Thrust areas of research are Agriculture and Allied Agriculture, Industry, Intellectual Property Rights, Service Sector, Poverty, Food Security, Employment and Unemployment, District Planning, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Public Finance, State and Local Finances, Social Sector-Education and Health, Migration, Solid Waste Management, Environment and Sustainable Development, Gender Studies, Urban Studies, Decentralized Governance, WASH, Child Studies, International Trade and Services, Tribal Studies and Social Inclusion.
Research is the primary activity of the Centre. Problem orientation and relevance have been the priority in the formulation of the Centre’s research perspectives. Research problems and gaps are identified based on the existing knowledge, trends and behavioural parameters. The Centre’s research focuses more on the economic and social problems of India, Telangana and other States in the country.
The Centre carried out longitudinal studies like Andhra Pradesh Rural Poverty Reduction Programme (APRPRP), Young Lives spanning over a long period. The Centre has expertise in conducting large primary survey based studies. The Centre has also prepared the Human Development Reports (HDR) for united Andhra Pradesh in 2007. After the bifurcation of the State, HDRs were prepared for the States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in 2017. The Report on the Millennium Development Goals is another milestone in the research activity of the Centre. CESS carried out the mid-term appraisal of the 11th Plan of AP for the Planning Commission. It also helped the then State Government in the preparation of the 12th Plan Approach Paper which involved analysis of sectoral growth targets, identification of growth engines, investment pattern, public-private partnership, resource mobilization, assessment and redesign of programmes for inclusive and sustainable growth. The Centre also carried out studies on tribal agriculture in seven states, baseline survey of WASH in 30 districts of Telangana before the implementation of Mission Bhagiratha – A flagship programme on drinking water.
The Research Unit for Livelihoods and Natural Resources (RULNR) at CESS has been set up during 2010-2015 with financial support from the Jamsetji Tata Trust, Mumbai for conducting research on river basins, forests and dry-land ecosystems that helps to foster the knowledge base of sustainable livelihoods and sustainable natural resource management. The unit has adopted a multi-disciplinary approach in research, drawing on various disciplines such as Economics, Social Anthropology, Ecology, Political Science, etc. In continuation of the work done by the RULNR, Division for Sustainable Development Studies was set up with the main objective of researching on Forest and Tribal Development, Sustainable Agriculture, Aqua Culture and Fisheries, Dryland Ecology, Ground Water, Governance and Institutions relating to Natural Resource Management.
Division for Child Studies (2013-18) carried out evidence-based studies on policy environment to guide and inform policymakers and practitioners on legal laws, policies, plans and programmes having an impact on children. Currently, studies on Child Protection issues are being carried out.
Division for Studies in Social Inclusion focuses on studies of vulnerable groups – the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and Minorities cutting across all the sectors.
The Centre also undertakes research projects sponsored by different agencies such as the State Government, Central Government, Asian Development Bank, World Bank, UNICEF, UNDP, DFID, GIZ, International Labour Organization, European Union, Volkswagen University-Germany, Ford Foundation, the International Foundation for Science – Sweden, Rockefeller Foundation – New York, Overseas Development Institute – London, United Kingdom and other organizations.
The Cartography Cell (1981-2006) has completed the following cartographic studies (i) Micro level Studies: District Maps of AP (ii) Spatial Framework for Planning and Development Administration (iii) Perspective Plan for A.P Shore Area Development (iv) Planning Atlas of Medak District (v) Tribal Development Atlas of Andhra Pradesh (vi) Hydro-Geological Atlas of Rajasthan (vii) Health Atlas of Andhra Pradesh. Currently GIS based services are rendered.
The State Government of Telangana and ICSSR, Ministry of Education, GoI, have been supporting the CESS for its research activities by releasing grant-in-aid under both plan and non-plan. The Reserve Bank of India has sanctioned a one-time grant to carry on the research studies.
In recognition of the Centre’s research and developmental activities, the CESS has been recognized as a Scientific and Industrial Science Organization by the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR), Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India since April 1998 and this recognition is being renewed from time to time (present recognition valid up to 31/3/2022). This recognition will entitle the CESS (a) to receive administrative support from the DSIR, Ministry of Science & Technology as may be required on issues to promote or encourage scientific research activities; (b) to avail custom/excise duty exemption on purchase of equipment, instruments, spares thereof, consumables etc. used for research & development subject to relevant Government policies in force from time to time.