The Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA), Government of India (GoI), in collaboration with National Tribal Research Institute, New Delhi, KISS Deemed-to-be University (KISS-DU), Odisha, and SCSTRTI, Government of Odisha, organized a two-day workshop on National Talent Pool Conclave on 23rd and 24th September 2021. The program aimed to develop tribal scholars’ cognitive and scholastic abilities by providing them an environment of learning, support, contribution, and recognition and enabling them to hone their research and entrepreneurship skills. Research supervisors, academicians and scholars from across the country attended this virtual event.

Speaking at the conclave, Shri Bishweswar Tudu, Hon’ble Minister of State, Tribal Affairs, Govt. of India threw light on the talent of the Tribals for dance, handicrafts, folklore, sports, and songs. He held that these forms of culture should be nurtured and relevant skills should be developed besides imparting quality formal education. Promotion of patriotic values and sentiments among the youth should also be the goal of education, and the State Government, NGOs, and the universities have to work collectively to make ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ a huge success, he added.

Shri. Anil Kumar Jha, Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs expressed his satisfaction that ‘National Tribal Talent Pool Conclave’ is an important initiative of the Ministry that strives to provide a national platform for the Tribal research scholars and showcase their achievements and knowledge that has utility in the public and private sectors. Delivering the welcome address, Dr Navaljit Kapoor, Joint Secretary, MoTA, Govt. of India introduced underlined the works of the National Fellowship for Scheduled Tribe Students (NFST). He informed that nearly seven hundred and fifty students had been selected for this scholarship. Dr Nupur Tiwary, Special Director, National Tribal Research Institute (NTRI) spoke on ‘National Perspective on Tribal Talent Pool and Capacity Building.’ She stressed the need for contemporary collaborative research and maintaining a tribal data repository.

Shri S. N. Tripathy, DG IIPA and Mentor NTRI emphasized the teachers’ pedagogic capacity building so as to identify problem areas of their students and offer solutions to these problems. He stated that the Tribal Talent Pool should play the role of the think-tank of the Ministry and to help conserve the cultural values and traditions of Tribal communities. Professor A. B. Ota spoke on ‘TRIs and their role with Tribal Scholars for Tribal Development.’ TRIs are doing the handholding work whereby each scholar has a mentor and library membership, he said.

Four technical sessions on ‘Research Methodology in Social Sciences’, ‘Ethnographic Fieldwork’, ‘Hands-on Training in Statistical Tools and Plagiarism Software’ and ‘How to Formulate Research Proposal, Frame Work, Analyse Data, and Write Report’ were taken by Professor K. K. Misra, former Vice-Chancellor, Utkal University of Culture, Bhubaneswar; Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice-Chancellor, KISS-DU; Dr. Prafulla Swain, Associate Professor of Statistics, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar; and Professor D. R. Sahu, Professor of Sociology, Lucknow University respectively.

Speaking at the valedictory session, Dr. R. Jaya, Joint Secretary, MoTA, Govt of India advised the scholars to complete their research work in time and contribute to their community. Dr. Prashanta Kumar Routray, Registrar, KISS-DU and Dr. Iswar Chandra Naik, Dean also spoke on the occasion. Dr. Nupur Tiwary, Special Director, IIPA proposed the vote of thanks.