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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Pune houses India’s oldest economics research and training institute

It is spread over 10 acres, including five for residential area and five for the institute

pune Updated: Aug 28, 2017 14:38 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
Gokhale Institute is spread over 10 acres, including five for residential area and five for the institute.
Gokhale Institute is spread over 10 acres, including five for residential area and five for the institute.(HT Photo)
         

The premises of Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, despite being a part of modern city, reminiscences the old bungalow culture of Pune. It is spread over 10 acres, including five for residential area and five for the institute. Freedom fighter and politician Gopal Krishna Gokhale lived in this picturesque campus and recently the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) renovated his ancestral residence. Another point of interest in the campus is the huge banyan tree under which Gokhale would often have discussions with Mahatma Gandhi, who considered Gokhale to be his political guru.

Established in 1930 by the Servants of India Society, the institute is known to be the oldest research and training institute in economics in the country. It is mainly dedicated to research into the socio-economic dimensions of the Indian society. Carrying forward the legacy of Gopal Krishna Gokhale who founded the Servants of India Society in 1905, the inception of the institute was to promote education among Indians for the governance of the nation post Independence. 

Because of limited financial resources, it was decided that the institute would initially devote attention to the study of economic problems, local and regional fact-finding investigations, as such investigation work then was relatively neglected.

Marketing of fruit in Pune was the first investigational project undertaken by the institute. After its completion, attention was directed to the basic methodological problem of adapting the survey method. On the non-agricultural sector, the first survey undertaken was that of motor-bus transportation. 

The Imperial Council for Agricultural Research was the first authority to recognise the potentialities of the Institute by making a grant in 1936 for research relating to the adaptation of the survey method to Indian farm management research. In recognition of its contribution over the decades, the Institute was awarded the status of institution deemed to be University, in 1993. 

Some major research contributions taken up by the institute was development of methodology for rural data collection which is still in use by National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), and for national income estimation in rural India, still in use by Central Statistical Organisation (CSO). The institute also boasts designing the institutional framework for NABARD, and formulating the Employment Guarantee Scheme in Maharashtra. 

Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics

What: Established in 1930 by the Servants of India Society, the institute is known to be the oldest research and training institute in economics in the country.

Where: BMCC Road, Deccan Gymkhana

When: Open on all days

First Published: Aug 23, 2017 11:40 IST