The Centre for the Study of Regional Development was established in 1971 with a mandate to focus on interdisciplinary programme of studies for teaching and research, placed in an overall framework of regional development in India. Over the years, an interdisciplinary team of scholars is engaged in realizing this dream..
The Centre offers M. A. (Geography) and M. Phil/Ph.D. programmes in three major fields: Economics, Geography and Population Studies. In keeping with the interdisciplinary tenor and focus of the Centre, these programmes interface socio- economic, human, institutional, technological, infrastructural and environmental factors with issues of regional development in multi-various and pluralistic manner. In doing so, research and teaching in the Centre over the years have evolved appropriate paradigms and tools of analyses including remote sensing and GIS.
The M. A. Geography curriculum in the Centre is unique in terms of a judicious mix of courses which combine the classical with the modern and the theoretical with the practical in response to emerging disciplinary challenges, particularly in the Indian context. In the classical traditions in geography, fieldwork occupies a prime place. The M. A. students are exposed to two compulsory courses that are exclusively based on physical and social field surveys. Apart from getting trained in specific methodologies and gaining first hand field observations -often in rural settings - prolonged group living under spartan conditions helps students develop interpersonal skills and mutual interdependencies and team spirit.
In terms of students and faculty strength, the Centre for the Study of Regional Development is one of the largest centres in the School of Social Sciences in the University. The Centre presently has two Professors Emeritus, nine Professors, ten Associate Professors, and three Assistant Professors. The research and post-graduate students in the Centre form an important academic hub of the Centre. Apart from supporting regular and remedial teaching programmes, as well as co-curricular activities of the Centre, research students have presented papers in a number of national and international conferences in India and abroad. They have also published in leading academic journals. Students of the Centre have visited Queen's university, Belfast, UK and the University of Kaiserslautern, Germany, under exchange programmes of the Centre. Students from these foreign universities, have in turn, visited the Centre and have benefited from its teaching programmes and other activities.
The Centre for the Study of Regional Development was granted the status of 'Centre of Advanced Studies' (CAS) under the Special Assistance Program (SAP) of the UGC in April 2003. With this, the Centre became the first department in Geography in India to get this status. In view of the Centre having successfully completed the first phase, the support as CAS was renewed in April 2009 for a period of five years (2009-March 2014). The CAS has enabled us to enhance our teaching and research activities in continuing as well as new research areas including building up of infrastructural facilities. The thrust areas identified for the Second Phase are: Advanced Remote Sensing and GIS, Climate Change and Disaster Management, Natural Resource Management, Globalization/Urbanization/Population, and Regional Disparities and Social Exclusion.
The teaching and research activities of the Centre are supported by professional and technical staff and the centre is equipped with necessary infrastructure for this purpose. The Centre has a Documentation Centre and six laboratories. The Centre is maintaining the School's Computer Unit and has a laboratory for computer aided GIS and cartography.