After the departure of the British from India it was decided to provide socioeconomic and socio-political protection to the tribal communities by the national government. When constitution of India was prepared certain protective discriminations were enshrined for the welfare and development of tribal communities.
The Fifth Schedule of the constitution contains provisions as to the administration and control of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes in the States other than Assam and North-eastern States. The Sixth Schedule contains provisions as to the administration of tribal areas in Northeastern States. The tribal communities were identified and categorised as Scheduled Tribes as per Article – 342 of the constitution by the presidential order of 1950.
The list has been amended from time to time as per the provisions of constitution. Scheduling and descheduling are cumbersome processes in which constitution has earmarked responsibilities of both State governments and government of India.