Research

Research Areas
An important element of our research consists of public primary education, covering both institutional aspects of the school system as well as social forces surrounding the idea and practice of elementary education. In particular, our research focuses on teacher autonomy and effort, the role of teachers’ unions in expanding educational opportunities of the underprivileged, the disturbing growth of supplementary tutoring even to learn the basics, curriculum overload, and the importance of the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) and the school meal programme in combating the persistent problem of chronic hunger in this country.

We also focus on issues of universal health care, the lack of access to basic information about healthy living, of strengthening the public health system, and addressing information asymmetry between seekers and providers of care in the health sector.

 

Research and Public Action: Our Approach
The Institute’s action-oriented research does not remain confined to academic interactions and collaborations alone (we of course do collaborate and interact with other research institutes, such as Asian Development Research Institute in Patna and the Institute of Development Studies Kolkata, organisations like the UNICEF, the Sarva Shiksha Mission and CRY, and with teachers’ unions in the State), but extends to include regular exchange of views and ideas, in various public forums, with public officials, schoolteachers, parents, health workers, health care  professionals, and civic bodies and civil society organisations. Such participatory engagement provides our research with a better understanding of the nuts and bolts of deliberative democracy.

Through our research we seek not only to contribute to a better intellectual understanding of various social problems, but also to work towards development of improved, more inclusive public policies.