New Delhi: The Union Minister for Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda, inaugurated the function to celebrate ’16th Foundation Day of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)’ organised by National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST), yesterday. He delivered the keynote address on the occasion. Renuka Singh Saruta, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs was the Guest of Honour. Nand Kumar Sai, Chairman, NCST and members of the Commission and many dignitaries were present.
Delivering keynote address, Munda said that the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) was set up with effect from 19 February 2004, by amending Article 338 and by inserting Article 338A in the Constitution through the Constitution (89th Amendment Act, 2003 which inter-alia enjoins upon the Commission to oversee the implementation of various safeguards provided to Scheduled Tribes under the Constitution or under any other law for time being in force or under any other order to the Government and to evaluate the working of such safeguards.
Munda said that the Commission has been constituted with a great purpose to take care of STs in our country. He opined that there should be a data bank of tribal lands all over the country, NCST should have an independent research team for proper research work. Also, the Commission should have a proper data management system. He assured the full support and cooperation of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in strengthening the NCST.
Nand Kumar Sai, in his address, dwelt upon the many activities and programmes of NCST for the welfare of STs in our country.
Renuka Singh Saruta said that that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee created a separate Ministry of Tribal Affairs in the year 1999 and later on a separate National Commission for Scheduled Tribes was created on 19 February 2004. She said that some states have a State Commission for STs but many states do not have such Commissions for STs. She said that all states should have Commission for STs. She added that the tribal people have contributed a lot in our freedom struggle and nation-building.
The Commission comprises of a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and three full-time members (including one lady member). The term of office Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Members of NCST is three years from the date of assumption of charge. The Chairperson has been given the rank of Union Cabinet Ministries, the Vice Chairperson to have the rank of a Minister of State and other Members have the rank of a Secretary to the Government of India.
At the event, Munda presented awards for exemplary service towards Scheduled Tribes in the country to (i) Western Coalfields Ltd, Nagpur (Rajiv Ranjan Mehra, CMD received the award) and (ii) Individual (Ajay Kumar Jaiswal, Secretary, ASHA, Ranchi received the award).
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