Centre for Studies in Decentralisation and Rural Reconstruction
In consonance with Rabindra Bharati University’s avowed task of ‘dissemination of Tagore’s ideas and thoughts’, a Centre for Studies in Decentralisation and Rural Reconstruction has been set up for education, research and extension in the field involving both the academic community and the larger body of development practitioners.
As is well known, Rabindranath Tagore, through his Sriniketan experiment, was religiously engaged in ameliorating rural poverty, stagnation and despondence through a series of institutional innovations including cooperatives and local self-government (Panchayats). Much of his ideas and practices continue to be relevant even today and need to be looked into by researchers and development practitioners.
II. Objectives / Tasks of the Centre
- To collect, compile and preserve all relevant writings by Tagore, copies of some source and also papers and books on Tagore’s ideas and experiments in rural reconstruction.
--Also to compile a comprehensive bibliography on this subject for the benefit of researchers in the field.
- To develop a special depository (reference library) of books, monographs, official reports etc. on decentralization, Panchayati raj and rural development.
- To undertake a systematic research on rural reconstruction experiments in different parts of the country during the pre-independence period including that at Sriniketan and draw lessons from such exercises in the past.
- To undertake research on the various aspects of the evolution and functioning of the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) in India with particular focus on PRI in West Bengal.
- To undertake studies on the implementation and effectiveness of various rural development and anti-poverty schemes / programmes of the Central Government.
- To undertake documentation of best practices and also success stories in West Bengal and elsewhere in the area of participatory process of development through PRIs in rural areas.
- To undertake sponsored research / evaluation studies / project from the Department of Panchayats and Rural Development, Government of West Bengal, Govt. of India and other agencies.
- To launch in course of time, a Certificate and a PG Diploma course in Decentralisation and Rural Development/ Management.
- To sponsor Ph. D. programmes in relevant areas.
III. Advisory Committee of the Centre
1. Vice Chancellor (Chairman of the advisory committee), Rabindra Bharati University.
2. Dean, Arts Faculty (ex-officio), Ph.No. 9903945232
3. Director, SIPRD, Kalyani (ex-officio), Ph.No. 2582-8161 / 9433984585
4. Shri. Buddhadev Ghosh, Senior Fellow, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, Ph.No. 9831261541
5. Shri Dilip Ghosh, IAS, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Former Special Secretary, Department of Panchayat & Rural Development, Ph.No. 9830335207
6. Dr. Manav Sen, Ph.No. 9433702046
7. Shri Amalendu Ghosh, Ph.No. 9330868527
8. Shri Dibendyu Sarkar, WBCS, Ex-Officer, SIPRD & UNISEF, Joint Secretary, State Election Office, West Bengal, Ph.No. 9836939444
9. Shri Debashis Nandi, WBCS, SDO, Bolepur, Ph.No. 9434442956 / 9432653706
10. Prof. Alok Kanti Bhoumik, Ex-Director, CSDRR, Ph.No. 9830188765
11. Kakali Mukhopadhyay, WBCS, Ph.No. 9434641555
12. Prof. Apurba Mukhopadhyay, Dinabandhu Andrus College, Garia, Ph.No. 9433153156
13. Prof. Goutam Mukhopadhyay, Gurudas College, Kolkata, Ph.No. 9836534977 / 24020331
14. Prof. Jhumpa Mukherjee, St. Xaviers College, Kolkata, Ph.No. 9163741797
15. Prof. Biswanath Chakraborty, Director, CSDRR, Ph.No. 9830216993
IV. Activities of the Centre
- (2008 - 09)
The Centre was ceremonially inaugurated by Professor Amlan Datta on April 28, 2008 in the presence of the hon’ble Vice Chancellor Professor Karunasindhu Das, invited dignitaries, teachers and students of the University. A Seminar on ‘The Role of Higher Educational Institutions in Rural Reconstruction’ was organized on this occasion. The speakers included Professor Datta, Shri Satyendra Nath Ghosh, IAS(Retd.), Shri Prasad Ranjan Ray, IAS, both former Principal Secretaries, Department of Panchayats & Rural Development, Govt. of West Bengal, and Shri Sukhabilas Barma, IAS, Chairman of the Thired State Finance Commission.
Two Publications by the Centre, ‘Bibliography on Tagore’s Thoughts and Experiments in Rural Reconstruction’ ed. By Alok k. Bhaumik and ‘Rabindrabhabanay Atmashaktir Udbodhan O Palli Punargathan’ by Dr. Pratyush Kumar Rit and a brochure for the Centre were released on this occasion.
A Seminar on ‘National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme in West Bengal : Problems and Possibilities’ was organized on October 31st, 2008 in collaboration with Loka Kalyan Parishad. The speakers included concerned officials from the Panchayats & Rural Development Dept., Govt. of West Bengal and elected Gram Panchayat representatives from a few districts.
A two-day workshop on ‘Basics of Data Collection and Data Processing for Social Science Research was organized during March 30-31, 2009 for college teachers, Ph. D. scholars, M. Phil. students and representatives from development research NGOs. The resource persons for the Workshop included Professor Shankar Kumar Bhaumik, Department of Economics, Calcutta University, Dr. Rajarshi Majumder, department of Economics, Burdwan University, Professor Shibdas Bandyopadhyay and Professor Asish Sengupta from the Applied Statistics Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Dr. Tapas Kumar Saha and Shri B. K. Giri from the National Sample Survey Organization.
In March 2010, the Centre organized a one-day Seminar on ‘Civil Society: Conceptual and Empirical Issues’, Speakers in the Seminar included Professor Sobhanlal Dutta Gupta, Professor Abhijit Mitra, Professor Sugata Marjit, Dr. Ashok Sircar and Ms. Madhulika Mitra.
A Symposium on ‘Evolution of Rural Decentralization Strategy in West Bengal during the last Three Decades’ was organized on December 16, 2010 . The objective of the symposium was to enlighten the participating students, teachers and guests by way of an objective analysis of the process of evolution of the strategies,---their distinguishing features, strengths, weaknesses and also the political economy behind each of the strategies pursued.
Shri Buddhadeb Ghosh, Senior Fellow, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi and Shri Dilip Ghosh, I.A.S., formerly Special Secretary, P&RD Department and presently Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of West Bengal took part in the Discussion as resource persons. During 2010-11, the Centre has published the following monographs:
(i) Grameen Punargathane Uchhatara Sikshapratisthaner Bhumika by Professor Amlan Datta,
(ii) Basics of Data Collection and Data Processing for Social Science Research
V. Publications of the Centre
1. ‘Bibliography on Tagore’s Thoughts and Experiments in Rural Reconstruction’ ed. By Alok k. Bhaumik
2. ‘Rabindrabhabanay Atmashaktir Udbodhan O Palli Punargathan’ by Dr. Pratyush Kumar Rit
3. Grameen Punargathane Uchhatara Sikshapratisthaner Bhumika by Professor Amlan Datta,
4. Basics of Data Collection and Data Processing for Social Science Research
All the publications are available at Sonar tari sales counter in working day
VI. Future Activities of the Centre:
(i) The Centre will publish a book on the thought of Tagore and his associates about experiments in rural reconstruction including cooperative and development of agriculture in Shreeniketan published since 1920 to early 1950 in Modern review, Probasi and other journals both in Bengali and English.
(ii) Organizing a P.G diploma course on rural development management.
(iii) Organizing seminars / symposium /workshop regularly
(iv) News letter containing various aspect of rural development.
VII. For Further Contact:
Dr. Biswanath Chakraborty, Director, Centre for Studies in Decentralisation and Rural Reconstruction
Ph. 9163365906 / 9830216993