About the Centre for Development Studies

The Centre for Development Studies (CDS) was set up as a research adjunct at the Department of Economics, Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU), Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, with a generous grant from the Ministry of Finance (Department of Economic Affairs), Government of India in 2013. The objectives of the Centre include the creation of high-quality research infrastructure for students and researchers and faculty members, in addition to sponsoring and coordinating research on various developmental issues having policy implications both at the regional and national level. Publishing working/policy papers on the research outcome of the Centre, monographs and edited volumes are among the key activities of the Centre.

Prof. Amitava Mitra was the founding Coordinator of CDS for a period of three years, followed by Prof. S.K. Nayak who was the coordinator of the Centre for the next three years. Prof.Vandana Upadhyay is the current coordinator of the CDS.In this period of eight years three advisory committee meetings were held. The first meeting was held on 2nd August 2013 followed by the second meeting which was held on 4th May 2017 and the third meeting on 25 February 2019.Prof. G. K. Chadha, former Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and former economic advisory council member to the Prime Minister of India was the founder advisory committee member of CDS.The three current external members of the advisory committee are Prof. Atul Sarma,former Vice Chancellor, RGU & and Director Indian Statistical Institute and Member 13th Finance Commission, Govt. of India, Prof. S. Mahendra Dev, Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai and Prof. Alakh N. Sharma, Director, Institute for Human Development, New Delhi.

  • To Promote and coordinate research on various developmental issues.
  • To sponsor economist from all over India and abroad to the Department of Economics, Rajiv Gandhi University for delivering Lectures.
  • To collaborate with national and international agencies and scholars in conducting studies and research on issues of critical importance to the region/country/between countries.
  • To conduct regular seminars, conferences and workshops etc.
  • To upgrade research infrastructure including communication and computing facilities
  • Human Development
  • Valuation of Environmental Resources and other Environmental Related issues.
  • Data Generation for savings for the State of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Livelihood Diversification in mountain economy of North East India.
  • Study of Unemployment Problems in North East India.
  • Economics of Education.
  • Gender Issues
  • Migration
  • Industry and Trade.
  • Economics of Agriculture and related Issues

The Centre for Development Studies has been sponsoring and coordinating research on various developmental issues having policy implications. They are as follows:

  • A Study of Agrarian Transition in Arunachal Pradesh (completed)
  • Socio Economic Profile and Livelihood Portfolio in Rural Arunachal Pradesh (completed)
  • Economic Impact of Tourism on Mountain Tourist Spot: A Study of Tawang District of Arunachal Pradesh (completed)
  • Crop Diversification and its impact on Rural Farm Income: A Case Study of West Kameng and Tawang Districts of Arunachal Pradesh (completed)
  • Nature, Growth and Financing of Urban Unorganised Enterprises in Assam (completed)
  • Agricultural Labour Market and Farm Operations: A Study in Assam of North East India (completed)
  • Rental markets of Farm Capital Goods: Its Forms, Determinants and impact on Agriculture in the Agrarian set-up of Brahmaputra Valley of Assam (completed)
  • Time Utilization Pattern of Rural Women in Hills of Assam (on going)

For the Capacity Building of Students, Researchers and Young Faculty Members from across the country, various workshops were organized by the Centre for Development Studies. They are as follows:

  • One week National workshop on “Econometrics-Practice and Research” (for Faculty and Researchers)during 24 to 28 March, 2014
  • Twoweek National workshop on “Econometrics-Practice and Research” (for Faculty and Researchers)during 15 to 24 December 2014
  • One week National Workshop on “Statistical Techniques and their Application in Social Science Research” during 2-6 December, 2015
  • One week National workshop on “NSSO Data Handling” during 21-26 February, 2016
  • One week National workshop on “Introduction to Time Series Econometrics” during18-22 December 2017
  • A National seminar on “Hill Economics and Sustainable Development: Challenges and Prospects” during 5th -6th February, 2018.
  • A National Workshop on “NSSO Data Handling and Research with Big Data Sets” during 4th to 9th February 2019
  • International Webinaron “Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on Global Economy”during 22-23 June, 2020

Most of our research is Field-based and Policy-oriented Collaborative research, based on primary data, interaction with scholars and policy makers through field work, which has enabled us to produce original research output. The research work in the Centre also promotes the regions perspective.Output of the research is always disseminated among the stake holders.There is good scope for further development of the Centre, specially the research area. So far, research was mainly concentrated on the State of Arunachal Pradesh and neighbouring States of the region, but with increasing globalization, the research focus will be expanded to cover the new areas, especially those problems coming because of globalization and of new technology.

The Vice-Chancellor, of Rajiv Gandhi University, Prof. Saket Kushwaha released a book and seven working papers in the Department of Economics. The book titled ‘Hill Economies and Sustainable Development-Emerging Realities’ and the working papers were released in a function held in the Department of Economics, RGU. Prof. Kushwaha appreciated and congratulated the Centre for Development Studies, Department of Economics, RGU and the authors for publishing their research output in the form of working papers. He, however, advised the department for wider publicity of the research output and dissemination of knowledge and to come out with a policy document by pooling of micro researches which can be used by the policy makers in formulating appropriate policy for the economic development of the State.

CDS Book and Working Papers Being Released by the Honorable Vice Chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi University on 17th December, 2020.

First Human Development Report of Arunachal Pradesh

The Department of Economics has the distinction of acting as a nodal Department for the preparation of the First Human Development Report (HDR)of Arunachal Pradesh. The HDR project was coordinated by Prof. N.C. Roy and the other faculty members of the Department were actively engaged in the preparation of this report. It was a report which was based on primary survey conducted in around 5,257 households with 30,762 individuals covering all the districts of the State.  It was sponsored by the UNDP and Planning Commission, Government of India, New Delhi. The final report was released in October 2006. The Report was one of its own kind and hence was much appreciated in the academic circles across the country.

First State Development Report of Arunachal Pradesh

The Department also has the distinction of preparing the First Arunachal Pradesh Development Report. The SDR project was coordinated by Prof. S.K. Nayak and with Prof. Atul Sarma, the then Vice Chancellor heading the Research Team. The faculty members of the Department were actively engaged in the preparation of SDR which was sponsored by the Planning Commission, Government of India, New Delhi.  The final report was released by Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission in December 2009. The Department has recently completed a study on ‘Evaluation of State Finances in Arunachal Pradesh, sponsored by the Fourteenth Finance Commission.

Prof. S. K. Nayak, Dr.LijumNochi and Dr.Maila Lama: (2019) (Edited)
Hill Economics and Sustainable Development in India: Emerging Realities, Concept publishing Company Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi

The book deals with issues and challenges of sustainable development in hill economies of India. It analyses the comparative advantages and challenges of the hill regions of India which comprises of 11 States.

The papers in the book have attempted to address a wide range of issues such as livelihood diversification, food security, agricultural sustainability, poverty, inequality, urbanisation, migration, fiscal governance etc. Ajit Debnath and Amitava Mitra (2019); Growing Urbanization and Challenges of Solid Waste Management in Eastern Himalayas. Blue Rose, New Delhi

This book has taken into account an in-depth analysis of urbanization, solid waste accumulation and management as well as household willingness to pay for improved solid waste management in selected towns of a state in the Eastern Himalayas, i.e., Arunachal Pradesh. The volume of municipal solid waste is increasing day by day because of increasing population, urbanisation, developmental activities, and changes in lifestyle, food habits and socio-economic activities etc., although collection efficiency and infrastructure are not growing adequately. Considering the advent of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Policy in India, this book can be an important document for academicians, environmentalists, environmental economists, professionals, social scientists, researchers, policy makers, planners, administrators, civic community and the general public concerned about urban environmental problems

Deepak K Mishra and Vandana Upadhyay (2017) Rethinking Economic Development in North East India: The Emerging Dynamics  (Edited) Routledge, London and New Delhi

  Economic development of frontier and remote regions has long been a central theme of development studies. This book examines the development experience in the northeastern region in India in relation to the processes of globalisation and liberalisation of the economy. Bringing together researchers and scholars, from both within and outside the region, the volume offers a comprehensive and updated analysis of governance and development issues in relation to the northeastern economy. With its multidisciplinary approaches, the chapters cover a variety of sectors and concerns such as land, agriculture, industry, infrastructure, finance, human development, human security, trade and policy.

Deepak K Mishra, Vandana Upadhyay and Atul Sarma (2013) :  The Unfolding Crisis in Assam’s Tea Plantations: Employment and Occupational Mobility, Routledge, London and New Delhi

  • As the Indian economy integrates into global circuits of production, exchange and accumulation, the burdens of adjustment are shared unequally by different sectors, classes and regions. This study unravels the livelihood strategies and living conditions of labour in Assam’s tea sector, which has been undergoing a crisis since the 1990s. Stagnant production, decline in exports, and closures of many tea gardens have led to large-scale retrenchments in the labour force. The study begins by contextualising the Assam tea sector in a comparative and historical perspective and then delineates the chief employment characteristics of labour in this industry. Based on a detailed analysis of secondary data and primary field research, it goes on to examine the extent, types and implications of inter-generational occupational mobility (or immobility) among labourers in Assam’s tea gardens. In the process, it reflects on how even a sector that brought capital and labour from outside and contributed significantly to the country’s export earnings failed to create dynamic growth linkages within the local economy.

Vandana Upadhyay (2014): Work Participation and Time-Use Pattern of Women in Rural Arunachal Pradesh, VVGNLI, Noida, India

  • The book attempts to understand household work, workforce participation, and division of labour in rural Arunachal Pradesh. Using both qualitative and quantitative approach, the average time spent on household work and agricultural activities by both men and women and the gendered division of labour has been examined by the author through a time use survey. In case of Arunachal Pradesh, the time use survey has an added significance, given the relative importance of subsistence production and low levels of commercialisation of the economy.  It is observed that the problems of underestimation of women’s work are found to be far more serious in the State. The book highlights that economic transformation of the State itself has generated gendered processes of exclusion and impoverishment. Although gender relations in Arunachal Pradesh is generally described as egalitarian, particularly in comparision with many other states of India, such a general portrayal, the paper has attempted to argue, not only hides the wide variations that exists among the north eastern states, but also does not pay adequate attention to the continuing and emerging disparities in various dimensions of well being, division of labour and empowerment.

Working Papers of the Centre for Development Studies

Dr. Lijum Nochi: “Dynamics of Livelihoods along foothills of Arunachal Pradesh”.

Working Paper No. CDS/01/2019

The Working paper focusses on the dynamics of Livelihoods along the foot hills of the State of Arunachal Pradesh. It deals with the various facets of livelihood activities and accesses. It ranges from occupational paradigm to land use pattern, from the household assets to farm practices, from dependence on natural resources to socio-institutional access. Based on the livelihood approach, the study has designed household livelihoods portfolio. It emphasis that the existing structures and processes do influence and shape the outcome of the livelihoods portfolio. The households in securing their livelihoods are faced with the problems of trading off and substitution of strategies and practices, giving rise to multiple least cost livelihood portfolios. In addition to farm activity, there are also set of allied farm activities in the portfolio of the households. The poor households are dependent upon  nature-based livelihood activities such as fishing, hunting and trapping, in addition to gathering and extraction which constitutes an important part of their livelihoods portfolio. The study emphasises that the need of the hour is the right kind of interventions in the form of physical assets and technology at a lower cost for livelihood diversification.

Dr. M. Lama: “Crop Diversification and Farm Income in the Hills of Northeast India”.

Working Paper No. CDS/02/2019

  • The working paper focuses on crop diversification and farm incomes in the hills of North East India. Crop diversification involves a shift of the resources particularly cultivated area from cereals and low value crops to high value crops like fruits and vegetables. The present study explores the status and extent of crop diversification in the hilly areas of the State of Arunachal Pradesh. The analysis of data reveals that productivity of different crops is lower in the State compared to the national average and that of other States. Hence emphasis should be on improving productivity on the one hand and on the other hand, focus should be on all income-generating activities like cash crops, floriculture, horticulture, fish culture and pig-rearing, agro-processing etc. to enhance the income of the farmers. The results showed that crop diversification had a positive and significant impact on farm income. Hence there is a need to introduce new technology, strengthen extension services, provide cheap credit, new inputs, marketing infrastructure and support prices. The cold storage facilities, irrigation and transportation should be improved for the development of the agriculture sector in the State.

Dr. Anup K Das: “Rental Markets of Farm Capital Goods: A Study of its form, determinants of participation and impact on Agriculture”.

Working Paper No. CDS/03/2019

  • The working paper discusses the forms of rental markets, factors affecting the participation in such markets and its impact on agricultural production and productivity enhancing practices. Rental markets of agricultural machinery, especially which are expensive in nature, can play an important role in farm operation. It can facilitate farm mechanization even by small and marginal farmers for whom heavy machinery like tractor, power tiller etc. are not affordable. Rental markets of machinery can enhance farm mechanization further by increasing incentives to invest in such capital goods. In the presence of rental markets of farm machinery, owner farmers with insufficient land for fuller utilization of machine’s capacity can reduce the underutilization by renting-out the machinery. This adds to the return of owner farmers from their investment in such machinery. Rental markets of agricultural machinery can also be effective in helping farmers to cope with the changing circumstances, such as difficulty of rearing the draught animals due to lack of grazing land, frequent flood, man power shortage etc. The rental markets of farm machinery can contribute significantly to farm operations.

Dr. Prasenjit B Baruah: “Unorganised Enterprises and Financial Inclusion: A Study of Assam”. Working Paper No. CDS/04/2019

  • The working paper focuses on the status and patterns of financing of the unorganised enterprises of Assam. It also analyses  the impact of financial access on the performance of the urban unorganised enterprises in the State. It  indicates that a large number of unorganised enterprises are engaged in both manufacturing and services sector in Assam and have also employed a large percentage of the workforce in the State. The enterprises in this sector have contributed significantly to the gross state domestic product. Large percentage of the unorganised enterprises reported that non availability and costly credit were the main challenges faced by them and the own fund of the entrepreneurs was the main source of their investible resources and formed the maximum share in the total amount of working capital expenditure. To measure the depth of financial access an index was developed incorporating four aspects of financial access viz. saving, credit, insurance and payment through the financial institutions. Majority of the entrepreneurs have partial financial access and only a few have higher access to financial services. Thus, although financial coverage was not a major problem in the study area; depth of financial services was not found to be satisfactory.

Prof. N C Roy: “Impact of Central Fund on the Economic Development of Arunachal Pradesh”. Working Paper No. CDS/05/2020

  • The working paper primarily highlights the processes that has resulted in the improvement in the quality of life of the people in the state, as an outcome of the overall economic development witnessed in recent times. The study attempts to quantify the role of the inflow of funds from the Centre to the State and its impact on the development process. Arunachal economy has witnessed a trajectory of growth which is well marked by its noticeable gradient. Unlike other states of the country the development programme in the state was launched only after independence. Till 1962, the year of Indo-China war, a gradualist approach towards development was undertaken. The war, drastically altered the vision of development towards the borderlands and the Government of India reoriented its policy to accelerate the growth of the Arunachal economy. This has resulted in the steady flow of funds from the Central Government to the State. The study is an attempt to quantify the effects of central funds upon the growth of income and other development indicators of the State.

Prof. Amitava Mitra: “Challenges of Development in the Border Areas: An Empirical Study”. Working Paper No. CDS/06/2020

  • The working paper has explored the wide ranging inter-district disparities in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, in terms of availability of infrastructural facilities that are crucial for improving the economic condition of people in the state. The districts of the northern and eastern international border areas, with high mountains are less well serviced than the districts in the foothills of Arunachal Pradesh.  Against this background, the study examines the developmental challenges, the socio-economic condition of the population at large, as well as the livelihood linkages in the international border areas of Arunachal Pradesh. All the border districts of Arunachal Pradesh and two border blocks (bordering with China) have been covered in the study. The identified challenges in the surveyed blocks include lack of physical connectivity, lack of educational facilities, lack of health facilities, erratic supply of electricity, almost no potable water supply, sanitation issues, frequent landslides, isolation and remoteness.

Prof. N.C. Roy, Prof. S. K. Nayak and Dr. D B Gurung: “Identification of the Potential Exportables of Arunachal Pradesh”.

Working Paper No. CDS/07/2020

The working paper is a study on the export potentials of the state of Arunachal Pradesh. It emphasises on the fact that the resource endowments in the State are adequate for the expansion of outputs of a good range of commodities. There is a variety of horticultural products and indigenous orchids which can be produced commercially by overcoming the various challenges which the State faces in terms of infrastructural bottlenecks. However, the authors argue, that for this economic vision to be a reality, it is imperative that the producers get remunerative prices for their outputs.

Coordinator: Prof. Vandana Upadhyay,, Dept. of Economics
Year of Establishment: 2010

The Centre for Development Studies (CDS) is set up with a generous grant of the corpus fund of 10 crore from Ministry of Finance (Department of Economics Affairs), Government of India as a research adjunct at the Department of Economics, Rajiv Gandhi University to provide better research facilities to the faculty, research scholars as well the students of the Department of Economics.


  • To promote and coordinate research on various development issues.
  • To sponsor economists from all over India and abroad to Department of Economics, Rajiv Gandhi University for delivering lectures.
  • To collaborate with national and international agencies in conducting studies and research on issues of critical importance to the region/ country/ between countries.
  • To conduct regular seminars, conferences and workshops etc.
  • To upgrade research infrastructure including communication and computing facilities.