The Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Guajrat, Maharashtra, Orissa and West Bengal are the States having medium concentration of Scheduled Castes people. The States of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala fall under the category of low concentration.
The main concentration of Scheduled Castes persons can be categorised into the following zones.
(1) Areas of High Concentration:
The high concentration of the Scheduled Castes is found in two major areas.
(i) Indo-Gangetic Plain:
The plains of Indo-Gangetic region are composed of rich alluvial soil supported by abundant water supply, suitable climate etc. These general conditions make available opportunities for agricultural labourers to settle down in the alluvial plains and cultivate a large number of crops. Consequently the Indo-Gangetic plains are the zones of high concentration of Scheduled Castes who are mainly agricultural labourers.
(ii) The Coastal Plains:
The coastal plains of India offer almost identical opportunities for the inhabitation of peasant communities, as they are available in the Indo-Gangetic plains of north. Therefore Scheduled Castes are also concentrated along the East and the West coast of India from Odisha to Gujarat.
2. Zones of Medium Concentration:
There is moderate concentration of Scheduled Castes along the adjoining zone of high concentration. They are mainly situated in the Eastern Gujarat and Western Odisha.
3. Zones of Low Concentration:
There is a considerably low concentration of the Scheduled Castes in the Central Vindhyan, Chottanagpur region, the Western dry region of Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, and Himachal Pradesh and in the North-East. The concentration is also low in the coastal parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Scheduled Castes are highly concentrated in the West Bengal in the districts of Kooch Behar and Jalpaiguri where one-half to one third of the district population are constituted by Scheduled Castes. The Scheduled Castes are either conspicuous by their absence or have very small population in the predominantly tribal States of Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Lakshadweep.
From the above discussion it has been noted that the percentage of rural Scheduled Caste population to the total rural population is generally related inversely with (i) the percentage of rural Muslims, Sikhs and Christians and (ii) the percentage of rural tribal population to the total rural population. This indicates at least partly, an attempt on the part of the deprived to escape the rigours of the inequities of the caste system.
They however escaped it only marginally because their socio-economic deprivation was and continues to be essentially a function not of their religious faith but of their States in the agrarian structure, which can be changed only through basic transformation. About 33 per cent of the Scheduled Castes agricultural workforce is composed of landless labourers.
Higher the number of Scheduled Castes engaged in agriculture, the higher is the number of landless labourers (positive relationship) it is evident from the above discussion that problems of regional development are linked with agrarian reforms. Since independence much has been done in this direction and more are expected to be done specially in areas of high concentration of Scheduled Castes population.