The Centre should get identified with a well defined research focus, which was evolving gradually in the past but which started becoming less visible on account of the project chase for funds. Now that the Centre has ICSSR funding and a matching grant from the Government of Karnataka the efforts for achieving the objective of evolving a well defined research identity for the Centre need to be renewed. It is not necessary that the focus of the Centre in the past should itself be continued. In order that the Centre is vibrant and responsive to newer developmental challenges its research focus may be reconsidered at regular intervals. The new focus of the Centre can be evolved through faculty interactions and peer group interactions. Possibly, the Academic and Research Programmes Committee (ARPC) of CMDR can be a good forum for discussing this issue.

Project oriented Research vs Basic Research: Empirical Research and Conceptual Research:

For the same reason the faculty needs to address increasingly to the non project linked research activities especially on the basic issues in the field of social science research. Unfortunately, most of the research institutions at present seem to have overlooked this mandate of social science research and the research has come to be considered as an exercise in measurement without theory and any effort at theorizing has been only by way of drawing inferences from the analysis of the data collected under the research projects rather than reflective research evolving theoretical insights. Of course, social sciences cannot be divorced from reality and data and information are the bread and butter for research initiatives in social sciences. However, it has been argued that this type of research initiatives has almost blunted the researchers’ very capacity for reflective thinking. It should be highlighted that social science researchers are not just technocrats and they are essentially thinkers with practical insights about different aspects of the society, polity and economy in which they live. It is felt that CMDR can hereafter address itself to this aspect of social science research.

Newer Areas for Research

CMDR should try to choose newer areas of research in social sciences, which are amenable to multi disciplinary approaches to a more significant extent. Thus, merit goods and merit bads, environmental challenges, challenges that the current trends of liberalization, privatization and globalization have thrown up before the micro level decision makers in the society, economy and the polity can be some of the areas for future research initiatives. The issues of history of thoughts in different branches of social sciences might also provide useful insights about the historical backgrounds of the challenges currently faced.