Jammu : The Tribal Research Institute, Tribal Affairs Department J&K, in collaboration with the Department of Strategic and Regional Studies (DSRS), University of Jammu, organized a one-day Seminar on “Socio-Cultural Dynamics of Tribal Communities” as part of the Janjatiya Gourav Saptah celebrations. The event took place in the seminar hall of DSRS.
The seminar commenced with the lighting of the lamp and paying tribute by the Chief Guest, Prof. Neelu Rohmetra, Dean of Research Studies at JU and formerly Director of IIM-Sirmaur along with Director DSRS, Prof. Virender Koundal, Janab Musheer Ahmad Mirza, Director of Tribal Affairs Department J&K, Dr. Abdul Khabir, Dy-Director of Tribal Affairs Department, and Dr. Javed Rahi, a prominent writer, among other dignitaries.
Prof. Virender Koundal, Director DSRS, welcomed the Chief Guest, Prof. Neelu Rohmetra, and other dignitaries, introducing the seminar’s theme. Prof. Neelu Rohmetra emphasized the government’s focus on tribal affairs and encouraged research in this area, expecting academia to submit proposals related to the theme for a broad spectrum of research. Dr. Abdul Khabir provided an overview of the Tribal Research Institute and encouraged researchers to submit proposals for grants from the Tribal Affairs Department J&K. Dr. Javed Rahi shared historical insights into tribal matters, discussing colonial governance politics, post-independence government focus on tribal development, and more.
In the second session chaired by Dr. Javed Rahi, four speakers – Dr. Nagina Kousar, Dr. Bhushan Kumar, Dr. Ganesh Malhotra, and Dr. Mohd. Monir Alam – presented their views on the seminar’s theme.
Dr. Nagina Kousar elaborated on the government’s plans to uplift tribal subclans in her presentation. Dr. Bhushan Kumar conducted a comparative study of the semi-nomadic Gaddis of Kathua and Chamba, exploring their occupation patterns and rural-urban migration. Dr. Ganesh Malhotra shed light on the role of Gujjar women in the livestock economy of Jammu and Reasi districts. Lastly, Dr. Mohd. Monir Alam highlighted the exceptional contributions of the tribal Gujjar community to India’s security, emphasizing their role as informants along the LoC and their resilience in the face of militancy.
Director DSRS, Prof. Virender Koundal, concluded the session, honoring the speakers with certificates and mementos. Faculty members, eminent academicians, journalists, civil society members, and students from DSRS attended the seminar. Dr. Mohd. Monir Alam extended the vote of thanks, while Dr. Ganesh Malhotra gracefully conducted the seminar proceedings.