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Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS)

centre for the study of developing societies

The Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) is an Indian research institute for the social sciences and humanities. It was established in 1963 by Rajni Kothari and is largely funded by the Indian Council of Social Science Research Govt of India. It is situated in New Delhi, close to Delhi University.


Kothari left his position as assistant director of the National Institute of Community Development in 1963 to commence the CSDS. It was housed inceptionally in a building owned by the Indian Adult Education Association at Indraprastha Estate, Delhi. CSDS later moved in 1966-1967 to its current location.


The library at CSDS began with a few bookshelves in the basement of IAEA and grew up into a full-fledged one by 1970. It is meant majority for research and higher learning in the field of social sciences and humanities. The collection comprises of about 29,000 books and 5,000 bound volumes of journals and a modest set of reports and booklets. More than 130 journals are received constantly. Apart from works on contemporary themes, the library houses a collection of works on Asia and Africa, arms race and peace movement, non-European perspectives, science studies, ecology and environment, and human rights. There is a different collection of Hindi books covering a broad range of subjects including literature. The access to the collection has been computerized and the catalog can be accessed by any computer in the center. The CSDS library is a part of the Developing Libraries Network and the Social Science Libraries Network.

Data unit

The CSDS Data Unit, et up in 1965, maintains an archive of survey data on political behavior and attitudes, spanning over four decades. The unit also holds a number of secondary data sets, generally on elections in India.


Programmes in the Centre covers:

  • Lokniti Programme for Comparative Democracy
  • The Sarai Programme
  • Programme in Social and Political Theory
  • Indian Language Programme


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