Special Issue 2, December 2018
Article Number: 10
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Legislation, Resources and Rights: A Case Study of Forest Rights in India

Patel, T., Sharma, A.R., and Tripathi, A.
Pages 530-538

Abstract—Since the late 19th century, policy-making in India with regard to forests has been focussed on procurement and
utilisation of forest products, first under the British colonial rule for urbanisation and industrialisation of Britain, and then postindependence for the “national good and development”. Consequently, basic human and livelihood needs of the forest-dwelling
communities were pushed aside in this process and they were labelled as “encroachers” in their own homes. In order to redress
this historical injustice and strengthen the conservation regime of Indian forests, “The Scheduled Tribes and Other Forest
Dweller (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act”, under the nodal agency of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA), simply referred
to as “FRA”, was passed by the Indian Parliament in 2006 and came into force in 2008. This paper seeks to employ an empirical
approach to recognise and comprehend the addressing of equity by FRA, the role of bureaucracy and gaps in its
implementation, and challenges posed by the legislation. As a result, using insights from the field, this paper will
comprehensively discuss the historical perspective (providing a detailed account of the state of forest legislation in India over
time), overview of the Act (2006), Rules (2008) and Amendments (2012), its implementation and challenges.

Keywords—forest governance, forest rights, India, social justice, forest conservation