KIRTADS is purely a governmental organization under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Development ministry and functions as a separate Directorate. Its main objective is to carry out research that helps to promote development among the Scheduled Communities in Kerala. It also attempts to identify the needs and problems confronting the marginalized section of the population and suggest recommendations to the government in finding a panacea for their overall development. This was established in the year 1972 as Tribal Research and Training Centre (TR & TC) in a national pattern, which is subsequently got recognized as KIRTADS in 1979 and is working among all the scheduled communities for their development.
The Kerala Institute for Research, Training and Development Studies of Scheduled Castes and Tribes (KIRTADS), is a government organization situated in Chevayur, about seven kilometers from the city. The institute works towards the development of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes by engaging in research and undertaking studies to identify problems faced by these marginalized sections of the society and by suggesting recommendations for their uplift. The three separate wings – Training wing, Research wing and Development Studies wing – work towards conserving tribal history, assist students in research, conduct studies and come out with suggestions and recommendations to address the problems of these weaker sections. The institute also houses a reference library with books on anthropology and sociology, an Ethnological Museum and a Documentation Centre of the Art forms of Scheduled communities. Seminars, meetings and so on are also conducted by KIRTADS regularly and they bring out a newsletter in English. A lot of ethnographic studies and research findings have also been published in both English and Malayalam by KIRTADS.