NEW DELHI: There should be a data bank of tribal lands across the country, said Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda on Wednesday. The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) should have an independent research team for conducting full-fledged research and should maintain a data management system, Munda said at the 16th foundation day of the NCST. “The Ministry of Tribal Affairs would give its support in strengthening the Commission.”
Munda also presented awards for ‘exemplary service’ towards Scheduled Tribes community to CPSU – Western Coalfields Ltd. Nagpur and one Ajay Kumar Jaiswal, secretary, ASHA, Ranchi. Currently, several states do not have dedicated commissions for STs and it is important that all states should have state commissions, said Renuka Singh, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs.
The NCST had come into effect on February 19, 2004. The Commission comprises a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and three full-time members. The term of office of chairperson, vice-chairperson and members of NCST is of three years. The Commission’s mandate is to investigate matters relating to the safeguards provided for STs. It is also responsible to inquire in to specific complaints on deprivation of rights of STs. It also participates in the advice and planning process of socio-economic development of people belonging to ST community and evaluating their progress.