CDS Foundation Day Lecture

The Foundation Day of the Centre is celebrated during the month of October every year. It was on the 19th of October 1970 that the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) was established as an autonomous social science research institute. It was the leadership and vision of Shri C. Achutha Menon, Chief Minister of Kerala that led to the creation of several research centres in Kerala in different disciplines related to the development of the State. He was able to persuade legendary development economist Professor K. N. Raj to set up the Centre and provide intellectual leadership. Professor Raj continued to remain the driving force behind all academic activities of CDS for over two decades.

The annual Foundation Day is celebrated by a Foundation Day Lecture which is delivered by a researcher or academician of repute. The lectures are open to the public as well as other institutions in and around Trivandrum. This is also an occasion in which students of MA programme are awarded with The Joan Robinson prize for best overall performance, and The MG Kanbur prize for the best performer in the quantitative courses of the MA programme.

K N Raj Memorial Lecture

Professor K.N. Raj, the founding father of CDS, was one of the most eminent Indian economists of the post-Independence generation. He was an inspiring teacher, a demanding supervisor and a brilliant economist. Above all, he was a master builder of institutions and a visionary who strived to improve the quality of teaching and research in economics in Kerala and elsewhere in the country. He played an important role in India’s planned development, especially in drafting sections of India’s first Five Year Plans. He chalked out a plan to raise India’s rate of savings in the post-Second World War period when the country was in need of foreign aid and also computed India’s Balance of Payments for the first time for the Reserve Bank of India. Raj was also an advisor to several prime ministers’ from Jawaharlal Nehru to P.V. Narasimha Rao.

The work that Raj and his colleagues did for the United Nations in the early days of the CDS, and published in 1976, helped shaped what later came to be called the “Kerala model of development”. He also studied the application of Keynesian monetary theory in the Indian context.   He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2000.

To commemorate his life and contributions to the larger community, CDS is privileged to organise a memorial lecture every year and also has launched a series of fellowship and training schemes on the basis of a generous grant made available to it by the Government of Kerala.

P.K. Gopalakrishnan Memorial Lecture

The late Dr P.K. Gopalakrishnan was a scholar, policy advisor and institution builder par excellence. He was one of the few outstanding personalities who played an important role in the establishment of many advanced institutions of research and learning in Kerala during 1970-80. As a Policy Advisor and Secretary to the Government during the Chief Ministership of the Late Shri. C. Achutha Menon, Dr Gopalakrishnan is credited with the formulation of a science and technology for the State. To perpetuate the memory of Dr Gopalakrishnan, his family instituted the endowment at the Centre. The income earned from the endowment is being used to organise public lectures and grant fellowships to the students.

B.G. Kumar Memorial Lecture

The Endowment was set up by the family of Dr B.G. Kumar, a young economist who worked with the Centre as Associate Fellow during 1990-93, passed away in early 1993 after a prolonged illness. The endowment was set up by the family to perpetuate his memory. The objective of the endowment is to organise special lectures and provide a grant to faculty for seed research.