Govt Appoints Working Group For Tribal Research Institute

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government has constituted an inter-departmental working group for establishing a Tribal Research Institute (TRI) to be funded by the government of India, an official spokesperson said on Thursday.

An order to constitute the 'working group' has been issued by the General Administration department based on a proposal moved by the Tribal Affairs department, the spokesperson said.

The group is headed by the secretary, Tribal Affairs department, who has also been designated as the director of the institute.

The group has been assigned to formulate a broader coordination with stakeholder organisations like departments, universities, NGOs, and domain experts, which are to devise the broader structure of role and activities to be taken up by the TRI.

It will also include establishment of various research and development departments aimed at "action research" and advising on policy issues for the welfare of tribal communities.

Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, secretary of the Tribal Affairs department and chairman of the working group for TRI, said the government aims to establish a "premier institute of excellence" in research and development which will lay special focus on outcome evaluation and action research apart from active involvement in the planning process for welfare of tribal communities in Jammu and Kashmir.

He termed research and analysis the bedrock of the planning and development process, mandatory to ensure socio-economic status and welfare of tribal population. This, he said, can be done through inter-departmental interventions and sectoral convergence.

The TRI is envisaged to be established as a deemed university in due course of time which will also offer specialised courses in various spheres of tribal life apart from the key focus on research studies, planning process, outcome analysis, and evaluation studies.

In the first phase of its establishment, the TRI will focus on quality education in tribal schools, modernisation of hostels, and partnership linkages with the national and international organisations.

The action research and evaluation studies approved by the Tribal Affairs department for the current year also include development of a centralised portal for nomadic communities, mapping of highland pastures viz. tribal camping and facilities' assessment, socio-economic survey, documentation of nomadic tribes, tribal village development studies, impact assessment and evaluation of Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub Scheme, Article 275, and sectoral outlays on model villages, education, healthcare, livelihood, rural infrastructure etc., and other documentation, reports and surveys.

The TRI's main complex is coming up in Srinagar, while its campuses are proposed to be established at Rajouri, Poonch and Jammu. Tribal research chairs are also proposed to be established at the GDCT Jammu, Central university, Jammu and the BGSB University Rajouri.

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