CENTRE FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Centre for Public Affairs (CPA) was established in 1993 as a society registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 of the Union Territory of Delhi.
CPA came into being at a critical juncture when the models of development were being revisited across the world. The presumed relationship between state, market and society were being redefined. The emerging interrogation in social, political, economic and intellectual spheres was stirring a lively and contested discourse. The CPA adopted the analysis of this emerging environment as its task.
To make strategic interventions in the debate, which is bound to constantly transcend boundaries, CPA conducts seminars and research studies and commission working papers with specific foci on relevant themes. Its priority areas are: institutions, governance (both unit-based and multi-level), pluralism and sectarianism, education and human resource development, social development and voluntary sector, norms and ethics in public life, intra- and inter-country migrations, peace and conflict resolution, and regional and global security.
CPA’s objective is to develop a body of knowledge to make ideational interventions in order to provide policy choices on issues of public affairs. Its understanding of public affairs encompasses a whole gamut of concerns around which the state and public interact, cooperate, bargain and at times even come in conflict with each other. These concerns include public policies and societal pressures that go into their making, as well as citizens’ initiatives that are either developed as inputs to, or as outputs of, those policies. CPA assigns particular importance to citizens’ initiatives in the expansion of civil society initiatives. This dimension of public affairs has lately assumed greater salience because of people’s growing awareness about their rights and their fear of losing them to poaching by the state. The phenomenon is global and CPA contributes to the discourse.
CPA’s objectives are to:
1. conduct and promote contextually-rooted research in order to build appropriate theoretical and conceptual frameworks on matters of societal concern;
2. develop policy options on such concerns at both national and international levels; and
3. initiate and promote dialogues to build ideational bridges between and among communities and states.
Programme and Activities
CPA does not have a paid faculty. It works with a team of networked scholars both within the country and outside. The members of its Governing Board, all of whom are either academics or persons with academic interests, have been contributing to CPA’s academic endeavour since its inception.
One of the areas CPA has engaged itself from the outset is to study
Considering that voluntary
sector and civil society have emerged as important components of discourse on
governance worldwide, CPA organised in April 2001 in collaboration with the
Voluntary Action Network India (VANI) and the KAS a workshop in Hyderabad on
‘Society, Politics and the Voluntary Sector’. VANI subsequently, in 2003, published in
the form of a volume the papers submitted at the workshop. CPA’s focused attention on civil
society was carried forward and in 2005 with the support of the Japan
Foundation it organized an international conference on ‘Civil Society and
Democratic Space in
In 2002 when the Indian
Parliament celebrated its Golden Jubilee CPA took the opportunity to critique
its overall contribution in the Indian democracy, probably an exercise that was
first of its kind in
The study of the police
administration has been one of CPA’s prime concerns almost from the beginning.
In May 2002, it organised a seminar on ‘Policing in Perilous
Times’. To understand the
structure from a comparative perspective CPA soon established intensive
collaboration with two French institutions – Maison de Sciences des
le’ Homme and the Centre de Recherches Sociologiques Sur le Droit et les
Institutions Pénales. The
result was setting up of an international programme on comparative
policing. The notable activities
under the programme are two conferences, one on ‘Civil Society, State and
the Police in
Since research on police administration cannot ignore the issue of human rights CPA’s concern has included studies on human rights as well and concurrently the question of rule of law. In 2006 it published a monograph: ‘Terrorism and the Rule of Law: An Indian Perspective’ in collaboration with the KAS.
In 2003 CPA housed an ICSSR-funded project on the issue of uniform civil code conducted by Partha S. Ghosh, a member of its Governing Board. Its report was submitted to the ICSSR in 2006 and in the next year a Routledge publication came out of the report under the title Politics of Personal Law in South Asia: Identity, Nationalism and the Uniform Civil Code.
In 2009 CPA noted the completion of the study conducted by Mahendra P. Lama on ‘Newer Dynamics of India’s Nepal Policy’. The study was funded by the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India.
AFFILIATIONS AND COLLABORATIONS
Centre for Public Affairs is an
Associate Member of the Groupe Européen de Recherche sur les
Beginning as an
intellectual platform on public affairs with community support, over the years
CPA’s programmes have been supported through institutional collaborations
and funding support by a number of institutions. Konrad Adenauer Stiftung has remained an
important partner of CPA since 1999.
The Indian Council of Social Science Research too has given significant
support from time to time. CPA has
also received funding support from Japan Foundation, Heinrich Böll
Stiftung and Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. Maison de Sciences des le’ Homme,
Paris Centre De Recherches Sociologiques Sur le Droit et les Institutions Pénales, France, CNRS, France and Embassy of France in
New Delhi as well as Ministry of Foreign Affairs in France have also supported
our endeavour. India International
ONGOING Projects and Programmes
1. Naxalism and the Relevance of Maoism Today.
Funded by ICSSR, CPA is planning a conference on this theme.
2. Social Violence and the Police: Cross-National Experience.
An international conference on this theme is being organised.
3. Party System in
Revisiting its 2003 study on political parties, CPA has planned this study for 2010-11.
4. Political Recruitment and Political Leadership.
is an area that is getting increasingly important as the demand for a fair
gender representation is discoursed.
Its importance also increases as the older generation of political
leadership gives way to a new generation in the young
5. Violence as a Medium of Democracy.
democratic protests to terrorism and the ultra left politics, violence is
permeating Indian social and political life. Even political parties in
6. A Viable National Policy for the Senior Citizens.
With the absence of
institutional social security beyond the family for its senior citizens,
This is a project initiated
by a French team, being conducted by an international team of scholars, funded
by L'Agence Aationale de la Recherche and
CNRS. Aimed at studying Justice and
1. Jayati Shrivastava (ed.)
Civil Society and Democratic Space in
Civic Interactions, Economic Development and Regional Peace
Under editing (2010)
2. Ajay K. Mehra (ed.)
Emerging Trends in Indian
Politics: Fifteenth General Elections in
3. Ajay K Mehra and Rene Levy (eds.)
State, Society and the Police:
4. Mahendra P. Lama
Newer Dynamics of
Challenges, Options and Way Forward (mono.)
Report Submitted to the MEA, Government of
5. Partha S. Ghosh
Uniform Civil Code on Personal and Customary Laws?
A Politico-Legal Study of South Asian Experience
6. Ajay K. Mehra and O.P. Sharma
Emergence of Regional Parties in
Implications for National Politics, Policies and the Democratic System
7. O.P. Sharma and Ajay K. Mehra
Parties and Democracy in
8. Ajay K. Mehra and O.P. Sharma
Terrorism and the Rule of Law
9. Ajay K. Mehra and Gert W. Kueck (eds.)
The Indian Parliament: A Comparative Perspective
10. Ajay K. Mehra, Anil K. Singh and Gert W. Kueck (eds.)
Society, Politics and the Voluntary Sector
11. Ajay K. Mehra, D.D. Khanna and Gert W. Kueck (eds.),
Political Parties and Party Systems
ACADEMIC NETWORK OF CPA
CPA works through an international network of academics. CPA’s Governing Board has over the
years contributed to its academic output.
Its current and past members are part of its brains trust. CPA’s membership of GERN gives it
access to an international network of institutions and scholars not only in
In addition, the following academics across the country contribute to CPA’s academic programmes.
Prof. Abu Nasar Syed Ahmad OKDISCD, Guwahati
Prof. Sophie Body-Gendrot
Prof. Rekha Choudhary
Dr. Jorge Heine Distinguished Fellow, CIGI,
Prof. Monirul Hussain
Mr. Satish Jacob
Dr. Mira Kamdar
Senior Fellow, World Policy Institute,
Prof. Mizan R Khan
Prof. Ashutosh Kumar
Mr. Kamal Kumar, IPS
(retd.) Former Director,
Prof. René Lévy Director, GERN, France
Dr. Sanjay Lodha
Mr. Dushyantha Mendis
Mr. B.R. Muthu Kumar, IFS (retd) Former Ambassador, Bengaluru
Prof. A. S. Narang
Mr. Prakash Nanda
Dr. Rajaram Panda
Dr. Vijay Laxmi Pandit Principal,
Dr. Amit Prakash JNU,
Prof. Rasul Bakhsh Rais LUMS,
Dr. Gulshan Sachdeva JNU,
Dr. SWR de A Samarasinghe
Dr. Rekha Saxena
Mr. Jagdish Chandra Sharma,
IFS (retd.) Former
Dr. Jagpal Singh
Dr. Jayati Srivastava JNU,
Prof. Gilles Tarabout
Prof. Mohammad Waseem LUMS,
CPA Governing Board
Mr. Ved Marwah, IPS (retd.) Chairman
A2, Heera Mahal
44, Amrita Sher Gill Marg
Tel: 2462 3917
Prof. Partha S. Ghosh Member
Tel: 2689 9063
Dr. Ashok Jain Member
Tel: 2674 1232
Prof. Mahendra P. Lama Member
6th Mile, Samdur,
Tel: 03592-25 1462; 25 1436; 25 1438o
Prof. Girijesh Pant Member
Dehradun 248 001, Uttarakhand
Tel: 0135- 253 3105, 253 3102
Prof. Ritu Priya Mehrotra Member
Advisor, Public Health (Planning)
National Health System Resource Centre
Institute of Health & Family Welfare Campus
Baba Gangnath Marg, Munirka
Tel: 011-2610 8982/3/4, 2610 8992/3 o
Dr. O.P. Sharma Member
Sheikh Sarai II
Tel: 2254 8092
Prof. D.P. Tripathi Member
C-9/9782, Vasant Kunj
Tel: 4602 5873
Prof. Ajay K. Mehra Member-Secretary and
SWASTI Honorary Director
D-104, Sector 27
Noida 201 301, UP
Tel: (120) 244 1852; Telefax: 431 3221
"SWASTI", D-104, Sector 27
Noida 201 301, UP,
Tel: (120) 244 1852
Telefax: (120) 431 3221
B-24, Radheypuri, Krishnanagar
Tel: (11) 2254 8092