Centre for Economic Studies and Planning
Launched in 1973, the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning (CESP) has established itself as a premier centre for teaching and research in Economics. It offers M.A., M.Phil./Ph.D. and Direct Ph.D. programmes in Economics.
The Centre espouses the philosophy that Economics looks at a problem in a variety of ways. This diversity of the subject is reflected in its programmes that expose students to the existing schools of thought and thereby gives them a broad training.
In most universities where Economics is taught, there is a divide between economic theory and applied work. CESP does not believe in this and, therefore, links economic theory with historical experience and empirical observation. Teaching economic theory is not viewed merely as an exposition of received and established truths or as an intellectual exercise in the skills of logical deduction and inference. The faculty aims at making the students understand the process and logic of inference from observations that go into the making of theoretical constructions. Thus the students are not just acquainted with rigorous techniques of analysis but trained to look for the relation between theoretical and empirical categories..
The large number of applicants for the various courses at CESP testifies to the effectiveness of its teaching and research programmes. The success of the programmes may also be judged from the quality of the graduating students and the high demand for their skills in India and abroad. While many graduates continue to pursue research in India, most of those who choose to go abroad for further studies win scholarships. Others have successfully appeared in competitive examinations for the administrative services and banks, or joined various research institutes or other organizations in the private sector. CESP takes pride in its alumni who have, by any yardstick of collective achievement, gone on to do well in their chosen professions.
The quality and the number of M.Phil. dissertations and Ph.D. theses successfully completed annually at CESP indicate that research programmes at the Centre have flourished. Research has included both theoretical and empirical analyses of a wide range of problems. Some Ph.D. theses have been published in their entirety as books. Many students have published portions of their theses as research papers in well-known academic journals.
A significant number of students from overseas come each year to join the programmes at CESP. Foreign academics visit every year to interact with the faculty. This is an index of how well the Centre is regarded in the academic world. Another way this can be gauged is from the large number of invitations that faculty members receive from other institutions for attending conferences or presenting seminars, public lectures and talks.
A distinctive feature of the Centre is the ready accessibility of its faculty to students. The emphasis is on learning and not just on memorizing. Students have to write term papers, give presentations, solve problems, appear in open book examinations, etc. In the process there is continuous evaluation and students with academic difficulties have the opportunity of resolving their problems. Thus, CESP prioritizes the academic interests of its students and is student-centric.