Area and Focus of
major activities are published in its annual
reports, and till December 1994 were also published
in its monthly journal MIDS Bulletin. Like other
ICSSR institutes, MIDS also has a regional focus.
However, that does not preclude the faculty from
taking up research on other states, and on national
and international issues. In fact, the issues and
areas of research go well beyond Tamil Nadu. While
the specific themes and topics of research are
mentioned in sections on (a) Books & Monographs, (a)
Home Pages, (c) Projects, and (d) Working Papers, it
is possible to identify certain broad areas and the
important issues covered by them.
1. ECONOMIC THEORY
1.1 Pure theory as in institutional economics,
social choice, and general critiques of the
1.2 Development theory as on the processes of
marketisation in general; and broad, generalised
attempts at conceptualisation and interpretation of
the economy as an evolving complex social system.
2. DEVELOPMENT AND PLANNING
2.1 Global capitalism and the Indian economy;
structural adjustment and equity; security options
for developing countries; interaction between the
state and market.
2.2 Strategies for growth and social justice:
India's planning and development experience, such as
in the SAP; its nature and impact; role of
institutions and planning in development; economic
processes and weaker sections.
2.3 World Trade Organization (WTO) and India.
3. CENTRE‑STATE RELATIONS
3.1 Administrative and financial aspects of
3.2 Decentralised planning and implementation;
issues relating to fiscal systems, and taxation.
4. POVERTY, INEQUALITY, AND SOCIAL SECTOR
4.1 Measurement of levels of poverty, malnutrition,
inequality, and discrimination; their socio‑economic
determinants; problems associated with the
availability and quality of data.
4.2 Evaluation of poverty alleviation programmes,
such as IRDP and DPAP, other employment generation
programmes like TRYSEM.
4.3 Access to health across different socio‑economic
groups, and exclusion of the disadvantaged groups;
occupational health (as in leather industry);
conceptual and methodological issues in the
measurement of morbidity.
5. AGRARIAN ISSUES AND INSTITUTIONS
5.1 Growth and fluctuation, decomposition of growth,
and factors underlying the growth performance ‑ for
the agricultural sector as well as for individual
crops (like groundnut) in Tamil Nadu, and in the
country; nature of rural transformation in Tamil
Nadu; agrarian institutions at the district level as
in North Arcot, Chengalpattu, Madurai and Thanjavur.
5.2 Food economy; public expenditure on agriculture
and rural development; public procurement and public
6. IRRIGATION AND IRRIGATION INSTITUTIONS
6.1 Irrigation and water management in their various
manifestations including trading in water;
investment and pricing issues in irrigation
6.2 Development of different irrigation regimes and
of various surface and sub‑surface systems in Tamil
Nadu; nature and role of irrigation institutions;
impact of irrigation on productivity.
6.3 Traditional irrigation systems.
7.1 Rural labour: its spatial variations and
determinants for Tamil Nadu and the country; impact
of agricultural development on rural employment.
7.2 Rural non‑farm employment as in Tamil Nadu;
rural‑urban employment, and labour market
8. VILLAGE RESURVEYS as of the Slater villages
(1983); and Arni villages (1993).
9. INDUSTRY AND INFRASTRUCTURE
9.1 Political economy of industrialisation in Tamil
Nadu and the country; structure of the industrial
sector; regional patterns in industrial development;
small scale sector and state policies; industry and
infrastructure; organisational structures as in
match industry and leather industry, and handloom
and power sectors; their implications for
resilience, survival, efficiency, and child labour.
9.2 Changing forms of business organisations in
India; organisational patterns of business houses;
issues relating to the formation of industrial
districts and flexible specialisation, technology,
and R & D and foreign collaboration, entrepreneurial
development, technology transfer and technology
10 DEMOGRAPHY, MIGRATION, AND URBANISATION
10.1 Demographic transition, infant mortality rate,
its level, variations and determinants in Tamil Nadu
and the country.
10.2 Extent, nature and variation of different
migrant streams in Tamil Nadu; migratory patterns
and their links to the agrarian structure in Tamil
Nadu and Karnataka.
10.3 Urbanisation patterns in Tamil Nadu, and south
India; growth and characteristics of specific urban
areas in Tamil Nadu, like Madras Metropolis, and
Arni town; urban services such as water supply,
solid waste management, at the household and
neighborhood levels and for selected urban areas in
Tamil Nadu; urban finance in Tamil Nadu in the
context of the 74th amendment to the Constitution.
11. NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT
11.1 Urban environmental management; urban
environment assessments; management of renewable
natural resources; natural resources accounting with
special reference to the water resources sector in
rural and urban areas.
11.2 Common property resources and common property
11.3 Ecological Economics.
11.4 Indigenous Knowledge (IK) and Intellectual
Property Rights (IPR).
12. DATA SYSTEM
12.1 Overall evaluation of government data bases;
questions concerning data and their reliability.
12.2. Evaluation of data in specific areas, as of
landholding, consumption, and for measurement of
13.1 Indigenous (pre‑British) Indian education and
its discriminatory dimensions; British educational
and employment policies in relation to various
social groups from the early 19th century in Madras
Presidency and the rest of the country.
13.2 Education development, including growth of
technical and industrial education in Madras
Presidency; political economy of basic education;
literacy and educational attainments of different
social groups within Tamil Nadu, and across the
country; education and weaker sections; evaluation
of non‑formal and adult education programmes.
14 SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION
14.1 Dialectics and dynamics of social
transformation in relation to polity, economy and
society; and in the context of land holdings, land
transfers, peasant struggles and land reforms from
historical and contemporary perspectives as in Tamil
Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and at the all‑India level;
political economy of agrarian change as in southern
14.2 Non‑Brahmin, Dravidian, Backward Class, Dalit,
and Tribal movements; theory and practice of
contemporary processes of transformation.
15 CASTE, CONSTITUTION, COMMUNALISM, AND
15.1 Social mobility through the caste system,
constitutional provisions, and political
mobilisation; caste and electoral politics; caste,
politics, and reservations.
15.2 Communalism, Hindutva and minority politics.
16 SOCIAL EXCLUSION
16.1 Caste and social exclusion; social exclusion
and the Dalits; social exclusion and social
integration in the West and in India, from
historical and comparative perspectives.
16.2 Social exclusion and emancipatory politics.
17.1 Social construction of self, and culture; "Ambedkarism"
and Dalit ideology.
17.2 Interface and interaction between media and
politics as in cinematic representations in Tamil
18.1 Gender bias in demographic planning and policy
making and in employment, education, science and
technology; gender and reproductive rights.
18.2 Women in urban employment sector; women and the
law; fertility patterns as in southern Tamil Nadu;
women and education; sexual division of labour; and
social construction of sexuality.
19 STATE AND SOCIAL POLICIES
19.1 Backward classes and reservations in Tamil Nadu
and the country, from historical and contemporary
19.2 State‑sponsored social security schemes; safety
nets; education; employment; civil rights.
Area and Focus of
Adiseshiah Visiting Professor