Prof. S. Mahendra Dev, Director (Vice Chancellor)
Since its existence in 1987, IGIDR has been committed to excellence in teaching and research. It is an advanced research institute established by the Reserve Bank of India for carrying out research on development issues from a multi-disciplinary point of view.
Subsequently it was recognized as a deemed university. The former directors of the institute Prof. Kirit Parikh, Prof. R. Radhakrishna and, Prof. D.M.Nachane have helped in maintaining high standards in both research and teaching. I also acknowledge the contributions of faculty, staff and students for the growth of the institute over the years.
My task is to continue the past good practices and face new challenges in future. Dr. Bimal Jalan Committee had given several recommendations on teaching, research, infrastructure and governance for further development of IGIDR as an Institute of high international standing. We will try to achieve some of these ambitious goals in future.
The research agenda of the Institute is guided by policy concerns, by individual faculty members' research interests and projects by sponsors. However, there is a need to strengthen and diversify the research in keeping with the changing needs. While individual scholars would continue to have the freedom to choose topics for research, there is a need to expand the frontiers of knowledge in order to keep with the emerging challenges.
There have been many changes in macro economic policies due to paradigm shifts in development strategies consequent to globalization. Also, there is a need to understand better the role of structural and cyclical factors in growth and development. Shocks due to globalization are increasing now. The recent examples are four ‘F’s: food, fuel, fertilizer and financial shocks.
There is also a perception that economics as a profession failed to predict the financial crisis and some advocate the need for new thinking on economics. For example, an institute sponsored by George Soros on new economic thinking has been established in the U.S.
More research may be needed to understand the changes at global level particularly in macro policies like monetary policies, fiscal policies, external and internal debt management, exchange rate management, financial sector reforms, and trade policies. It is known that financial sector is an instrument to help the real sector. Financial sector policies have to be tuned in such a way that real sector improves.
Similarly, with globalization, the role of the state and market has to be redefined to address the development issues. New actors like non-governmental organizations have emerged with the decline in the role of the state. There is also an increasing emphasis on decentralized governance taking governance to grass roots level. Inclusive growth approach being followed by government of India also implies the need to look at challenges in the divides in economy and society viz, sectoral, regional and social.
New concerns on human development, social dimensions of globalization, social security and insurance, gender, sustainability of natural resources, climate change, livelihoods, water, biotechnology also need some attention. In this context, the former Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh had suggested that IGIDR should also focus on issues relating to topics such as monetary policy, water management and climate change.
For a deemed university, teaching is an important component of the Institute’s activities. Teaching programme has been very good at IGIDR. The students of MSc, M.Phil and Ph.D have got jobs in reputed corporate firms, banks and research institutes and universities. It reflects the quality of teaching at IGIDR. However, as mentioned by Dr. Jalan Committee, there is a need to relook at the curriculum, method of teaching, incentives to faculty etc.
Teaching programmes can be upgraded to international standards through appropriate curricula revisions and academic collaborations involving faculty and student exchange programmes. There is also a need to focus on infrastructure development including hostel facilities for students.
The vision of IGIDR in the next decade is to further develop it as an Institute of high international standing and join the league of world class centres of excellence in theoretically informed applied research and teaching in development studies. It can be done by strengthening the present areas of research and diversifying its research and teaching to new areas to address the development challenges in tune with the changes in development paradigms, economy and society. The intellectual ambience of openness to ideas and plurality of perspectives have to be continued and strengthened.