The Institute of Economic Growth is a social science research and training centre of excellence, founded by Professor V.K.R.V. Rao in 1958. It was set up to promote multidisciplinary research on issues relevant to India’s economic growth and social development. Since its inception, the Institute has aspired to produce research that is theoretically sound, methodologically rigorous by international standards, and relevant for policy. With this ambition, our faculty members have kept up with theoretical and methodological developments in their fields, and with changes in the ground realities of the economy and society. They have to their credit a wide range of publications, including articles in international academic journals and books published by leading national and international publishers. While research remains the Institute’s primary activity, the faculty also guides Ph.D and M.Phil students from India and abroad, trains civil servants, particularly the Indian Economic Service officers, on economic and social policies, and provides policy advice to the Government of India.
When the Institute was founded, India had recently attained Independence. At that time, economic planning and social welfare formed the fulcrum of the country’s development strategy.
The Institute’s research profile reflected national concerns, and themes such as agricultural and rural development, industry, trade, finance, monetary economics, population, urbanization, macroeconomics, and social change received prime attention. Since the 1980s, and especially since the 1990s, however, there have been notable changes in the country’s economic strategy. While India still remains a mixed economy, with a focus on both State and market, the introduction of economic reforms has shifted the balance from largely State-led growth to a growing emphasis on the private sector and an open economy. Liberalisation and globalisation have affected not only the economy, but also the society and polity. Existing development paradigms are being challenged by new concerns such as environmental degradation and gender inequality. These call for new theoretical and methodological innovativeness.
Responding to these contemporary challenges, the research agenda of the Institute faculty has broadened to include emerging issues such as liberalisation and globalisation with a human face, technological change, environment and natural resources, gender inequality, the well-being of vulnerable sections, regional disparity, citizenship and governance, social pathologies, health economics, ageing, and social capital. Hence, while the Institute’s faculty continues to pursue its traditional specializations, it has also widened its scope. Moreover, it has sought to approach even the traditional fields with a fresh perspective, informed by new theoretical and methodological approaches. What remains unchanged is our continuing stress on academic excellence and policy relevance