About the Centre of Excellence

   The Centre of Excellence in Studies on Tribal & Marginalized Communities (CoE in STMC) is a World Bank – Odisha Higher Education Programme for Equity and Excellence (WB-OHEPEE) supported Centre established by Utkal University to carry out socially relevant research pertaining to society, culture, health and livelihood challenges among the tribal and marginalized communities in an inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional framework. It has been working on three cross-cutting themes such as the following, focusing on 13 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs), (1) Documenting and Revisiting Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Odishan Tribes, (2) Understanding the Changing Scenario of Tribal Health, Nutrition & Livelihood, and (3) Understanding the changing perspectives of ethnomedicinal practices and development programmes in the context of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


To become a leading Centre of Excellence engaged in promotion of research and extension activities relating tribal and marginalized communities.

  • To engage in basic research and socially relevant extension activities on emerging areas of culture, society and health of the tribal and marginalized communities.
  • To play an important role in understanding, documentation, conservation and promotion of tangible and intangible cultural heritages of tribal and marginalized communities that would bring positive changes in their lives.
Major Goals
  • To study the socio-economic profile & ethnographic account of tangible and intangible cultural heritages of 13 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs), and to document their dying heritages.
  • To make a critical study of Nutritional Health and Maternal & Child Health, status of the PVTGs
  • Based on ethno-healing practices, to prepare an inventory of ethno-medicinal plants and to undertake their pharmacological characterization study.

Basic Framework of the Centre: Inter-disciplinary & Inter-institutional

Inter-disciplinary: (8 Departments from 4 schools participating), namely; Social Sciences – Anthropology, Economics, Sociology & Psychology; Humanities – Odia; Life Sciences – Biotechnology & Botany; and Pharmaceutical Sciences – Pharmacy

Inter-Institutional: Collaborative mode of research with other universities/research organizations such as; SCSTRTI (Scheduled Caste & Scheduled Tribe Research Institute), Bhubaneswar, RMRC-ICMR (on Nutritional Health); KIMS (on Mental Health); Centurian University (on Ethno-Botany).

Organizational Setup

Coordinator: Dr. Prasanna Kumar Patra, Associate Professor, P.G. Dept. of Anthropology, Utkal University

Co-coordinator: Dr. Suresh Chandra Murmu, Associate Professor, P.G. Dept. of Anthropology, Utkal University

Mentor: Prof. Kamal K. Misra, Former Vice Chancellor, Utkal University of Culture, Bhubaneswar

Research Staffs

Post Doctoral Fellow

  • Dr. Binoy Kumar Kuiti
  • Dr. Madhusmita Sahoo

Ethnographic Data Collection from 10 PVTGs of Odisha

PVTG Community & District

Issues Covered

Sample size

(PVTG Household / Individuals covered)

Data collection completed on 10 PVTGs such as:

Bonda  & Didayi from Malkangiri, Dongria Kondh from Rayagada, Hill Khadia, Lodha and Mankidia / Birhor from Mayurbhanj, Juang from Kendujhar, Kutia Kondh from  Kandhamal, Lanjia Saora from Gajapati and Paudi Bhuiyan from   Deogarh districts

Socio-economic profile  & Ethnographic account

2051     Households

Nutritional Anthropometry,

4567     Individuals

Maternal & Child Health

1272     Ever-married women

Adolescent Health

325       Adolescent boys & girls

Health seeking behavior

1137     Individuals

Linguistic study

19         Individuals

New Social Engineering Product if any

·PVTG Development Index: Work in progress to develop a parameter-based PVTG Development Index for policy module and intervention-based development.
                                                                                                                                      Manpower trained

24 PG, 5 M.Phil and 3 Ph.D students (including 2 from PVTGs) have been given training on various aspects of social science research data collection, analysis and article writing on PVTGs. 3 early-researchers got publication support.
                                                                                                                                     Extension work done

Community health check-up (Blood pressure, Blood glucose level & Lipid profile) done, result shared with villagers and counseling provided.
Career counseling provided to high school students, about after-school career paths.
                                                                                                                                     Facilities Created

  • Infrastructure Created and Manpower:

(1)Laboratory Facilities:

  • Nutritional Anthropometry & Physiology Laboratory: located at PG Department of Anthropology. Instruments available: Anthropometric rod, Stadiometer, Blood Lipid Analyzer, Karada Scan, Spirometer, Infantometer, Haemoglobinometer, etc.
  • Phyto-chemistry Laboratory: Location: Central Instrumentation Facility Building (1st floor), Utkal University. Instruments available: UV Spectrophotometer, Binocular Microscope, pH Meter, Manual Capsule filling machine, Hot-air oven, Water bath with LID etc.,
  • Others: Video Conferencing Facility, Meeting Hall, Research Office Facility