Set up in 1971 by legendary economist late Professor K.N. Raj, the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) is an internationally renowned, self-governing institution known for its cutting edge research in applied economics and topics germane to socio-economic development, impeccable pedagogy, and extensive and exhaustive training programmes. Tucked away from the maddening world of city life, CDS is housed in Prasanth Nagar, a serene, picturesque hamlet 10 Kms off the Thiruvanathapuram city. It is easily accessible by road, rail and air. The sprawling 10 acre campus is designed and delivered by late Laurie Baker, whose love for nature has few parallels in history. The state-of-the-art CDS library is one of the biggest repositories of wisdom in South India with over 1,50,000 titles in economics and related disciplines and subscribing to about 400 professional journals. It has a faculty strength of about 20.
Research at CDS is organised into six distinct themes:
- Agriculture and natural resource
- Gender, Migration, Population
- Health and education
- Poverty, vulnerability and social security
- Trade and technology
There is a seventh cross-cutting theme, analysing the impact of globalisation on each of the six themes.
The teaching programme of the CDS includes:
- a two year M.A. Programme in Applied Economics
- a two year M.Phil. Programme in Applied Economics
- a four year Ph.D. Programme in Economics.
All three programmes are affiliated to Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. The University of Kerala also has recognised CDS as a Centre for its doctoral studies. Besides, it has a number of short-duration occasional training programmes.