Acknowledging the urgent need to improve the condition of tribal research institutes, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs is planning to conduct a review of the operational requirements of the existing tribal research institutes (TRIs) across India in the next two to three months. Currently, there are 25 functional TRIs in India.
To uplift tribals and raise awareness about tribal affairs, the TRIs conducts research, develops evidence-based policies, plans, legislates and undertakes capacity building of tribal people, personnel and institutions.
Senior officials familiar with the developments said, “ The ministry has taken note of the fact that the condition of the TRIs needs to be improved. We will carry out a thorough review of the state of the TRIs. There will be a push to motivate scholars to expand the scope of their research. The ministry will bring more focus to research on tribal culture, folklore, educational status of tribal communities, available health facilities and their livelihood options. The idea is not to focus on more data collection but on analysis,” as reported by TNIE.
The official further added that even if some TRIs act as model institutions there is an acute shortage of workforce.
To preserve tribal culture and heritage, TRIs have been compiling a digital repository where they store folk songs, photos and videos of different tribal communities and document their lifestyle, eating habits, architecture, education levels, traditional art, folk dances and other anthropological details. There are more than 10,000 photographs and videos in the repository right now.