Centre has the following five as thrust areas for research. These areas have been identified keeping in mind the existing pattern of specialization that CMDR has developed over time while also taking into account the emerging areas of interest in the context of social, economic and political transformation in the country.
- Challenges to Sustainable Development
- Issues relating to environmental economics
- Forest Resources, Water Resources and sustainability of development; challenges of drinking water supply in rural and urban areas
- Common property resources and the poor
- Politics, sociology and economics of inter state distribution of river water
- Natural resources accounting with sub regional perspectives
The above is only indicative of the direction in which the research initiatives of the Centre are marked for the years to come. This ambitious vision would be translated into action subject to the availability of different types of resources. Wherever possible and needed the studies would highlight the historical perspectives about the selected issues based upon the literature available in classical and regional languages and also action and action research on the selected themes.
While the Centre may not restrict its research initiatives to only specific regions it is proposed to focus on the challenges of Karnataka in general and North Karnataka in particular. The Report of the Nanjundappa Committee on Redressal of Regional Disparities in Karnataka has visualized the need for an independent research organization for monitoring and evaluating the process of development in North Karnataka, a less developed region of the state. The CMDR has taken upon itself to serve as an active think- tank of North Karnataka for this purpose and it would continue to play this role in the years to come.
Action Research contains an inquiry, which is participative, experimental, and action oriented. The discipline of Action research relies on the assumption that practice can be shaped to reflect the structural properties of theory. This body of knowledge tries to bridge the gap between academic sciences and popular wisdom, which is a basic concern for practitioners.
One of the objectives of CMDR is to combine conceptual research with action research so that whatever the gains in the domain of theory it can be effectively used to benefit the community in addressing real life situations. The research projects of CMDR right from the beginning have been designed to contain action research component. The team of researchers at the Center has been trying to help the community by passing on the lessons from the pure academic research and facilitate the process of implementing the lessons on the ground.
Capacity Building Activities
One of the main objectives of Centre for Multi-disciplinary Development Research (CMDR), Dharwad is to serve as a Think-Tank for the researchers and policy makers through its various targeted capacity building programmes and also publications. The Centre has been striving to eminently fulfil this objective over the past two and half decades. After receiving the recognition from the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi, in 1991, as a national level social science research institute, the activities of the Centre in this connection have developed more vigorously.
The capacity building programmes undertaken by the Centre have taken the following forms :
- Capacity Building for Research
- M.Phil / PhD Programme at the Centre
- Awareness Programmes to build the Analytical Capabilities of People Regarding Various Socio-Economic Issues
- Bringing out CMDR's research studies in the form of publications and monographs under CMDR Monograph Series
- Developing Socio Economic Data Bank with a focus on specific issues
- Developing Inter-institutional collaboration
- Library and Information System
Capacity Building through CMDR's Action Research Projects
Research & Development Initiatives in Diverse Areas
''Everything depends upon everything else' is the theme of the celestial song", observed Dr. Valvanis, the young eminent econometrician of yesteryears. In this sense the different sectors of the economy are interdependent. Hence, even though social sector happens to be CMDR's main focus of research the other issues also have to receive the attention of researchers associated with the Centre. In actual practice, CMDR's research and developmental activities have experienced the necessity of studying sectors other than social sector for the purpose of a better understanding of the social sector itself. For example, during the period of drought, it is said, the attendance of children in schools improves. There is a counter observation from some analysts that during the drought the children need to go for work to eke out their daily subsistence by doing odd jobs while skipping the school classes, since schooling is in low priority in the minds of the poor people. Hence, a study of the impact of natural calamities like drought, is surely related to the interest in the social sector. In the same way, analysis of the problems of fiscal economics is very much relevant for the expenditure capacity of the government relating to the social sector is significantly dependent upon the resources that it can mobilize through tax and non-tax measures. When the financial institutions tighten the credit availability for the medical practitioners it is expected that they recover their costs and rewards by hiking the fees charged on the patients. From this point of view, a study of the behaviour of financial institutions during different times also becomes quite relevant. In the same way, one has to ensure that the credit made available from the financial institutions to the providers and users of social services, is spent on the objects for which the credit was sought. This provides a rationale for a study of the performance of financial institutions by CMDR. In the same way, studies on issues relating to other sectors may also find a rationale.
The Centre undertook a number of studies on sectors other than the social sector. Some of these are as follows:
- Problems of Small Scale Industries and Economic Reforms
- Role of Banks in Economic Development
- Socio Economic Development of North and South Karnataka
- Technological Diffusion in the Farm Sector
- Evaluation of Indira Awaas Yojana
- Economic Effects of Multi-nationals
- Trade Strategies and Employment
- Federal Financial Relations
- Socio Economic and Environmental Assessment of Reforms in the Power Sector
- Analysis of the Budgets
- Employment Affirmation Programme
- Common Property Resources
- Indological Studies
- Gender Studies
- Rural Development
- Environment-economy linkages, etc.
Endowment in the memory of Late Vidyaratna Shri R. S. Panchamukhi, Founder President, CMDR
An endowment in the memory of Founder President has been created at the Centre with the initial contribution from Professor P R Panchamukhi. Distinguished Social Scientists will be invited every year to deliver the Lecture under this endowment either on the date of registration of CMDR or on the Birth Day of Late Vidyaratna Shri R S Panchamukhi.