The Ministry was set up in 1999 after the bifurcation of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment with the objective of providing more focused approach on the integrated socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes (STs), the most underprivileged of the Indian Society, in a coordinated and planned manner. Before the formation of the Ministry, tribal affairs were handled by different Ministries at different points in time
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is the nodal Ministry for overall policy, planning and coordination of programmes for development of ST’s. To this end, Ministry of Tribal Affairs has undertaken activities that follow from the subjects allocated under the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 and amendment(s) thereafter. The subjects allocated to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs are as under:
It covers all tribal people and all areas with tribal population across the country.
Note: The Ministry of Tribal Affairs shall be the nodal Ministry for overall policy, planning and coordination of programmes of development for the Scheduled Tribes. In regard to sectoral programmes and schemes of development of these communities policy, planning, monitoring, evaluation etc. as also their coordination will be the responsibility of the concerned Central Ministries/ Departments, State Governments and Union Territory Administrations. Each Central Ministry/Department will be the nodal Ministry or Department concerning its sector.
The programmes and schemes of the Ministry are intended to support and supplement, through financial assistance, the efforts primarily of other Central Ministries, the State Governments and partly of voluntary organizations, and to fill critical gaps in institutions and programmes taking into account the situation of STs. The primary responsibility for promoting the interests of Scheduled Tribes rests with all the Central Ministries. The Ministry supplements their efforts by way of various developmental interventions in critical sectors through specially tailored schemes. These, comprising schemes for economic, educational and social development and through institution building are administered by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and implemented mainly through the State Governments/ Union Territory Administrations.
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is functioning under the overall guidance of the Union Minister of Tribal Affairs and assisted by a Minister of State. The administrative head of Ministry is Secretary who is assisted by two Joint Secretaries, one Deputy Director General and two Economic Advisors. Financial Advisor has been assisting Ministry in the internal finance and budget matters. The chief Controller of Accounts helps in budget/expenditure control. The Ministry is organized into Divisions/ Branches and Sections/units. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has a sanctioned strength of 139 employees with a working strength of 110 officials. There are 45 Group A posts, 59 Group B posts (Gazetted/non-Gazetted), 35 Group C posts, which includes 16 formerly Group D posts which have now become Group C posts as per Sixth Central Pay Commissions recommendations.
The Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) in the Ministry provides assistance to the Secretary of the Ministry in all matters pertaining to vigilance and acts as a link between the Ministry and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). The CVO looks after the vigilance work in addition to his normal duties as Joint Secretary (Administration) in the Ministry. One Deputy Secretary assists the CVO in discharging his functions. The Ministry celebrates ‘Vigilance Awareness Week’ every year. Joint Secretary & CVO, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Deputy Director General (DDG), Ministry of Tribal Affairs, administers the pledge to the Officers and staff of the Ministry located in Shastri Bhawan and August Kranti Bhawan respectively.
Public Grievance Redressal Mechanism
Deputy Director General Statistics has been designated as Director of Grievances in the Ministry. The details of Director of Grievances such as Room Number, telephone number, etc. have been widely circulated. The Director of Grievances also holds regular meetings with Officers/staff and hear problems and grievances in person. The public grievances are also being monitored through online (CPGRAMS). Public grievances received online through DARPG, President Secretariat etc. are also being attended/ monitored.
Parliamentary Committees and the Ministry
The Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment takes evidence of the representatives of the Ministry every year, in connection with the examination of the Demands for Grants of the Ministry. In addition Consultative Committee Meetings under chairmanship of Minister of Tribal Affairs are held once in a quarter on different subjects.
Progressive Use of Hindi
Hindi being the official language of the Union, Ministry is actively involved in encouraging the use of Hindi in official work. The Hindi Section looks after the work of translation and deals with the Official Language Policy and the Official Language Act. It also monitors the progressive use of Hindi in official work in organizations under the Ministry. Most of the officers and staff have proficiency or working knowledge of Hindi.
Continuous efforts are made to achieve the targets fixed by the Department of Official Language in the Annual Programme , for correspondence in Hindi with various offices/regions etc. All the letters received in Hindi are being replied to in Hindi only. During the period of this Report, most of the original letters to ‘A’ and ‘B’ regions were sent in Hindi. All administrative and other reports are being made bilingually. All rubber stamps and printed stationery have also been made in Hindi and English. Section 3(3) of the Official Languages Act is being complied with by the Ministry. In order to remove hesitation of officers/ employees of the Ministry in doing official work in Hindi, Hindi workshops were organized during the year. Inspections were also carried out to review the use of Hindi in official work Sections and two organizations under Ministry. Hindi Salahkar Samiti has been reconstituted in the Ministry to promote the use of Hindi in the official work.
Hindi fortnight is organized in the Ministry during the month of September, every year. During this fortnight, activities and competitions like Hindi noting and drafting, Hindi essay writing, typing and shrutilekh were organized. Officers and other employees of the Ministry enthusiastically participated in these competitions.