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.

Affiliations and Collaborations

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. Forum of Federations, the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) and the India International Centre (IIC), New Delhi have been proactive in supporting CPA's activities time to time. United Nations Development Programme has also become one of the sponsors for the CPA activities.


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 citizen' 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:
conduct and promote contextually-rooted research in order to build appropriate theoretical and conceptual frameworks on matters of societal concern;

develop policy options on such concerns at both national and international levels; and

initiate and promote dialogues to build ideational bridges between and among communities and states.

Promote and carry out action research on social, economic and political issues and the impact of developmental policy measures on human lives.