The Anthropological Survey of India, Calcutta, attempts to preserve the diverse nature of our culture by orienting its programme to national tasks and by covering major gaps in developing programme of nationwide continuance of anthropological studies of human groups. It conducts researches on biological and cultural aspects of the Indian population with emphasis on tribes and weaker sections of the population. Activities of the Survey also centres round preservation and documentation of the diverse nature of our culture.

Physical Anthropology

The research activities of the Physical Anthropology Division were many and varied. The Mohenjodaro series of skeletal remains were chemically treated for preservation and the skeletal remains excavated from Amirthamangalam (Tamil Nadu) were inventorized. The remains of the Bronze Age people of Kalibangan, Rajasthan, were examined for detecting morbid conditions. Odontometric measurements were obtained from about 600 mandibular molars of the East Indian series in order to examine the relationship between molar size, cusp number, and groove configuration.

The data on age, sex, ethnicity, diseases and disabilities and metric characters including body weight were tabulated and classified. Nine teams of research workers were formed to undertake the final round of field investigations in a number of cities and towns. Studies on growth and development were conducted among the Khasi of Meghalaya, the Karen immigrant, settled in the Andaman Islands, and several population groups of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The data on the eruption of deciduous teeth were analysed. The fertility of Korku women of East Nimar District was studied in relation to their body dimensions and blood groups. Field work on the nutritional anthropometry of the Bhilala of Malwa region, Madhya Pradesh was completed.



Studies were also conducted on the distribution of blood groups, colour vision of deficiency, middle phalangeal hair, PTC taste sensitivity, ABH secretion, and haemoglobin variants among different population groups. Six research teams were deputed to conduct demogenetic field investigations in selected populations of Bihar, Orissa, and West Bengal. Demogentic research was also undertaken on the Maan, Hajong, and Singpho populations of North-east India as well as on three tribes of Rajasthan. Besides, reports were published and scientific papers contributed on different subjects including consanguinity and inbreeding, birth weight and. birth length, nutrients in alcoholic beverages in tribal India, skinfold thickness as an index of nutritional status and infant growth in Lakshadweep.

Cultural Anthropology

(a) Culture Trait and Culture Area Survey

A major All-India project on Culture Trait and Culture Area Survey was conducted on the basis of the data collected by research officers of the Survey and presented at the seminar held at Calcutta from September 13-15, 1979. Altogether 97 participants took part in the seminar through six sessions.

(b) Tribal Education

An All-India project on Tribal Education was undertaken. A total of 21 reports written by research officers were received in the headquarters, and these are being examined for possible publication.

(c)The Survey is continuing the research work on a number, of important topics and projects, such as Area Studies, conducted in Malwa (M.P.), Nicobar Islands, Saurashtra and Kutch; Ethnographic studies on eight tribes distributed in different parts of the country; Programmes and prospects of share-croppers and agricultural labourers in rice-producing areas of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka; and Social Change in Central India.


The Zonal Anthropological Museum, Shillong, has been opened to public. Necessary arrangements have been made to open the Central Museum in Calcutta.



More than 1,100 books and a large number of periodicals on anthropology and allied sciences were added to the central and regional libraries of the Survey.


The Survey published 2 memoirs entitled "Muslims of Calcutta" (second revised edition) and "Lower Siang People", one bulletin as also one occasional publication entitled "Cultural Profile of Shillong". In addition, information brochures and souvenir in Hindi and English were published on the occasion of Silver Jubilee Celebration of North-cast region, Shillong and during the opening of Zonal Anthropological Museum of that office.

Photography and Cinematography

A Photographic album on the tribes inhabiting different regions in India is under preparation. A cine film was also prepared on the occasion of Silver Jubilee Celebration of North-east region of this Survey at Shillong in April, 1979.

Fellowship Programme

Twenty-six research fellows have been working on different problems in Cultural and Physical Anthropology under the sponsorship of this Survey.

School of Anthropology

The draft prospectus of the School of Anthropology was revised; a tentative outline of course and programme was chalked out in the light of the existing expertise and resources of the Survey, universities and other institutions.