The Scheduled Castes (SCs) are official designation given to various groups of historically disadvantaged indigenous people in India. In modern literature, the Scheduled Castes are sometimes referred to as adi dravida or Dalits. The term is recognised in the Constitution of India.
The Scheduled Castes constitute about 16.6 percent of India's population (according to the 2011 census), which is nearly 20.14 crore against 16.66 crore in 2001. The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 lists 1,108 castes across 29 states in its First Schedule*. The Scheduled Caste population showed a decadal growth of 20.8%, whereas India's population grew 17.7% during the same period.
|Indicator||Absolute||Percentage||Growth Rate (2001-11)|
|Source: Primary Census Abstract for Total population, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, 2011, Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India
*Text of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950, as amended -http://lawmin.nic.in/ld/subord/rule3a.htm
There are around 9.79 crore women among the total SC population. Nagaland, Lakshwadeep and Andaman and Nicobar islands have no scheduled castes among their population. Though, Four states account for nearly half of the country's Scheduled Caste population. Uttar Pradesh stands first with 20.5% of the total scheduled caste (SC) population, followed by West Bengal with 10.7%, Bihar with 8.2% and Tamil Nadu with 7.2 % come third and fourth, Punjab has the largest share of Scheduled Castes in its population at 31.9%. Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal follow Punjab with 25.2% and 23.5%.
|SN||States & UTs||Percentage of SC|
|11||Jammu & Kashmir||7.4|
|32||Daman & Diu||2.5|
|Primary Census Abstract for Total population, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, 2011, Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India|
Government is giving special importance to implementation of the schemes for welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Minorities. The allocation for the welfare of Scheduled Castes has been stepped up from Rs. 38,833 crores in BE 2016-17 to Rs. 52,393 crores in 2017-18, representing an increase of about 35%. The allocation for Scheduled Tribes has been increased to Rs. 31,920 crores and for Minority Affairs to Rs. 4,195 crores. The Government will introduce outcome based monitoring of expenditure in these sectors by the NITI Aayog.