Research: An Overview

Like teaching and training, research is one of the key pillars on which the institutional edifice of the Centre has been built over decades. By and large, the resident faculty and the M.Phil. and Ph.D. students are the driving force behind the path breaking studies that makes the Centre stand out in the crowd in the current competitive world of academics. Although, research is conducted across seven verticals in an inter-disciplinary framework, they all stick to six cardinal principles that form the kernel of the Centre’s research ethos: They are:

  • Research programmes should be theoretically informed and empirically validated;
  • Research projects are mostly initiated by the faculty in a bid to find answers to the pressing questions on burning issues;
  • Hence, most of the research projects are on topical issues…;
  • …. And continuing in nature;
  • To get a larger picture, a comparative approach to research issues are often attempted; and last, but not the least,
  • Research output is subject to rigorous annual scrutiny by eminent t external experts.

The vision document of CDS, `Negotiating the Future’, spells out the contours of research programmes spread out over seven broad verticals:

I. Agriculture, Water and Natural Resources

Pace and pattern of agricultural growth across regions in India with focus on the role of price and non-price factors in agricultural growth. Trade liberalisation and agriculture: opportunities and challenges factors, processes and determinants of agricultural and non-agricultural employment.

Changes in the pattern of irrigation development and its linkages to agricultural development; changing pattern of water use in agriculture and non-agricultural sectors; pricing of water; institutional and technological issues in water management and sharing water between river basins and by states.

Linkage between agricultural development and environmental degradation; macro- economic policies; natural resource utilisation and environmental protection.

II. Gender and Development
Gender equality and development; gender analysis of public expenditure choices and the gender impact of specific macro and sectoral policies.

The effects of globalisation, new information technologies, the spread of HIV/AIDS and population ageing from a gender perspective.

The dimensions of the status of women in terms of both conventional indicators (like education, employment, income) and non-conventional indicators (autonomy, voice, domestic violence).

The effectiveness of development policies and programmes for women’s empowerment; documentation of ‘best practices’ for women’s empowerment through specific strategies and interventions at the micro level.

Gender-specific constraints/barriers (including cost of reproductive labour and property rights) and progress towards gender equality; rights-based approach to gender equality.

Gender, development and participation in the public sphere.

‘Gendered’ history of development in Kerala.

III. Industry, Trade and Technology
Emerging issues in industrial organisation: Patterns of entry and exit, firm strategies, collusive behaviour and changing nature of competition, with special emphasis on the impact of mergers and acquisition on firm behaviour.

Industry specific studies relying on primary data and in-depth case studies to unravel the processes of global integration with focus on inter-firm relationships and production networks.

Patterns of innovation, their sources and extent of their diffusion, their role in the changing nature of competition and returns to innovations, innovations of small firms to negotiate globalisation through knowledge clusters, networking and co-operative research and development.

Systems of innovations and technological capability enhancement with specific reference to the role of different agents (and public policy) in the context of globalisation of R&D with special emphasis on the role of indigenous technologies and the management of innovations.

Barriers to diffusion and extent of path dependence of technologies.
Challenges posed, and opportunities offered by the ‘new economy’ relating to growth, competitiveness, employment, productivity and redistribution.

IV. Migration
Linkages between migration, economic growth, income distribution, and social change.

V. Population and Human Development
Changing age structure of the population consequent to demographic transition and its implications for human capital, savings and economic growth.

Socio-economic inequalities in health, nutrition and education in the era of globalisation and their determinants.

Social, economic and health security issues for the elderly.

VI. Poverty, Vulnerability and Social Security
Multiple dimensions of poverty and well-being in the capability approach framework.

Vulnerability coping up mechanisms and livelihood strategies in the context of risk and uncertainties due to natural disasters and changing economic and social policies.

A design for universal social security in combating poverty in its multiple dimensions.

Concept and practice of development from a human rights perspective; poverty as violation of the right to development and its implications for interpreting different concrete situations, both in the past and present.

Linkages of social security in its universal coverage, human development and economic growth.

VII. Cross-cutting theme: Globalisation and Development
Social dimensions of globalisation, with focus on national and regional issues such as employment, social security and movement of people.

WTO agreements and their implications for the national and the regional economies.

Impact of international capital flows.

Non-tariff barriers in international trade and the national policy responses.
Environment and sustainable development under globalisation

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