SEED Scheme


Recent statistics from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment indicate that only 402 online applications for SEED benefits have been received (Scheme for Economic Empowerment of Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes).

  • According to the most recent figures on file with the government, these groups include more than 10 crore Indians from 1,400 communities.


GS II: Government policies and Intervention

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About SEED
  2. Who are de-notified, nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes?
  3. What is the history of deprivation faced by these communities?
  4. Policy measures for DNTs

About SEED

  • The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment introduced  Scheme for Economic Empowerment of Denotified/Nomadic/SemiNomadic (SEED) communities in February 2022.
  • It intends to give these students free competitive exam coaching, give families health insurance, improve clusters of these communities through livelihood activities, and give money for housing.
  • It guarantees spending of Rs. 200 crore over a five-year period beginning in 2021–22.
  • Implementing this plan is the responsibility of the DWBDNCs (Development and Welfare Board for De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities).
  • The agency has created an online site that will guarantee simple registration and serve as a repository for the data on these communities.
  • Free coaching to students from these communities for Civil Services, entry to professional courses like medicine, engineering, MBA, etc.
  • Health Insurance through PMJAY of National Health Authority.
  • Livelihoods to support income generation
  • Housing (through PMAY/IAY).

Who are de-notified, nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes?

These are communities who are the most vulnerable and deprived.

  • Denotified tribes (DNTs): Communities that were ‘notified’ as being ‘born criminal’ during the British regime under a series of laws starting with the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871.
  • Nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes:  Communities are defined as those who move from one place to another rather than living at one place all the time.

What is the history of deprivation faced by these communities?

  • This has a long history, first during colonial rule, and then in independent India.
  • The Renke Commission said this is partly because these communities are largely politically ‘quiet’ — they do not place their demands concretely before the government for they lack vocal leadership and also lack the patronage of a national leader.
  • Many commissions and committees constituted since Independence have referred to the problems of these communities. These include
    • Criminal Tribes Inquiry Committee, 1947 constituted in the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh),
    • Ananthasayanam Ayyangar Committee in 1949 (it was based on the report of this committee the Criminal Tribes Act was repealed),
    • Kaka Kalelkar Commission (also called first OBC Commission) constituted in 1953.
    • In 1965, an Advisory Committee constituted for revision of the SC and ST list under the chairmanship of B N Lokur referred to denotified tribes.
    • The B P Mandal Commission constituted in 1980 also made some recommendations on the issue.

Policy measures for DNTs:

  • The Government had constituted National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNT) to prepare a State-wise list of castes belonging to Denotified and Nomadic Tribes and to suggest appropriate measures in respect of Denotified and Nomadic Tribes that may be undertaken by the Central Government or the State Government.
  • The Renke commission estimated their population at around 10.74 crore based on Census 2001.
  • The Idate Commission submitted its report in January 2018. It mentioned that a permanent commission for Denotified, Semi Nomadic, and Nomadic Tribes should have a prominent community leader as its chairperson, and a senior Union government bureaucrat, an anthropologist, and a sociologist as members.
  • A Development and Welfare Board for De-Notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities (DWBDNCs) has been constituted and a Committee has also been set up by the NITI Aayog to complete the process of identification of the De-Notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities (DNCs).
  • The survey work of identification of DNT Communities and placing them in a category of SC/ST/OBC is also under process in NITI Ayog and Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI).

Special Marriage Act (SMA), 1954


Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) dismissed a writ petition challenging provisions of the Special Marriage Act (SMA), 1954 requiring couples to give a notice declaring their intent to marry 30 days before their marriage.

  • The case was denied by the SC on the grounds that the petitioner was no longer a harmed party because she had previously celebrated her marriage in accordance with the SMA.


GS-II: Polity and Governance


  1. What is the petition asking for?
  2. About Special Marriage Act, 1954
  3. Applicability of the Act
  4. The Section of SMA which is being contested

What is the petition asking for?

  • The petition argued that some SMA provisions were unconstitutional because they violated the right to privacy protected by Article 21 of the Constitution.
  • This is due to the laws’ requirement that couples submit notice 30 days prior to the wedding date inviting public objections.
  • Due to the absence of these conditions in personal laws, these provisions violate both Article 14 on the right to equality and Article 15 on the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of race, religion, caste, and sex.

About Special Marriage Act, 1954

  • The Special Marriage Act, 1954 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to provide a special form of marriage for the people of India and all Indian nationals in foreign countries, irrespective of the religion or faith followed by either party.
  • Marriages solemnized under Special Marriage Act are not governed by personal laws.

The Act has 3 major objectives:

  • to provide a special form of marriage in certain cases,
  • to provide for registration of certain marriages and,
  • to provide for divorce.
Applicability of the Act
  • Any person, irrespective of religion.
  • Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, or Jews can also perform marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
  • Inter-religion marriages are performed under this Act.
  • This Act is applicable to the entire territory of India and extends to intending spouses who are both Indian nationals living abroad.
  • Indian national living abroad.
Succession to the property
  • Succession to the property of person married under this Act or customary marriage registered under this Act and that of their children, are governed by Indian Succession Act.
  • However, if the parties to the marriage are Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh or Jain religion, the succession to their property will be governed by Hindu succession Act.
  • The Hindu Marriage Act is pertinent to Hindus, though the Special Marriage Act is appropriate to all residents of India regardless of their religion applicable at Court marriage.
The Section of SMA which is being contested
  • Under Sections 5 and 6 of the SMA, the parties wishing to marry are supposed to give a notice for their marriage to the Marriage Officer in an area where one of the spouses has been living for the last 30 days. Then, the marriage officer publishes the notice of marriage in his office.
  • Anyone having any objection to the marriage can file against it within a period of 30 days. If any such objection against the marriage is sustained by the marriage officer, the marriage can be rejected.

Community Forest Rights


Residents of the four villages in Chhattisgarh’s Mungeli district have received Community Forest Resource Rights (CFRR).

  • Achanakmar became the second tiger reserve in Chhattisgarh to get CFRR, following Udanti Sitanadi Tiger Reserve in Dhamtari district.


GS III- Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is a community forest resource?
  2. What are Community Forest Resource rights?
  3. Why is the recognition of CFR rights important?
  4. Forest Rights Act, 2006

What is a community forest resource?

  • The community forest resource area is the common forest land that has been traditionally protected and conserved for sustainable use by a particular community.
  • The community uses it to access resources available within the traditional and customary boundary of the village; and for seasonal use of landscape in case of pastoralist communities.
  • Each CFR area has a customary boundary with identifiable landmarks recognised by the community and its neighboring villages.
  • It may include forest of any category – revenue forest, classified & unclassified forest, deemed forest, DLC land, reserve forest, protected forest, sanctuary and national parks etc.

What are Community Forest Resource rights?

  • The Community Forest Resource rights under Section 3(1)(i) of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act (commonly referred to as the Forest Rights Act or the FRA) provide for recognition of the right to “protect, regenerate or conserve or manage” the community forest resource.
  • These rights allow the community to formulate rules for forest use by itself and others and thereby discharge its responsibilities under Section 5 of the FRA.
  • CFR rights, along with Community Rights (CRs) under Sections 3(1)(b) and 3(1)(c), which include nistar rights and rights over non-timber forest products, ensure sustainable livelihoods of the community.
  • These rights give the authority to the Gram Sabha to adopt local traditional practices of forest conservation and management within the community forest resource boundary.

Why is the recognition of CFR rights important?

  • Aimed at undoing the “historic injustice” meted out to forest-dependent communities due to curtailment of their customary rights over forests.
  • It is important as it recognises the community’s right to use, manage and conserve forest resources, and to legally hold forest land that these communities have used for cultivation and residence.
  • It also underlines the integral role that forest dwellers play in sustainability of forests and in conservation of biodiversity.
  • It is of greater significance inside protected forests like national parks, sanctuaries and tiger reserves as traditional dwellers then become a part of management of the protected forests using their traditional wisdom.
  • But while CFR rights are an important empowerment tool, getting a consensus amongst various villages about their traditional boundaries often proves a challenge.

Forest Rights Act, 2006

  • Schedule Tribes and Other Forest Dwellers Act or Recognition of Forest Rights Act came into force in 2006.
  • The Nodal Ministry for the Act is Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
  • It has been enacted to recognize and vest the forest rights and occupation of forest land in forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers, who have been residing in such forests for generations, but whose rights could not be recorded.
  • This Act not only recognizes the rights to hold and live in the forest land under the individual or common occupation for habitation or for self-cultivation for livelihood, but also grants several other rights to ensure their control over forest resources.
  • The Act also provides for diversion of forest land for public utility facilities managed by the Government, such as schools, dispensaries, fair price shops, electricity and telecommunication lines, water tanks, etc. with the recommendation of Gram Sabhas.
  • Rights under the Forest Right Act 2006:
    • Title Rights- ownership of land being framed by Gram Sabha.
    • Forest management rights– to protect forests and wildlife.
    • Use rights- for minor forest produce, grazing, etc.
    • Rehabilitation– in case of illegal eviction or forced displacement.
    • Development Rights– to have basic amenities such as health, education, etc.

Crime in India Report


A new edition of ‘Crime in India’, the annual report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), was released on August 29, for crime-related statistics in 2021.


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Crime in India: Key highlights
  2. Who publishes the NCRB report?
  3. How does the NCRB collect information for its report?
  4. Issues with NCRB data

Crime in India: Key highlights

  • Overall, 2021 saw a 6 per cent decline in the number of crimes registered, as compared to 2020.
  • The crime rate per lakh population declined from 487.8 in 2020 to 445.9 in 2021.
  • However, crime statistics do not always tell the full story, and lower crimes reported in an area do not necessarily mean it is safe.
  • Crimes against women rose 15 per cent in India in 2021 and Delhi is the most unsafe metropolitan city.
  • Rajasthan reported the highest number of rape cases and Maharashtra topped the list when it comes to most suicides.
  • Around 1.73 lakh people died in traffic accidents. Uttar Pradesh saw the highest number of deaths (24,711) in traffic accidents.
  • Jammu and Kashmir registered the most Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) cases under the ‘special and local laws’ in 2021, as per NCRB data.
  • Of the total 814 cases under the UAPA in India, J&K lodged 289 cases last year, followed by Manipur (157), Assam (95), Jharkhand (86) and Uttar Pradesh (83).
  • Jharkhand and Maharashtra filed the highest cases of communal riots last year with 100 and 77 cases respectively.

Who publishes the NCRB report?

  • The NCRB was established in January 1986 with the aim of establishing a body to compile and keep records of data on crime.
  • It functions under the Union Home Ministry.
  • Apart from publishing annual reports, its functions include “Collection, coordination and exchange of information on inter-state and international criminals to the respective states”.
  • NCRB also acts as a “national warehouse” for the fingerprint records of Indian and foreign criminals, and assists in locating interstate criminals through fingerprint search.

How does the NCRB collect information for its report?

  • The NCRB report contains data received from the 36 states and Union Territories across the country.
  • Similar data is furnished for 53 metropolitan cities, or those having a population of more than 10 lakh as per the 2011 census, by respective state-level crime records bureaus.
  • This information is entered by state/UT police at the police station/ district level, and is then validated further at the district level, then the state level, and finally by the NCRB.

Issues with NCRB data

  • By its own admission, the NCRB says there are limitations to its data.
  • Since the publication caters to the ‘Principal Offence Rule’ for classification of crime, the actual count of each crime head may go under-reporting.
  • The Principal Offence Rule states that in a case where multiple offences are registered, only the “most heinous crime”, carrying the most stringent punishment, is considered when counting.
  • For example, ‘Murder with Rape’ is accounted as ‘Murder’, leading to undercounting of the crime of rape.
  • Vacancies or a shortage of police officers at the local level may hinder the collection of data.
  • Also the data record the incidence of registered crime rather than of actual crime.



The Centre is planning to draw up a benchmark framework ‘PARAKH’ to assess students at the secondary and higher secondary level to bring about “uniformity” across state and central boards.


GS II: Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is PARAKH?
  2. Significance of PARAKH

What is PARAKH?

  • PARAKH stands for Performance Assessment, Review and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development.
  • The proposed regulator will act as a constituent unit of the NCERT.
  • It will also be tasked with holding periodic learning outcome tests like the National Achievement Survey (NAS) and State Achievement Surveys.
  • The benchmark assessment framework will seek to put an end to the emphasis on rote learning, as envisaged by the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
  • PARAKH, the proposed implementing agency, is also part of the NEP proposal.

Significance of PARAKH

  • PARAKH will assist in addressing the issue of some state board students being at a disadvantage when applying to colleges when compared to their peers in CBSE schools.
  • In the end, PARAKH will become the national single-window source for all assessment-related information and expertise, with a mandate to support learning assessment in all formats, both nationally and where applicable, internationally.
  • It will create and implement “technical standards for the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting” of tests at all levels of school education.

Zombie Ice


The melting of the Greenland ice sheet will unavoidably raise the global sea levels by at least 10.6 inches or 27 centimetres, no matter what climate action the world decides to take right now. This is because of ‘zombie ice’, which is certain to melt away from the ice cap and blend into the ocean.


GS I: Geography

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is ‘zombie ice’?
  2. What happens next?
  3. What does a 10-inch rise in sea-level mean?

What is ‘zombie ice’?

  • Also referred to as dead or doomed ice, zombie ice is one that is not accumulating fresh snow even while continuing to be part of the parent ice sheet.
  • Such ice is “committed” to melting away and increasing sea levels.
What has led to this?
  • This is on account of warming that has already happened.
  • The research points to an equilibrium state where snowfall from the higher reaches of the Greenland ice cap flows down to recharge edges of the glaciers, and thicken them.
  • It says that over the last several decades there has been more melting and less replenishment.

What happens next?

  • By calculating minimum committed ice loss based on the ratio of recharge to loss, the scientists have projected that 3.3% of Greenland’s total ice volume will melt, and this will happen even if the global temperature is stabilized at the current level.
  • But given that global warming is predicted to get worse, the melting and the corresponding rise in sea level could be much worse.
  • The study says it could reach as much as 30 inches (78 centimetres) if Greenland’s record melt year (2012) becomes a routine phenomenon.
  • However, the research team has not given a timeline. All that it mentions is that this committed melting is likely “within this century”.
  • But while some have questioned the timeframe being left out as an unknown, others have said the study gives a solid conservative estimate of what is likely to happen.

What does a 10-inch rise in sea-level mean?

  • The inevitable sea-level rise that the study predicts is particularly a bad news for millions that live in coastal zones.
  • According to the UN Atlas of the Oceans, 8 of the world’s 10 largest cities are near a coast.
  • Rising sea levels will make flooding, high tides and storms more frequent and worse as their impact will reach more inland. This, in turn, means a threat to local economies and infrastructure. Also, low lying coastal areas will take a harder hit.
  • The World Economic Forum’s 2019 Global Risks Report noted that “already an estimated 800 million people in more than 570 coastal cities are vulnerable to a sea-level rise of 0.5 metres by 2050”.


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *