National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes


National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

On the 89th Amendment of the Constitution coming into force on 19th February 2004, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes has been set up under Article 338A on the bifurcation of the erstwhile National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to oversee the implementation of various safeguards provided to Scheduled Tribes under the Constitution. The Commission comprises a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and three full time Members (including one lady Member). The term of all the Members of the Commission is three years from the date of assumption of charge:


Shri Kunwar Singh                      Chairman

Vacant                                                 Vice Chairman

Shri Lama Lobzang                            Member

Smt. Prem Bai Mandavi                  Member

Shri Buduru Srinivasulu               Member

Duties and functions:

Constitution of India under Article 338A has assigned the following duties and functions to the Commission:


(a)              To investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Tribes under the Constitution or under any other law for the time being in force or under any order of the Government and to evaluate the working of such safeguards;

(b)              To inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the Scheduled Tribes;

(c)              To participate and advise in the planning process of socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any State;

(d)              To present to the President, annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards;

(e)              To make in such reports, recommendations as to the measures that should be taken by the Union or any State for effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes, and

(f)                To discharge such other functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the Scheduled Tribes as the President may, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, by rule specify.


The Commission shall discharge the following other functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the Scheduled Tribes, namely:-


(i)                 Measures that need to be taken over conferring ownership rights in respect of minor forest produce;

(ii)               Measures to be taken to safeguard rights of the tribal communities over mineral resources, water resources, etc. as per law;

(iii)              Measures to be taken for the development of tribals and to work for more viable livelihood strategies;

(iv)             Measures to be taken to improve the efficacy of relief and rehabilitation measures for tribal groups displaced by development projects;

(v)              Measures to be taken to prevent alienation of tribal people from land and to effectively rehabilitate such people in whose case alienation has already taken place;

(vi)             Measures to be taken to elicit maximum cooperation and involvement of tribal communities for protecting forests and undertaking social afforestation;

(vii)           Measures to be taken to ensure full implementation of the Provisions of Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (40 of 1996);

(viii)          Measures to be taken to reduce and ultimately eliminate the practice of shifting cultivation by tribals that lead to their continuous disempowerment and degradation of land and the environment.


Powers of the Commission:

While investigating the matters referred to in sub-clause (a) to inquire into any complaint referred to in sub-clause (b) of clause 5, the Commission have all the powers of a Civil Court trying a suit and in particular in respect of the following matters:


(a)              summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person from any part of India and examining him on oath;

(b)              requiring the discovery and production of any documents;

(c)              receiving evidence on affidavits;

(d)              requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;

(e)              issuing summons/communications for the examination of witnesses and documents;

(f)               any other matter which the President may by rule determine.

Consultation by the Union and State Governments with the Commission:

In accordance with clause 9 of Article 338A of the Constitution, Union and every State Government shall consult the Commission on all major policy matters affecting Scheduled Tribes.


The Commission while investigating matters relating to the safeguards provided under the Constitution monitors the implementation and working of safeguards which include:


a)                 Acting upon Article 23 of the Constitution which prohibits traffic in human beings and forced labour, etc.; in respect of STs

b)                 Prohibition of child labour under Article 24; in respect of STs

c)                 Educational safeguards under Article 15(4) for reservation of seats in educational institutions

d)                 Economic safeguards under Article 244 and working of Fifth and Sixth Schedules and release of grants for raising the level of administration in tribal areas

e)                 To safeguard the distinct language, script or culture under Article 29(i)

f)                   Working of service safeguards provided under Articles 16(4), 16(4A), 16(4B) and 335 providing for adequate representation of Scheduled Tribes in appointments or posts

g)                 Enforcement of various laws such as:


(i)    The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989

(ii)   Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976 (in respect of Scheduled Tribes)

(iii) The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 (in respect of Scheduled Tribes)

(iv)State Acts and Regulations concerning alienation and restoration of land belonging to Scheduled Tribes

(v)  Forest Conservation Act, 1980 (in respect of Scheduled Tribes)

(vi)The Panchayat (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996

(vii)           Minimum Wages Act, 1948 (in respect of Scheduled Tribes)

The working of the Commission:


The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes functions from its Headquarters at New Delhi and from the State Offices of the Commission located in six States.


There are four Wings at Hqrs.


1.                 Administration & Coordination Wing

2.                 Service Safeguards Wing

3.                 Atrocities Wing

4.                 Economic & Social Development Wing

There are 6 State Offices of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes which work as ‘eyes and ears’ of the Commission. They keep a watch on the formulation of policy and issue of guidelines relating to the welfare of Scheduled Tribes in the States/UTs and keep the Commission’s Headquarters informed about the development periodically. Policy decisions taken by any State Government/UT Administration affecting the interests of the Scheduled Tribes are brought to the notice of the concerned authorities for necessary action.

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes



Location, Jurisdiction & Telephone Numbers of the State Offices of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes



Headquarter & Jurisdiction

Designation of the officer-in-charge

Office Telephone Nos.



Orissa, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry

Research Officer


National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, 91, Satyanagar, Bhubaneswar-751007 (Orissa)


Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Goa, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Lakshadweep



0755-2576530 (PC)

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes,

Room No. 309, Nirman Sadan, CGO Building, 52-A, Arera Hills, Bhopal-462011 (M.P.)



Director (Additional Charge)


National Commission for Scheduled Tribes,

C/o Shri Judhishthir Meher, R-26, Sector-2, Avanti Vihar, Post Office Ravigrame, Raipur-492006 (Chhattisgarh)


Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Jammu & Kashmir, Chandigarh and Daman & Diu



0141-2743199 (PC)

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, C-29, Lal Kothi Scheme, Behind SMS Stadium, Pankaj Singhvi Marg, Jaipur-302015 (Rajasthan)


Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura, Nagaland, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim

Assistant Director


0364-2504202 (PC)

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, Temple Road, Lower Lachumire, Shillong-793001


Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh

Research Officer (Additional Charge)



National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, 14, A.G. Co-operative Colony, Kadru, Ranchi-834002 (Jharkhand)



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