ST. STEPHEN’S CENTER FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH
The Department of Economics in St. Stephen’s College attracts very talented and highly motivated students. Consistently over the years, many of them have shown both the capabilities and the willingness to range well beyond the confines of the University of Delhi BA Honours in Economics course work. There is, of course, mutual interplay between what the BA Honours course equips them with and the kind of problems beyond the course that they are willing and able to tackle. The Honours course itself has developed over time, and modules such as Econometrics or Game Theory or Economics of Health and Education or Environmental Economics have now been introduced. This has given our students some up-to-date basic training, and consequently a greater confidence in formulating and tackling new problems and issues, the first steps in undertaking real research.
The primary aim of the Center for Economic Research is to tap this great potential and to encourage a very bright group of students to be more “research-oriented”, more daring and independent in formulating problems and research questions well outside the formal curricular structure, and more rigorous and careful in formulating hypothesis and testing them.
Some of the regular activities undertaken by CER are:
- The institution of the Goutham Krishna Research Fellowships in 2014-15 has already resulted in at least 2 projects every year undertaken by different groups of students working as teams (faculty members in the Dept of Economics acted as mentors and guides to the groups). These Fellowships have been made possible by a generous endowment from the family of Goutham Krishna, a former student of the College who died tragically young while working for a higher degree at the University of Bristol in August 2022
The Centre has been created by the dynamism and vision of the Principal. If this initiative can be taken forward in serious ways, it will hugely enrich the academic life of St. Stephen’s College.
In August 2022, one of the Goutham Krishna projects, “Inoculation against the Other Pandemic: A Consumer Side Approach to India’s Fake News Problem” was published in a prestigious international journal “Applied Cognitive Psychology”.
Lectures and courses:
The Center, in association with eminent speakers, faculty, and former students, conducts regular talks, seminars, short-duration workshops, and short courses introducing Junior members to new developments in theoretical and applied economics. Some of the more recent workshops and lecture series include a 9 -day certificate course on “The Microeconomic Foundations of Public Policy and Governance” by Dr. Shruti Lakhtakia (World Bank) and a 9-lecture series on Research Methodology between November 2021 and January 2022.
Rural Research Programme:
The Rural Research Programme (RRP), started in 2018, is a programme under which groups of students from college survey villages across India on contemporary and relevant rural issues. Students from diverse disciplines in the College participate in the Programme and present their findings to faculty and sector experts, enhancing the student’s academic experience.
During the Programme’s operations, students have undertaken field trips to various locations and explored exciting questions. Some of these are –
- Bundelkhand, Madhya Pradesh, where students undertook a ‘Comparative analysis of farmer’s vulnerability to Climate Change.’
- Mansa, Punjab, where ‘The impact of Agrarian Suicides on victim families’ was explored.
- Hakrampally, Telangana, where students analysed the efficacy of the Rythi Bandhu scheme: ‘Is the Rythi Bandhu scheme an adequate solution to the agrarian crisis in Telangana?’
- Vidarbha, Maharashtra, here, students looked at – ‘Women, Labour and Climate Change.
Link to the Center’s Facebook page is – Facebook
The Center’s departmental reports can be accessed on the College’s website – Reports