1. To empower tribal youth to achieve their full potential and enable them prepared for meeting the skilled manpower requirements of the Country by imparting appropriate skill training in consonance with the local/national/global standards.
  2. To design and offer various skill-based and career-oriented short-term certificate, diploma, graduate and post graduate courses for tribal students and non-student drop-outs and unemployed tribal youth
  3. To establish a study centre of The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) exclusively to offer various certificate and diploma programmes for the tribal students, youth, and school drop-outs.
  4. To design and offer various skill-based and career-oriented short-term certificate, diploma, graduate courses for tribal non-student drop-outs and unemployed tribal youth through NIOS
  5. To create employment opportunities for the tribal youth who are undergoing various courses through on-campus programmes
  6. To organise on/off campus awareness programmes for tribal youth on employment opportunities, entrepreneurship skill and life skill development.

The Context

The Integrated Rural, Tribal Development and Management (IRTDM) was conceptualised and established as per the strong belief of Swami Vivekananda that through empowering the poor and illiterate masses of India through right type of education, an awakened and rejuvenated India would emerge. The important role of IRTDM is to offer Continuing Education up to doctoral programmes , Extension and Field Outreach, with the philosophy of continuing education as part of total education programme of the institution; integration of formal and non-formal education and out-of-school learning process; reaching out to the larger sections of tribal students and youth through university system with the purpose of equalisation of educational opportunities by offering on-campus and off-campus programmes.

The Practice

In respectful deference and in a humble attempt to actualize the above exhortation by Swami Vivekananda, this University in his hallowed name is trying to bring the tribal students to the mainstream of education thereby empowering them to stand on their feet as Swami Vivekananda envisaged. For it was Swami Vivekananda’s firm view that the problems of the masses and women cannot and should not be attempted to be solved by self-appointed good Samaritans, but should be solved by the masses and women by themselves having been empowered and enlightened through right type of education. Swami Vivekananda’s following words spoken about women in particular applies equally to the masses and elucidate this point emphatically about allowing them to solve their own problems in their own way being empowered by the right type of education.

Under the School of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ranchi ‘Off-Campus’ Centre of this University is devoted to the Faculty of ‘Integrated Rural & Tribal Development and Management (IRTDM)’ which runs a 5-year integrated (B.Sc.+M.Sc.) course in IRTDM, to empower the tribal students of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh to get into the main stream of education. The students from Chhattisgarh join this integrated 5-year M.Sc. course at the Ranchi Faculty Centre after they pass their Plus Two examination from the Ramakrishna Mission Centre at Narainpur in Bastar District in the State of Chhattisgarh which has been designated at the most primitive tribe in India. The Ramakrishna Mission School at Narainpur gives them education from the primary level up to Plus Two level and they become the feeder students to the Ranchi Faculty Centre of the University for the integrated 5-year M.Sc. course in IRTDM. All of them are first generation learners and after an excellent education at the Narainpur School up to Plus Two along the lines that Swami Vivekananda envisioned, these boys come over to our University at the Ranchi Faculty Centre for their M.Sc. course and after five years of study, these boys along with their other friends, both tribals and non-tribals, get placed in very respectable position, some of them work in their own respective villages to help increase their farmer-father’s income through technology and knowledge knowhow inputs, some of them become entrepreneurs (job givers rather than job seekers!) and so on.

Evidence of Success

Besides developing knowledge and skills through various academic programmes in IRTDM, the tribal youth are also expected to develop various skills in the areas like Experiential Learning, Decision Making, Team Work, Professional Development, and Self-employment.

In appreciation of its success, the IRTDM has been empanelled by the State Govt of Jharkand through an MoU for continuous financial support by the Department of Agriculture for empowering the tribal youth by imparting training on Employment, Entrepreneurship, and life skills. The IRTDM initiative plays a leading role in the socio-economic development of tribal youth in general and unemployed rural youth in particular in making them skilled, value-based, and good citizens of our country.

As a note of optimism, there is a greater demand for career opportunities in sectors like construction, agriculture and allied activities in the State of Jharkhand, like Jharkhand State Livelihood Mission, Watershed Development Project, Jharkhand Women Development Mission, etc., when compared to the demand for these occupations in most other states of our country.

We consider the above activity, that is, empowering the tribal and rural masses through education, most of it free of cost or highly subsidized, along the lines and in the light of Swami Vivekananda’s powerful educational thoughts on this subject, as one of the best practices of this University and our success story over the decade gained through enormous struggle, through the ‘blood, toil, tears and sweat’ of the dedicated Team-University.

Problems Encountered and Resources Required

  1. Lack of initiatives for employability to the Tribal youth.
  2. Lack of funding turns to be one of the common reasons, if available, more start-ups shall be initiated related to employment and skill development
  3. There has been a decline in work force participation rate for all age groups in tribal areas irrespective of gender and spatial distinction.
  4. Absence of job opportunities in the tribal areas due to socio-cultural issues.
  5. Building and sustaining competencies of the tribal youth for future employment opportunities.
  6. Mobilizing the tribal youth for vocational education / skill development is difficult due to lack of willingness to migrate, inability to pay for training, low literacy level, lack of awareness, among others.
  7. Requirement of trained personnel and professional for establishing sustained human resource development.

See also Empowering Youth through Education and Skill (EYES)