Indira Gandhi National Tribal University Amarkantak – Madhya Pradesh

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The tribal people are rich in cultural heritage and skill of art and craft but they are still marginalized in respect to higher education as well as in other walks of life.

Now in the present age of globalization the world has shrunk into a village as the society has advanced in technology. But the tribes, who are the custodians of Indian culture in real sense, are far behind in this race of advancement. In order to rescue them from the present plight, the university has put before itself the following aims and objectives […]

In view of the aims and objectives of the university the major thrust will be on providing more opportunity for the tribes. However, the university is open to all.

Source: Indira Gandhi National Tribal University Amarkantak (Madhya Pradesh)
Address :
Date Visited: Tue Aug 23 2011 14:02:52 GMT+0200 (CEST) 

The objects of the University shall be,—
(i) to provide avenues of higher education and research facilities primarily for the tribal population of India;
(ii) to disseminate and advance knowledge by providing instructional and research facilities in tribal art, culture, tradition, language, medicinal systems, customs, forest based economic activities, flora, fauna and advancement in technologies relating to the natural resources of the tribal areas;
(iii) to collaborate with national and international universities or organisations, specially for undertaking cultural studies and research on tribal populations;
(iv) to formulate tribal centric development models, publish reports and monographs; and to organise conferences, seminars on issues relating to tribes; and to provide inputs to policy matters in different spheres;
(v) to take appropriate measures for promoting, the members of tribal communities capable of managing, administering and looking after their own needs by access to higher education through a University of their own;
(vi) to disseminate and advance knowledge by providing instructional and research facilities in such other branches of learning as it may deem fit;
(vii) to take appropriate measures for promoting innovations in teaching-learning processes in inter-disciplinary studies and research; and to pay special attention to the improvement of the social, educational and economic conditions and welfare of the Scheduled Tribes within the Union of India, their intellectual, academic and cultural development.

Date Visited: 18 June 2022

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[…] The idea of a tribal university was first mooted in 2005 by Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik, and accepted, in principle by Arjun.

Several north-eastern states and Jharkhand were also interested in receiving the university.

But the picturesque town of Amarkantak — where the Vindhyas and the Satpuras meet, and the Narmada and Sone rivers are born — was picked for the project, bringing Arjun’s home state, Madhya Pradesh, the project.

Classes in select subjects started last year from a temporary campus. The HRD ministry has decided on opening campuses of the tribal university in other parts of the country, but is keen on keeping the headquarters in Amarkantak.

Source: “Sadhus in tribal varsity tug of war”, The Telegraph, 8 February 2009
Address :
Date Visited: Tue Aug 23 2011 14:14:34 GMT+0200 (CEST)

[…] When Chamru Singh Banjara, son of a construction labourer from the Gond community, first enrolled at the university, he told his teachers that he would have been a daily wage earner with his parents at the upcoming Jain temple in town if it weren’t for the university.

“My parents can’t afford to send me elsewhere for education. They can hardly manage to feed my four siblings,” he says.

Today, Banjara ranks among the top five scorers at the varsity, and joins his parents every Sunday for work. “I build temporary shelters for construction labourers at the temple site and earn Rs 70 a week,” he says. He uses the money to buy himself notebooks and pens. […]

In its first year, the university admitted 282 students, 171 of them tribals like Banjara, for courses in arts, commerce and business administration. This year, 132 tribals have been admitted so far.

These tribal children are the leaders. The only problem they face is with finances, due to which they aren’t able to reach their optimum level of performance. Some of the students cannot even buy food,” says Janaki Prasad, lecturer in geography. […]

The statistics challenging his newly assigned role were grim. After more than six decades of Independence, only 6.61% of students from tribal communities in India have access to higher education.

That’s half the number that goes to colleges from non-tribal communities. In the case of girls, the gross enrolment ratio, a statistical measure used in the education sector to indicate the level of education at the primary, secondary, and/or tertiary levels, falls further to a mere 4.69%.

University officials had to literally go door-to-door to invite applications, since Amarkantak has no newspaper editions and the lone Raipur edition of Dainik Bhaskar, a Hindi daily, reaches the town only by late afternoon. Singh’s students from Reva university in and around Amarkantak distributed pamphlets and held street workshops to spread the word. […]

Source: India’s first tribal university faces government apathy, 04 September 2009
Address :
Date Visited: Tue Aug 23 2011 14:26:20 GMT+0200 (CEST)

The smart boy or clever girl who is deprived of the opportunity of schooling, or who goes to a school with dismal facilities (not to mention the high incidence of absentee teachers), not only loses the opportunities he or she could have had, but also adds to the massive waste of talent that is a characteristic of the life of our country.

Nobel Awardee Amartya Sen in The Argumentative Indian (Penguin Books, 2005), p. 344 | Find this and other books published in India | Tribal Children’s Right to Education | Video documentary on the Lifeworld of an Enlightened Villager | Related posts: Childhood | Childrens rights by UNICEF India >>

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See also

India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with a kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage. It has achieved all-round socio-economic progress since Independence. As the 7th largest country in the world, India stands apart from the rest of Asia, marked off as it is by mountains and the sea, which give the country a distinct geographical entity. Bounded by the Great Himalayas in the north, it stretches southwards and at the Tropic of Cancer, tapers off into the Indian Ocean between the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west.

Source: States and Union Territories – About India
Date visited: 4 September 2021

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