Political Economy of Tribal Development: A Case Study of Andhra Pradesh

M. Gopinath Reddy, K. Anil Kumar
JEL codes: 
Working Paper No. 85

The tribal population in the State of Andhra Pradesh, and in the country as a whole, is the most deprived and vulnerable community that faces severe economic exclusion. Although certain constitutional safeguards are provided, no significant economic, social and political mobility has taken place across this community. Contrary to Scheduled Castes and other Backward Castes who witnessed certain degrees of progress because of protective discrimination policies of the government, the Scheduled Tribes remain abysmally backward and socially excluded, still living in harsh environs. Our paper on “Political Economy of Tribal Development: A Case Study of Andhra Pradesh”, delineates the situation of the Scheduled Tribes in the background of various policies of the state during the successive plan periods and its impact on their socio-economic mobility. Politically, this community is the most voiceless in the state. Their unsecured livelihood position in terms of lack of legal entitlements of the resources they use, both land and non-timber forest produce, push them into deep economic vulnerability. The paper also discusses the implications of the new act – Forest Right Act, 2006, on the livelihood security of the tribal communities and whether this act will finally lead to the inclusion of these people into the mainstream.