New Delhi, Feb 6 (PTI) There has been an improvement in the Human Development Indices of SCs and STs over the years but the gap between them and other social groups remains, the government said today.

“The main reason for the gap is poverty and its vicious circle, illiteracy, dependence largely on wage labour etc, which the Government has been addressing through various socio-economic development programmes,” Minister of State for Planning Rao Inderjit Singh said in Rajya Sabha during the Question Hour.

He provided data as per which the unemployment rate of persons aged 15 years and above for SCs was 5 and STs 4.4.

Planning Commission figures, given by him, showed that the incidence of poverty in rural areas in 2011-12 for SCs was 31.50, for Sts it was 47.37, while the total stood at 25.40.

For urban areas, incidence of poverty among SCs was 21.70 and STs 24.10.

He also cited census data showing the literacy rate among SCs to be 66.07, for it was STs 58.96, while the total stood at 74.

The figures also showed that school dropout rate among SCs for 2013-14 for class I-X was 50.1, for STs it was 62.4 while the total was 47.4 per cent.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.