Area and Focus of Research

The Institute's 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 neo‑classical paradigm.

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 Centre‑State relations.

3.2 Decentralised planning and implementation; issues relating to fiscal systems, and taxation.

4. POVERTY, INEQUALITY, AND SOCIAL SECTOR DEVELOPMENT

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 distribution.

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 development.

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. LABOUR

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 segmentation.

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 choice.

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 institutions.

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 poverty.

13. EDUCATION

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 Tamil Nadu.

14.2 Non‑Brahmin, Dravidian, Backward Class, Dalit, and Tribal movements; theory and practice of contemporary processes of transformation.

15 CASTE, CONSTITUTION, COMMUNALISM, AND ELECTORAL POLITICS

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. IDEOLOGY

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 films.

18. GENDER

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 perspectives.

19.2 State‑sponsored social security schemes; safety nets; education; employment; civil rights.

Area and Focus of Research

Doctoral Programme

Research Projects

Affiliates

Malcolm Adiseshiah Visiting Professor

Malcolm Adiseshiah Award



79, Second Main Road, Gandhinagar, Adyar, Chennai - 600020, Tamil Nadu, INDIA

Phone: 0091-44-2441289 2411574 24412295 24419771. Fax: 0091-44-24910872. E-mail: office@mids.ac.in