Understanding Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)

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December 28, 2023

Understanding Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)

Who are PVTGs?

  • Initially termed “Primitive Tribal Groups” and later renamed “Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups” (PVTGs), these communities, numbering around 28 lakh individuals, reside in 22,544 villages across 18 states and one Union Territory in India. They have distinct pre-agricultural lifestyles, low literacy rates, and subsistence economies, mainly inhabiting regions like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.

Challenges Faced by PVTGs

  • PVTGs face severe marginalization due to their isolation, low population, and unique socio-economic and cultural traits. Limited access to basic services, social discrimination, vulnerability to displacement, and political underrepresentation hinder their development. Loss of traditional livelihoods, exploitation by middlemen, and stereotypes about their backwardness further exacerbate their challenges.

Historical Government Schemes

  • Several government initiatives, including the PVTG Development Plan, Pradhan Mantri Janjatiya Vikas Mission, and others, have aimed to support these communities. However, challenges in implementation, resource limitations, and unequal treatment among different PVTG groups have hindered the effectiveness of these schemes.

The PM JANMAN Initiative: A Departure from Tradition

  • This initiative, part of the Pradhan Mantri-PVTG Development Mission, allocated Rs 15,000 crore over three years to uplift PVTG households and habitations. The PM JANMAN stands apart by adopting a more targeted and participatory approach to address the unique needs of PVTGs.

Key Shifts in Approach

  • Identification and Recognition: Criticism regarding outdated criteria for identifying PVTGs has prompted a reevaluation. Efforts are being made to accurately identify and recognize around 63 PVTG groups, focusing on their specific vulnerabilities.
  • Participatory Bottom-Up Approach: Departing from generic strategies, the PM JANMAN prioritizes customized approaches that involve PVTGs in decision-making processes, ensuring their cultural preservation and social inclusion.
  • Livelihood Promotion: Emphasizing sustainable livelihoods through skills training, resource allocation, and securing land rights under the Forest Rights Act are central to this initiative.
  • Health, Nutrition, and Education: Tailored health strategies, cultural sensitivity in healthcare, education curriculum that incorporates PVTG culture, and infrastructure development tailored to the needs of these communities form core components of the PM JANMAN.

Insights from Senior Officials

  • Ravi Mittal, District Magistrate of Jashpur, Chhattisgarh, and Rajat Bansal, MGNREGA Commissioner, Government of Chhattisgarh, underscore the importance of tailored development planning, community involvement, and resource allocation in realizing the goals of the PM JANMAN.


  • The PM JANMAN initiative signals a departure from conventional approaches by emphasizing tailored strategies and community involvement to address the unique challenges faced by Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups in India.

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Understanding Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) | Vaid ICS Institute