Ms Leena Nair took over the charge of Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs in New Delhi Today. She is an IAS officer of 1982 batch of Tamil Nadu cadre. Before this appointment Leena Nair was serving as Secretary for Ministry of Women and Child Development. The Ministry was set up in 1999 after the bifurcation of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment with the objective of providing more focused approach on the integrated socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes (STs), the most underprivileged of the Indian Society, in a coordinated and planned manner. Before the formation of the Ministry, tribal affairs were handled by different Ministries at different points in time.
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is the nodal Ministry for overall policy, planning and coordination of programmes for development of ST’s. To this end, Ministry of Tribal Affairs has undertaken activities that follow from the subjects allocated under the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961.The programmes and schemes of the Ministry are intended to support and supplement, through financial assistance, the efforts primarily of other Central Ministries, the State Governments and partly of voluntary organizations, and to fill critical gaps in institutions and programmes taking into account the situation of STs. The primary responsibility for promoting the interests of Scheduled Tribes rests with all the Central Ministries. The Ministry supplements their efforts by way of various developmental interventions in critical sectors through specially tailored schemes.