The Union Minister for Home and Cooperation, Shri Amit Shah inaugurated the National Institute of Tribal Research in New Delhi today. The Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Shri Arjun Munda, the Union Minister for Law and Justice Shri Kiren Rijiju, the Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Renuka Singh Saruta and the Minister of State for Tribal Affairs and Water Power Shri Bishweswar Tudu were present on the occasion.
In his address, the Union Home and Cooperation Minister said that today is a very important day for the whole country, especially tribal society. Today this National Tribal Research Institute is coming into existence according to the imagination of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. There are many Tribal Research Institutes in the country, but there was no national link connecting many diversities of tribal society and this institute being built according to the vision of Shri Narendra Modi will become that link.
Shri Amit Shah said Shri Narendra Modi also announced and celebrated Tribal Pride Day for the first time after Independence. As Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Modi started such a scheme in the form of Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana for the overall development of tribal society, which led to parallel development of individuals, villages and regions. Tribal society cannot develop unless there is complete development of the individual, the village and the region. For the first time, Shri Modi had launched Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana on the ground in Gujarat and for the first time after Independence, if any State gave constitutional rights to tribal society, then it was given by Gujarat under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi. The Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana was formulated keeping in mind the development of all, inclusive and all-inclusive. Now Shri Modi has conceived this institution to unite the development of 8 percent tribal society of this country with many types of diversity at the national level also.
The Union Home Minister said there are many tribal traditional laws in the country related to water, forests, land, education, health, art, culture, language and tradition, which need research. Any tribal welfare law cannot be implemented without harmonizing these laws with the current law. Research on all these subjects can be only done at the national level and this research will also get national recognition.
Shri Shah said this institute will conduct research and evaluation on various subjects, training of employees and capacity building of other institutions, will also collect data and will also promote good practices to increase confidence. It will also work to popularize tribal festivals by giving them a modern outlook, while preserving their original spirit. This institute will also work on the maintenance of diversity of tribal museums envisioned by Shri Modi. In a way, this research institute will create a a blueprint for the development of the whole of tribal society. This research institute is going to be the backbone of tribal development for the next 25 years.
Shri Amit Shah said from the very beginning, Prime Minister Modi has laid great emphasis on research institutes and mass education. The budget for this was Rs. 7 crore in the year 2014 during the time of the previous government, which was increased to Rs. 150 crore in the Budget of 2022. The foundation for any development should be solid and the foundation of development plans can be strengthened only by removing shortcomings, devising policy and implementing it. He said the number of approved tribal research institutes have been increased to 27. 49 establishments are today certified as Centers of Excellence. Tribal public representatives, NGOs working in tribal areas and research institutes should make good use of them to improve the health of tribals, to solve lack of nutrition, to overcome traditional diseases and to respect tribals, so that they can become self sufficient. Such things can be moved forward only from this institute and Center for Excellence.
The Union Home Minister said Shri Narendra Modi realized in 2014 that tribal policies at the national level do not represent all the tribes of the country. Many disputes are also pending for years on the issues of tribal heritage, which are also necessary to be settled and a knowledge bank should also be created on tribal issues. Keeping all these in mind, this institute was conceived and which has been completed today at a cost of about Rs. 10 crore. He said this research institute would provide policy inputs to the Government and would also act as a national nodal agency. National Knowledge Center for the conservation and promotion of cultural heritage would also be set up here, and will also provide solutions to tribal issues in the academic, executive and legislative spheres.
Shri Shah said the government led by Shri Modi has done much work for the respect of tribals. Shri Narendra Modi has given glory to the tribal leaders who have been rejected and forgotten in many States. Be it the Khasi-Garo movement, the Mizo movement, the Manipur movement, the bravery of Veer Durgavati or the sacrifice of Rani Kamlavati, the Modi government has glorified all of them. We have also decided to celebrate Adivasi Tribal Pride Day by associating with Lord Birsa Munda. We are also building 10 museums at a cost of about Rs. 200 crore.
Shri Amit Shah said several problems related to tribals in North-East, Left Wing Extremism affected areas and Jammu & Kashmir were pending in the Ministry of Home Affairs, which gradually turned into law and order situations. Shri Modi has taken many steps one after the other in the North East after 2019. We have signed agreements with many tribes and today we have lifted the AFSPA from more than 66 percent of the North East area and restored peace. In the eight years of the previous government from 2006 to 2014, there were 8,700 incidents in the North East by counting small incidents, whereas in the 8 years of Shri Narendra Modi’s government, these incidents have come down by about 70 percent. Earlier 304 security personnel died in which now there is a 60 percent reduction, the civilian death toll has also come down by 83 percent compared to earlier and one can imagine how big a change has come in the North East. He said that development takes place in an area where there is peace, whether it is Left Wing Extremism affected areas or the North East, which is mainly inhabited tribes. A safe North East and safe Left Wing Extremism-prone areas of Central India will pave the way for tribal welfare.
The Union Home Minister said there was a budget of Rs. 278 crore for Eklavya School, which was increased to Rs. 1,418 crore in this year’s Budget. Tribal children have the best ability to win medals in the Olympics as physical activity is part of their tradition. They only have to be explained and made aware about the rules of a sport, and given practice, training and a platform. They are natural sportspersons. We have made special arrangements to prepare players in these Eklavya schools. Earlier Rs. 42,000 was spent on a student but now Rs. 1,09,000 is spent. This tells that how closely the government led by Shri Narendra Modi analyses issues and understands the soul of a plan that it takes in hand, and attempts to fulfill it. He said that today the maximum number of tribal MPs belong to our Party and it is Shri Narendra Modi who has the pride of giving minister ship to the highest number of tribal legislators and making policies for tribals. We have also increased the scholarship amount significantly. In 2014, Rs. 978 crore was spent and now Rs. 2,546 crore is being spent. No one else could have done this except Shri Narendra Modi and in 2014 Rs. 21,000 crore was allocated for tribal schemes which was increased to Rs. 86,000 crore in 2021-22 and 93 percent of it was also spent. Previous governments used to talk about tribal welfare, but tribals did not have water, toilets, health cards, or a housing scheme, they did not have the Kisan Samman Nidhi in their house. Talking about today, under the Jal Jeevan Mission, water has reached 1.28 crore tribal houses under the Har Ghar Jal Yojana, 1.45 crore tribals have toilets in their homes, 82 lakh tribal families have been given Ayushman cards, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana houses were provided to more than 40 lakh tribal families and about 30 lakh tribal farmers are getting the benefit of this in the Kisan Samman Nidhi. Shri Narendra Modi has closely monitored all these schemes and brought them to the ground for implementation. He said that Shri Modi has done this for tribal welfare in 8 years, and he has full faith that after the completion of this research centre, for the first time in a structural way, welfare of tribals in the country will be looked after, by accommodating even the smallest tribes.