History

Christened as Tribal Research Bureau (TRB), the present SCSTRTI Bhubaneswar, was set up on July 8, T952. If started as a Semi-Official Body with two Research Scholars who worked under the guidance of Dr. DuttaMazumdar, a distinguished Anthropologist, the then Deputy Secretary to Government, Commerce and Labour Department. As a constitutional obligation under Article 164 on July 13, 1953, vide Government Resolution No.576/TRW dated 14.7.1953, a Semi-Official Body was constituted formally with the following:

  1. Minister, Tribal & Rural Welfare, Chairman
  2. Dr. Dutta-Mazumdar, Dy Secretary, Commerce 8. Labour Dept. Secretary
  3. Professor Nirmal Kumar Bose, Calcutta University, Member
  4. Srimati Malati Chowdhury, eminent Social Worker, Angul, Member
  5. Shri P.C. Bhanj Deo, Member, Council of State, Member
  6. Nityananda Patnaik and Lakshman Kumar Mahapatra, Research Scholars having M.Sc./M.A. degree in Anthropology, Members

The main objective of setting up the Institute was to conduct studies on the problems of the tribal communities of Odisha and to serve as a centre for providing data and advisory services to Government on the problems of the Scheduled Tribes and the Scheduled Castes.

In 1955, the TRB attained the official status of a Bureau with the appointment of one anthropologist as Assistant Director of Research and the Secretary of the Tribal & Rural Welfare Department functioning as the Ex-Officio Director. The Research Scholars were re-designated later as Research Officers.

ln 1960, the Bureau was constituted as a separate unit under the administrative and technical management of the Assistant Director (Research) subject to the general control and supervision of the Ex-Officio Director it functioned in an office building of its own located in between the state museum and  and BJB College. The technical and non-technical staff of the Bureau got considerably strengthened to cope up with its expanded activities.

In 1961close relationship with the Department of Anthropology, Utkal University was established with the appointment of Dr. A. Aiyappan Professor of Anthropology as the Honorary Director of the Bureau who was later re-designated as Honorary Advisor of TRB. As per the recommendation of the  TRB Advisory Board under the Chairmanship of the Chief Minister, Odisha, a post of Deputy Director (Research) was created in 1963 and the Government gradually adopted the policy of according the Bureau the status of a full-fledged Directorate.

After the recommendations of Dhebar Commission were made available, the scope of the Bureau was further expanded to cope up with ' situations and 3 posts of Research Assistants and 14 posts of the changing  Investigators were created and filled up in 1964. As it was needed for further enhancement of staff due to increased workload another Assistant Director, 2 Research Officers, l Junior Statistician, 4 Research Assistants, 8 Investigators, 4 Tabulators and other clerical and class-IV staff were recruited.

To expand its activities to the core tribal area of the state i.e., the erstwhile 3 districts namely Phulbani, Koraput and Ganjam, the second centre of TRB started functioning at Phulbani in T965. The Bureau at Phulbani  functioned for little more than a year and after the Assistant Director of the Bureau was promoted and appointed as the Principal, Tribal Orientation Training Centre at Machhkund in Koraput district, it was shifted to Bhubaneswar and both centers were merged into one vide letter No. TRB l2/66-l 4556/TRW dated 24.6.67.

Later it was decided to integrate the Tribal Research Bureau and Tribal Orientation Training Centre shifted from Machhkund to Bhubaneswar under a technically qualified Deputy Director at Bhubaneswar, and finally they were amalgamated vide Resolution No. 23674/TRW dated 10.10.1972, and Tribal and Harijan Research-cum-Training Institute (THRTI) came into being. Dr. N. Patnaik, an anthropologist, joined as the first regular Director of this Institute on 6.5.1976 vide notification No. l 5137/TRW Dated 6.5.1976. By that time while the THRTl's Research Wing functioned in the BJB College area, its Training Wing functioned in a new building built in a 12+ Acre plot located besides the National Highway in CRPF Square of Nayapali area of Bhubaneswar.

The burgeoning activities under the auspices of the tribal development programmes in Fifth Five Year Plan increased the responsibility of the Institute which led to its exponential growth. Vide Government Resolution No.21634/TRW dated 5.8.1978, the entire TSP area of the State of Odisha was covered under 6 zones and the research staff of the Institute were posted at Zonal headquarters, viz. Baliguda, Jeypore, Gunupur, Sundargarh, Keonjhar and Baripada to conduct the Universal Bench Mark Survey (UBMS). Besides, the research staff of THRTI undertook studies on Regional Planning and took up Evaluation and Monitoring of Development Schemes (vide Government Resolution No. 21634/ TRW dated 5.8.1978). Later, in 1981 the research staff was withdrawn to the headquarters at Bhubaneswarto undertake the tabulation of UBMS data and other important assignments relating to tribal development under the newly introduced Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) Approach.

By this time, the State Government has conferred the powers of "the Heads of Department" to its Director in 1980. ln 1986, the Research Wing of the Institute was shifted to its Training Wing in CRPF Square and both the wings functioned together underthe Director, Dr. N. Patnaik.

Consequent upon the instructions issued by Ministry of Welfare, Government of India, in their D.O. No.12025/14/90-SCD (R/Cell), dated 16.8.1990, communicated vide Notification No. 38125/W, dated 31.12.1994 of Welfare Department of Orissa, Tribal and Harijan Research-cum-Training Institute (THRTI) was renamed as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Research and Training Institute (SCSTRTI).

The state of Odisha has 62 ethnic groups enlisted as the “Scheduled Tribes”, 91ethnic groups as the “Scheduled Castes” and more than 100 ethnic groups including religious groups, like the Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain etc. styled as “Other Castes” spread across the length and breadth of the state.

Among them the Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Scheduled Castes (SC) constitute a sizeable chunk of the population of the State. Only next to M.P and Maharashtra this state consists of the largest tribal population in the country. While as per 2011 Census, the Scheduled Tribe communities numbering 95, 90, 756 persons account for 22.85% of the total population of the state and 9.17% of the total tribal population of the country, the Scheduled Caste communities numbering 71, 88, 463 persons account for 17.13% of the total population of the state and 3.57% of the total SC population of the country. Thus the Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Scheduled Castes (SC) constitute 40% of the total population of the state. 
The tribal people of Odisha express their cultural identity and distinctiveness in their social organization, language, demography, rituals and festivals and also in their dress, ornaments, art, crafts and other folk traditions. Each tribal community has distinctive characteristic features reflected in their social, economic, political and religious sub-systems. Each possesses its own unique culture which differentiates one from the other.

Since the good old days, the Scheduled Castes have remained an integral part of the society in the state of Odisha. Most of them live in rural areas and social discrimination as well as economic exploitation remains their most acute problem. They also suffer from rigid caste based hierarchy among themselves.

In the pre-independent times, the STs and SCs were neglected and discriminated for which they suffered from backwardness and deprivation. After independence their plight was duly considered by the democratic welfare state and special provisions and safeguards were made in the constitution of India in their favour. By the policy of reservation in independent India, the “Scheduled Castes” and "Scheduled Tribes” now enjoy a special Constitutional status that entitles them to several benefits of protection, promotion, welfare and development. These benefits are being ensured by a host of legislation, policies and programmes, which have been implemented in the fields of education, employment, public representation, socio-economic discrimination and exploitation. The special provisions and safeguards incorporated in the Constitution of India for the Backward Classes, especially for the SCs and STs, are meant to ensure their systematic and faster development and also to protect them against all forms of injustice and exploitation.

After adoption of Indian Constitution in 1950, the Union Government decided to set up Tribal Research Institutes (TRI) in tribal dominated states to conduct research and HRD programmes for documentation and dissemination of pristine tribal and dalit cultures, study their problems and provide data and advisory services for their welfare and development. Then the first TRI of the country took birth in the State of Odisha.

Tribes

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