The criteria presently followed for specification of a community as a Scheduled Tribe are : (i) indications of primitive traits, (ii) distinctive culture, (iii) geographical isolation, (iv) shyness of contact with the community at large, and (v) backwardness. However, these criteria are not spelt out in the Constitution.Government of India on 15.6.1999 (as further amended on 25.6.2002), has approved modalities for deciding claims for inclusion in, exclusion from and other modifications in Orders specifying lists of Scheduled Tribes (STs). Accordingly, only those proposals which have been recommended and justified by concerned State Government / UT Administration can be processed further. Thereafter, it has to be concurred with by Registrar General of India (RGI) and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) for consideration for amendment of legislation.A Task Force under the Chairmanship of the then Secretary (Tribal Affairs) was constituted by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in February, 2014 to examine the existing criteria and procedure. The Task Force in its report submitted to the Ministry has made recommendations, among other things, for revision of criteria and procedure for scheduling of tribes as STs. The recommendations of the Task Force were examined and accordingly the proposal for streamlining of procedure for scheduling of communities as STs and revision of criteria for scheduling of communities as STs was circulated to States / UTs. Views / comments have been received from all States / UTs except one state. This Press Release is based on the information given by the Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Shri Sudarshan Bhagat in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on 28.12.2017 (Thursday).