Any exploitation of Sentinel Island will wipe out tribals: AnSI

  • IASbaba
  • December 21, 2020
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Any exploitation of Sentinel Island will wipe out tribals: AnSI

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Policies and Interventions & GS-III – Environment

In news

  • Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) policy document warns of threat to endangered group from commercial activity. 

Key takeaways 

  • According to ANSI, any exploitation of the North Sentinel Island of the Andamans for commercial and strategic gain would be dangerous for its occupants – the Sentinelese. 
  • It also said that the Right of the people to the island is non-negotiable, unassailable and uninfringeable. 
  • The prime duty of the state is to protect these rights as eternal and sacrosanct.
  • Their island should not be eyed for any commercial or strategic gain. 
  • The document also calls for building a knowledge bank on the Sentinelese.
  • Since ‘on-the-spot study’ is not possible for the tribal community, anthropologists suggest the ‘study of a culture from distance’.

Important value additions 


  • It is the most secluded, particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG) who reside in complete isolation on the Andamans. 
  • It has a population of about 50 to 100 on the North Sentinel Island. 
  • They are not only among the most isolated of nearly 70 PVTGs across the country, but also among the five in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands which include Great Andamanese, Onge, Jarawa, and Shompens.

Do you know? 

  • Though both Sentinelese and Great Andamanese are classified as PVTG, the tribes live in two completely different contact situation. 
  • While in the case of the Sentinelese their contact to the outside world is almost nil, the Great Andamanese had decades of exposure to the world outside their Island. 

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