Centre for Development Practice and Research, Patna

About Us

The Centre for Development Practice and Research is a Patna-based independent centre of TISS, Mumbai. Established on 6th March 2016, the Centre has been actively pursuing research, short-term courses, lectures, seminars and conferences, publications and student mentorship.


The priority areas of research of the Centre include migration and labour studies, justice, school education, and public health. The research carried at the Centre is multi, inter and trans disciplinary in nature. The Centre also intends to promote research both in vernacular and English languages.


A Five-year Research Programme on Migration: The idea behind this long-term research programme is to contribute to developing new frameworks of analysis and introducing methodological innovations. Priority has been be given to study relationship between migration and the land question, impact of Green Revolution, the issues related to identity formation, urbanization and labour processes, popular movements, refugeehood and citizenship, child labour, environment, forced migration, public policy, and histories and cultural significance of migration in the modern age.

Presently, the Centre is pursuing research on migration and the questions of urban transformation in Patna; impact of male outflow on women in rural Bihar; flood and migration in the Kosi region; agrarian transition and migration; logistical labour on Bihar-Nepal border; logistical labour at the Transport Nagar in Patna; and Labour Chowks in Patna. The research is inter-disciplinary in nature and has potential for policy and programme formulation. Read More ]

Orientation Course on Migration: The Centre offers a certificate course on migration for postgraduate students, research scholars, and young faculty from India and other SAARC countries. This is an annual course of two and a half months for research scholars and young college/university faculty from all over the country. The second course was completed in February 2018. The course is in high demand as it is evident from large number of applications received. The faculty come from TISS Patna Centre, TISS Mumbai, ILO South Asia Office, Calcutta University, Visvabharti University, Observer Research Foundation, Aid-et-Action, Azim Premji University and New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI).

Lecture Series on Migration: The Centre started a lecture series on migration in July 2016. So far, the Centre has organised 14 lectures on migration.

Lecture Series on Justice: The Centre started a lecture series on justice in September 2017 to explore the themes related to the notion of justice and injustice in the present context of India.. So far, four lectures have been organised.

Lecture Series on Dialoguing between the Posts: In 2018, the Centre started a lecture series on ‘dialoguing between the postcolonial and postsocialist conditions. The first lecture was delivered by Dr. Kasia Narkovicz of York University and the second lecture is scheduled on 30th September 2018 to be delivered by Prof. Madina Tlostanova.

Hetukar Jha Memorial Annual Lecture: In February 2018, the Centre started an annual lecture in the memory of renowned sociologist, Prof. Hetukar Jha, who was closely associated with the TISS Patna Centre.

TISS-Takshila Annual Lecture on Contemporary Challenges to India’s Democracy: The Centre has initiated TISS-Takshila Annual Lecture on Contemporary Challenges to India’s Democracy. The first lecture is scheduled on 30th September 2018 to be delivered by Prof. Gopal Krishna Gandhi, former Governor of West Bengal and Visiting Professor, Ashoka University.

Short-term Courses on Migration for Practitioners: The first course is scheduled in August 2018 in collaboration with ActionAid. Another course is scheduled for the migration team staff of the Tata Trusts in October 2018.

Digital Archive on Migration: The Centre is working towards building a digital archive on labour migration. It will be a repository of documents related to the trends of labour migration in Bihar from mid-nineteenth century to contemporary times. Official records from different archives in Bihar and within and outside the country, records held by trade unions, erstwhile estates, old libraries, Chambers of Commerce and Industry; old newspapers, and private papers of individuals, will be digitalised. In addition, the project aims at creating oral testimonies to enrich the historical material.

Field Action Project: A four-year field action project on “Deepening Democracy through Gram Panchayats” was launched in mid-August in Mian-Ke-Bhatkan Gram Panchayat in Jiradei block of Siwan district of Bihar. The project aims at strengthening representation, participation and capacities of the functionaries of the Gram Panchayat.

In the initial phase emphasis is put on ethnography to develop deeper understanding about socio-economic, political and cultural realities of the people and the way institutions such as education, health, Gram Sabha and Ward Sabhas, Gram Kachahari, etc. function. The project staff are also engaged in innovative ways of writing ethnography in the form of storytelling so that they can be shared with the local people to make it part of community’s conscientisation process. A conference is planned in the month of October 2018 to share the progress and plan for the next phase.

Research will be used to develop strategies and tools to make the functioning of local institutions less discriminatory, more inclusive and efficient, and to make plans based on solid evidence collected from the ground. The area is known for high outflow of both inland and GCC countries migrants. The project envisages working with the migrants and their families to deal with the problems faced by the migrants as well as the families that remain in the village.

International Conference on ‘The Migrant and the State’: The Centre is organising an international conference on the said theme on Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, 2018.

Mentoring Young Researchers in Social Sciences: This programme is for postgraduate students, research scholars and young faculty members studying / working in Bihar wherein one-year long mentorship will be provided, partly in contact and partly in distance mode, in social theory, conceptualization of a research proposition, research methodology and academic writing. The final outcome of the programme will be enhancement of capacity of the participants to produce a publishable paper.

Research Internship: The Centre has started research internship to students with the aim to offer short-term research mentorship in our research areas. In 2018, the Centre accepted interns from TISS Mumbai and Tuljapur campuses; Banasthali Vidyapeeth, Rajasthan; Banaras Hindu University; Patna University; DAV Postgraduate College, Siwan; Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati; and National Institute of Technology, Rourkela. Interns worked on situation of health, education and Gulf migration in area of the field action project in Siwan and on labour chowks, logistical labour in Transport Nagar and digital archive on migration in Patna.

Textbook Writing: The Centre has taken initiative to produce textbooks in different inter-disciplinary topics. To begin with, a set of books will be prepared for college and university students on labour, migration and development practice for which an authors’ workshop is scheduled in the month of September 2018.

Publications: The Centre has launched print as well as online edition of two occasional paper series – Public Arguments in English and Sarvajanik Bahas in Hindi. So far, six papers have been published in English and two in Hindi under the respective series. A Working Paper Series has also been started. Five working papers have already been published. The papers are downloadable from the TISS Website.

Work on publication of three books is underway.

Publications by Faculty: The faculty of the Centre have published papers in peer reviewed journals and contributed papers in edited volumes. Some of them have also written in popular magazines and newspapers.



Research Fellowship: Researchers of the Centre worked on diverse themes like labour migration and logistics of Bihar-Nepal border; women in absence of male out-migrants; caste practices among Muslims; gender issues in residential schools for girls; and fringe lives in a slum of Patna.

Symposiums and Conferences on Migration and Labour: The Centre has organised one symposium and two national conferences. The titles of the symposium and conferences were as follows:

i.    Exploring New Grounds of Studying Bihar (Feb. 2017)

ii.   Cultural Practices of Labour in Migration (April 2018)

iii.   Multiple Contexts of Migration – Multitude of Migrants (May 2018)

Knowledge Partnership with the Department of Labour Resources and ILO: The Centre acted as a knowledge partner for a consultation in October 2017 on migrant labour from Bihar organised by the Department of Labour Resources, Government of Bihar and ILO, New Delhi. For the consultation, the Centre in collaboration with the Aajeevika Bureau prepared a policy document for consideration of the policy makers.

Academic Writing Workshop: In December 2016, with the support from the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development and the Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion, the Centre organised an academic writing workshop for PhD Scholars belonging to the SC and ST community registered with universities in Bihar.

One Day Workshop of Elected Women Representatives of Patna Municipal Corporation: In February 2017, the Centre in collaboration with a local NGO, NIDAN, organised a one-day workshop of elected representative of the Patna Municipal Corporation on “Challenges and Opportunities for Elected Women Representatives in Urban Local Bodies”.

Scoping Mission on the Correlates of Decline in Early Marriage of Girls in Bihar: The Centre undertook the scoping mission on the request of UNICEF Bihar. The report of the mission while trying to identify drivers of change presented an outline of a larger study to understand the phenomenon.

Preparation of Reference Material for Gram Panchayat Functionaries: During 2016 and 2017, the Centre made a major contribution by successfully completing a large project for the Department of Panchayati Raj, Government of India, by preparing a set of 20 booklets, both in Hindi and English, which are self-study material for functionaries, both elected representatives as well as officials of the Gram Panchayat. The project was funded by the UNICEF. The booklets were released by the Union Minister of Panchayati Raj during the national conference of Panchayati Raj Ministers in Bhopal in 2017. The booklets have received high appreciation by the Central and state governments.

Other Activities: In 2016 and 2017, the Centre organised two lectures – one by Dr. Vishnu Bisram from the Indian Diaspora Council, New York on 100 years of abolition of indentured labour in 2017 and another by Dr. Manisha Priyam of the National University of Educational Planning and Administration on primary education in Bihar.  The Centre collaborated with ASSERT, a research organisation of psychologists, to organise a research methodology workshop for the BA (Hons.) students of the Psychology Department of the Patna Women’s College (Patna University). Besides, the faculty of the Centre have delivered invited lectures, chaired sessions, participated in discussion panels, and Committees of academic institutions, civil society organisations and government bodies. The Chairperson of the Patna Centre has served in the University Advisory Committee of the Chancellor of the universities of Bihar. In 2016, the Centre also helped the Chairperson of the State Assembly to revive the Bihar Chapter of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Forum by anchoring the first meeting of the elected representatives of the state legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council, and also organising an interface between the Forum and the civil society.



The centre has jointly organised programmes with the History Department and English Department, Patna University; Jagjivan Ram Institute of Parliamentary Studies and Political Research; A. N. College and College of Commerce, both Patliputra University; Law College, Patna University; Department of Labour Resources, Government of Bihar; International Labour Organisation (ILO), New Delhi; UNICEF Bihar Field Office; Aajeevika Bureau, Udaipur; Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion, Bihar; Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, Sriperumbudur; Kedar Das Institute for Labour and Social Studies, Patna; Chanakya National Law University, Patna; and Takshila Educational Society, New Delhi. New collaborations are being discussed with other universities in India and abroad.


The core funding of the Centre is provided by the Takshila Educational Society, New Delhi. Project funding have come from UNICEF (PPE Division, New Delhi and Bihar Field Office) and Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu.


  • Prof. Ravi Srivastava
  • Prof. Gopal Guru
  • Prof. Ranabir Samaddar
  • Prof. Md. Sajjad
  • Prof. Badri Narayan
  • Prof. Manish Jha
  • Prof. Daisy Narayan
  • Shri Sanjiv Kumar
  • Prof. Rajeshwar Mishra
  • Director, TISS (ex-officio)
  • Prof. Pushpendra (convener)