An Overview

The Centre for Development Studies (CDS) is an autonomous research centre sponsored by the Government of Kerala and the Indian Council of Social Science Research. The renowned economist, Professor K.N. Raj, set up the Centre on October 19, 1970, with the strong support of the then Chief Minister of the State, Shri C. Achutha Menon. CDS is internationally known for its research in applied economics and topics germane to development economics. The campus is located in Prasanth Nagar- approximately eight kms from the city centre of Trivandrum.  The 10-acre green campus is conceived by the well-known architect, Laurie Baker, a pioneer in low-cost construction. The state-of-the-art CDS library is one of the largest social science libraries in India with over 1,50,000 titles in economics and related disciplines and subscribing to about 400 professional print journals and around 3500 e-journals. It has regular faculty strength of about 23. Further, it has 14 Visiting Professors/Fellows from across the country and abroad and 31 Administrative Staff. The main activities of the Centre are research, teaching and training.

Research at CDS is organised into eleven distinct themes:

  • Culture and Development
  • Decentralisation and Governance
  • Gender and Development
  • Human Development, Health and Education
  • Industry and Trade
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Labour, Employment and Social Security
  • Macroeconomic Performance
  • Migration
  • Plantation Crops
  • Politics and Development


The teaching programmes of the CDS include:

  • M.A. Programme in Applied Economics
  • Integrated M.Phil/ PhD Programme in Applied Economics
  • PhD Programme in Economics.


For all the three teaching programmes, CDS is 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 training programmes.