Ksatriya, Vaisya and Sudra. Owing to wrong committed by their ancestor in the past they were declared untouchable since than, the enigma or label of humiliation was stuck to their foreheads. These are outcast still living in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka etc. states.

Q.9. How are untouchables differ than other lower castes? 

Ans. It is that of extreme type of social exclusion, the untouchables endure with. For instance, they were prohibited from sharing drinking water sources or participating in collective religious worship, social ceremonies and festivals.

Q.10. What were the publically visible acts of self-humiliation or show himself as inferior to the untouchables compelled to perform? 

Ans. They had to take-off caps, carry footwear in the hand, standing with bowed head, not wearing clean or bright clothes.

Q.11. For whom the specific etymology once used for untouchables till its abolition is used today?

Ans. It is used today while addressing criminals and miscreants in the form of abuses. 

Q.12. What name did Mahatma Gandhi give to untouchables?

Ans. It was Harijan (children of God). 

Q.13. Which term is still used while referring to so-called untouchables groups?

Ans. It is dalit (viz. downtrodden) and conveys the sense of an oppressed person. 

Q.14. Whether Dr. Ambedkar had used the term “Dalit” while representing the interests of these groups?

Ans. No, neither he coined this term not used but it was implied in his philosophy and the movement for empowerment of these groups. Plausible to mention here that he had raised the stand for minority in Second Round Table Conference and caused Mahatma Gandhi’s hunger strike.

Q.15. What do you know about the Dalit Panthers? 

Ans. It was a radical organisation by Dalit groups which had rioted in Mumbai in the early 1970s. This term was used by them in order to assert their identity as part of their struggle for rights and dignity.

Q.16. Who had first recognised schedules for listing the castes and tribes as deserving special treatment?

Ans. That schedule was drawn or list was made by the British Indian Government in 1935 and enforced it through amendment in the Government of India Act, 1919 (After amendment, Act of 1935).

Q.17. When were OBCs added to the schedule of another groups deserving special treatment?

Ans. This addition was made in early 1990s in pursuance with the recommendation of Mandal Commission.

Q.18. What are “reservations”?

Ans. These denote state’s initiative to compensate for past and present caste discrimination. These include reservation of seats in state and central Legislatures, government jobs and educational institutions.

Q.19. What is the parameter for determination of reserved seats for SC and ST?

Ans. It is equal to the percentage share of SC and ST in the total population of India. For example, as per census of 2001, percentage share of scheduled caste were recorded as 16.20% and that of scheduled tribe 8.20% in the total population (1,028,610) of India.

Q.20. What parameter has been ascertained for reservation of seats in favour of OBCS?

Ans. In direct recruitment on all-India basis by open competition, it is 27% while it is 25.84% if recruitment is done on the basis otherwise than open competition. There is no reservation for OBCs in case of promotion. 

Q.21. Which articles of constitution of India define as to who would be the SC and ST with respect of any State or Union Territory?

Ans. These are Articles 341 and 342. 

Q.22. Which are left only states where tribal communities are exclusively settled?

Ans. These are North-Eastern states comprising Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.

Q.23. Why are the economic and social conditions of tribals in North-Eastern states worse than non-tribal concentration states like Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh etc?

Ans. These regions are treasure of mineral resources hence, British Indian Government and Indian Union government (viz. government of India) had reserved most forest tracts for their own use i.e., for mining purposes. Moreover, lumbering at commercial level is still carrying on. In these circumstances, their livelihood through food and shifting agriculture has jeopardised considerably.

Q.24. Which options for survival the tribal communities have chosen in the state of reservation of forest tracts by government of India of North-Eastern states?

Ans. They are forced to either use the forest illegally or migrate in search of wage labour. In the former attempts, they are being harassed and prosecuted as thieves and encroachers. In both ways, it has been difficult for them to survive any long.

Q.25. What impact the economic liberalisation policies since 1990s have on tribal communities in North-eastern state? 

Ans. The MNCs and corporate firms are now in full liberty to acquire large areas of land by ‘displacing adivasis.

Q.26. When was the term Adivasis coined and for what purpose?

Ans. It was coined in the decade of 1930 as part of the struggle against the intrusion by the colonial government and outside settlers as also moneylenders. It is meant by original inhabitants. 

Q.27. What ridiculous connotation can be drawn for the term “Adivasi” appears in the modern intrusion upon their natural habitat?

Ans. These are the people destined for experiences of the loss of forest, the alienation of land and repeated displacement since independence. 

Q.28. Mention some of the features related with the Problems of the Scheduled Tribes related to forest.

Ans. Problems Related to Forest: In the forests, STs lived, enjoyed hunting, gathering and shifting cultivation and artefacts made from forest-material. But forest policies and regulations have snatched away traditional rights of STs over forest. Due to this, economic activities of tribals like food gathering, hunting, shifting cultivation and cottage industry have been affected adversely. It has brought the question of existence before a number of tribes living in forest based economy.

Q.29. What can be stated as the most important achievement so far of Adivasi movements during post-independence India?

Ans. It is the attainment of statehood for Jharkhand and Chattisgarh, the former was in Bihar and the latter was in Madhya Pradesh till 2000 CE.

Q.30. Why did Adivasis block the highway at Kalinganagar in Orissa on 2 January, 2006? 

Ans. It was protest against their farmlands taken over by a steel company.

Q.31. Why did the police opened fire and killed a dozen Adivasis?

Ans. The state government in her plan to set up industries in Adivasi areas had no other options but ot acquire their farmlands at any costs. Some land had been sold by the state to a steel company and it had now become necessary to displace adivasis from that piece of land.

Q.32. What atrocities were practiced upon adivasis in their protest against take over of their farmland by the state government? 

Ans. The police did not spared even women and the genitals of men killed in encounter. Perhaps, that was done for the trade in human organs. 

Q.33. What was the intention of government in the name of welfare of Adivasi people after taking over their farmlands?

Ans. It was to give local residents, a petty amount as compensation against their sudden displacement or eviction under compulsory acquisition order and a small proportion of people displaced shall get jobs in industry proposed while all others are compelled to survive by engaging them as wage labourers. It is worth mention that 75% of tribals displaced are still waiting their rehabilitation.

Q.34. How many tribal people so far since independence of India have been displaced from their farmlands?

Ans. It has been estimated that 30 million people i.e. more than the entire population of Canada so far displaced under compulsory land acquisition policy of the government.

Q.35. Mention the name of places in India where tribal people are in protest against government’s liberalisation policy has compulsory acquisition of forest lands in line with Kalinganagar in Orissa?

Ans. These are forests nearby the river Narmada, Singur, Tehri, Hirakund, Koel Karo, Suvarnarekha, Nagarhole, Plachimada etc.


Q.1. Explain the meaning of the term deprived groups.

Ans. Deprived groups: Historically in every society, there are certain groups who are weak and deprived from socio-political economic or educational points of view. As far as in Indian context, we can say that in Indian society, the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, the other backward classes and women, particularly people from these groups are regarded weak or deprived groups.

Q.2. How is tribe different from caste? 

Ans. Contrast between the composition of the caste and the tribe:

(a) A tribe theoretically is a territorial group while a caste is a socio-cultural group. When a tribe loses its territorial character, it takes the form of a caste.

(b) Each tribe has its own distinct language than the other but it is not the case with a caste. A tribe never imposes restrictions on its members regarding the choice of occupation but a caste usually promotes hereditary occupations and the principle of brith.

(c) Caste and tribe emphasise and perpetuate collective identities in strikingly similar ways. A caste or tribe may change its name and also its mode of livelihood and still retains its collective identity.

(d) The tribes have segmentary, egalitarian system and are not mutually interdependent like the castes which show a system of stratification and organic solidarity.

Q.3. What evidence would you offer against the view that “tribes are primitive communities living isolated lives untouched by civilisation?

Ans. Evidences Substantiating tribes as primitive communities: 

(i) They have not written rules/canons on religion.

(ii) They are neither Hindus nor peasants. 

(iii) They have not a state or political form of the normal kind.

(iv) They are engaged in primary activities like fishing, food gathering, hunting, shifting, agriculture etc. 

(v) They have no motion of purity and pollution which is central to the caste system.

(vi) They live in inaccessible forests and rugged mountainous regions.

Q.4. How can you say that in the decades immediately after independence, the state did not make sufficient effort to deal with inequality between upper castes and lower castes in economic and educational terms?

Ans. It is because:

(i) The state was unwilling to push through radical reforms to remove economic inequality between upper and lower castes.

(ii) Except option of reservation for the SC and ST the state put on the same platform for government jobs one side the educated upper caste people and uneducated or ill educated lower castes on the other. It did no help to lower caste people.

Q.5. Which type of biased treatment given to SC and ST in development activity of state and the growth of private industry?

Ans. (i) Modern industry did not accept reservation rules for SC and ST.

(ii) Caste practices were abandoned in cities and ideas of individualism and meritocracy were preferred while people from lower castes have no earlier grip or debut to urbanised living manners.

(iii) In all textile mills and jute mills only upper caste people were given recruitment. 

(iv) Middle recruited people of their own caste and religion.

(v) Endogamy has remained sustained ab initio as we see even today, most marriages take place within caste boundaries and even inter-caste marriages, are solemnise only between upper castes (i.e. Brahmins, Kshtriya and Vaisya).

Q.6. How can you say that Dalits are now in protest against the social hierarchy?

Ans. It is evident from the extract of an article published in Tehelka on 18th February 2006 in which Basharat had mentioned that the youth of Gohana, a town in Haryana had killed in a scuffle, a Jat youth and the entire Jat community had looted and burnt all houses in retaliation as it was reported by Vinod Kumar, presently a Senior Assistant in an insurance company and an inhabitant of that town. They have resettled there-writes Basharat. He again refers to an event when another fellow Sudesh Katara, an Assistant Engineer had gone to attend marriage party of one of his friend but humiliated when some people recognised his being from a dalit family. He appears enthusiast enough to organise a strong protest against such exclusion still prevailing in all over Haryana.

Q.7. Why are government’s policies of National Development and economic growth proving more painful for the tribal communities in North-Eastern states?

Ans. In the name of these policies, government has acquired forest areas (i.e. habitat) of tribal communities. A number of mining operations are being conducted there in order to get raw material for industries and more power generation. Tribal people are being displaced without any appropriate compensation and rehabilitation. Thus, these polities are subjugating tribal people and alienating the resources upon which they depended.

Q.8. Discuss “Untouchability (Offences) Act 1955. (Most Imp.)

Ans. Untouchability (Offences) Act 1955:

(i) Article 17 of the Constitution of India declares abolition of untouchability. An Act untouchability (offences Act 1955) was also promulgated declaring untouchability an offence.

(ii) This Act has banned the practice of untouchability in the matters of employment, drinking water supply, offering worships, services in tea shop and hotels, journey by bus or train, use of public places, meeting of Gram Panchayat, refusing to sell goods or rendering services and admission in hospital.

(iii) The Act has made the practice of untouchability punishable in the form of fine and punishment.

(iv) The untouchability (offences) Amendment and Miscellaneous Act 1976 has enhanced the punishment. For first time offence, minimum and maximum imprisonment are one month and six months respectively. The minimum and maximum fines are Rs. 100 and 500 respectively. For second time offence the fine is of Rs. 200 to 500 and imprisonment of six months. For third and subsequent offences, imprisonment is of one year and fine of Rs. 200 to 10,000. But in spite of such prohibitive measures, is still being practised. In rural areas, it is still a social reality. In urban areas too, it is prevalent, at least at the mental level.

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