Madhya Pradesh has the largest. Tribal population of all the states. The rich diversity in the tribal communities, spread over in various parts of the state, is clearly seen not only in matters of lifestyle and cultural traditions, but also in social and economic structure, religious beliefs, language and speech, customs et cetera. Due to the varied socio-cultural and geographical environment and its parameters, the diverse tribal world of Madhya Pradesh not only has been largely cut-off from the mainstream of development but has, on this account, also been a cause of concern and special effort for the central and State Governments since Independence.
After Independence, special arrangements were made for the upliftment of the Scheduled Tribes. The foundation of the Tribal Research and Welfare Institute at Chhindwara, M.P. on 20th April 1954, under the Department of Tribal Welfare in Madhya Pradesh, was part of the Impetus in this direction. Subsequently the Institute was shifted to Bhopal, the capital of the state of M.P.