Understanding and affecting paradigmatic change towards a more equitable social order
The Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies is a 25 year old independent national policy think tank promoted by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. RGICS carries out research and policy development on contemporary challenges facing India.
We live in an era of paradigmatic change – local, national and global. Our aim is to understand and direct this paradigmatic change — social, economic and political — towards a more equitable social order.
We seek to do so by (i) providing knowledge inputs training and strategic advice to political leaders, civil society activists and the general public on the nature of paradigmatic change and role of politics in directing change; and (ii) designing institutional structures and policies that would achieve this purpose.
The three main areas of paradigmatic change we are working on currently are (i) de-concentration, decentralization and devolution of Government power to empower the citizen; and democratization of public policy decision making and of executive and judicial institutions; (ii) dissipation of structures of social hierarchy and inequality such as caste and gender; and (iii) dissipation of economic monopolies and concentration of economic power by promoting a democratic, socially sensitive and competitive market economy that advances Constitutional values.
We explore these themes in the context of a range of contemporary issues such as (i) economic growth; (ii) poverty and social exclusion; (iii) labour rights including informal sector workers; (iv) migration; (v) urbanization; (vi) regionally balanced development; (vii) social justice; (viii) human rights; (ix) electoral and political reforms; (x) social movements; (xi) good governance and public administration (including judicial reform and corruption); (xii) environmental protection and natural resources including land and water; (xiii) land reforms;; (xiv) globalization; and (xv) knowledge creation and sharing, socially constructed modes of thought an education.
A just social order – local, national and global — based on the values that inspired India’s freedom struggle and are codified in the Indian Constitution:
Equality of status, opportunity and of political, economic and social rights; liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; democracy; secularism; socialism; fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation; world peace and fellowship.
Enhancing the effectiveness of democratic politics as an instrument of social change towards a just social order.
The Institute’s organisational structure has been systematically clubbed under three broad groups namely, the Governance Cluster, the Economics Cluster and the Social Cluster. Each cluster is headed by a domain expert and consists of researchers qualified in the subject. While each team has exclusive projects, they also work together on cross cutting topics of social, economic and political significance.