Keeping in view its Constitutional obligations and the issues that are now critical, after almost half a century of independence, for the overall development and mainstreaming of the Scheduled Tribes, the present Commission, constituted in February, 2004 has adopted a more vigorous approach in its functioning. The meetings of the Commission are held regularly and the implementation of decisions taken is monitored keenly.
In order to monitor and evaluate the impact of development schemes, the Commission has decided to interact with the State/UT Governments more actively by holding State level review meetings with the Chief Secretaries and other senior officers and conducting field level visits. The Commission feels that as a result of these visits and meetings, the State/UT Governments will become more conscious of the genuine problems of the Scheduled Tribes and would take the necessary initiative in working out remedial measures and adopting appropriate strategies.
The Commission, through its Headquarters and State Offices has also conducted field level inquiries and studies. This process has been given a renewed vigour with a view to ensure prompt relief, specially in matters, relating to crimes and atrocities on Scheduled Tribes and the grant of development benefits.
The procedure for investigating into complaints, especially with reference to violation of service safeguards, has also been streamlined to ensure prompt and speedy disposal of cases and relief in genuine cases. By calling officers and concerned Liaison Officers to the Commission with all relevant records, many long pending cases are being decided in one or two sittings. The Commission has also used its powers of Civil Court to summon documents and enforcing attendance in conducting the inquiries.
The Commission is of the view that it is only through proper planning and effective implementation of appropriate schemes for development that the Scheduled Tribes can hope to catch up with the rest of the population and realize their full potential. The Commission has, thus, made a beginning by actively associating itself and participating in the planning process at the National and State levels. Regular communication is being maintained with the Planning Commission, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the State/UT Governments. The Annual Plans of the Central Ministries, States and UT Governments are being analysed in the Commission to this end with the support of its State Offices.