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Current Affairs

Denotified tribes

Date: 07 April 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous


The functioning of development board for de-notified, nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes has been criticized by a Parliamentary standing committee.



  • Denotified tribes (DNTs) are communities or groups that were ‘notified’ as being ‘born criminal’ during the British regime.

  • The British government had legislated Criminal Tribes Act of 1871 to bring such tribes under the purview of regime.

  • The law was repealed in 1949 and they were “de-notified”. It was replaced by Habitual Offenders Acts, under which they were prosecuted.


Addressing the issue

  • A National Commission for De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNT) was formed in 2006.

  • It expressed disappointment that denotified tribes did not get constitutional support like Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribes.

  • A new commission was formed in 2014 which identified 1,262 communities as de-notified, nomadic and semi-nomadic.

  • Most of these communities are categorized under SC, ST and OBC while others are not. About 269 DNT communities are not covered under any reserved categories.


Latest report

  • The latest report expressed anguish that a single rupee was not spent for the welfare of DNT during the budgetary year 2021-22.

  • Surveys are being conducted to place DNT under SC, ST or OBCs. However, till now no decision has been taken.