Research Unit on Local Self Governments
The Government of Kerala had set up a Research Unit on Local Self Governments at the Centre in March 2005.The corpus fund received for RULSG was Rs.3.70 crore which was released in 2005-06 (Rs.1.70 crore) and 2006-07 (Rs.2.00 crore). The objectives of the Unit are: (a) promotion of research; (b) research capacity building; and (c) Promotion of usage (dissemination of research findings) particularly in linking up research with training programmes of institutions such as the Kerala Institute of Local Administration.
The Unit started functioning in the last quarter of 2005 and an Advisory Committee was constituted with Professor N.R. Madhava Menon as Chairperson. Based on a series of meetings, workshops and interactions with elected members and officials of the local bodies, representatives of state governments, The Planning Board, researchers and activists, a comprehensive agenda was drawn up, which the RULSG has been perusing over the years. At present the RULSG conducts annual policy dialogues on strengthening and expanding the framework of local self government in Kerala in the interest of including more and more marginalized sections of people. It also commissions research on vital contemporary issues in Local Self Government, notably on ecological challenges and Local Self Governments responses. It also publishes a series on the most significant welfare programme of the Kerala government, the Kudumbashree. Besides this, it conducts concurrent assessments of various aspects of Local Self Government in Kerala.