Professor Arjun Sengupta and Dr. I.G.Patel, the then Economic Advisors to the Government of India were instrumental and the main architect in establishing a unit of the erstwhile Planning Commission in Visva-Bharati to undertake research and supply inputs to the erstwhile Planning Commission in 1995. The eminent economists of India reached a consensus to the proposal of Professor Arjun Sengupta that this Unit would be named after Professor A.K.Dasgupta. The erstwhile Planning Commission had renamed this unit as "Professor A.K.Dasgupta Centre for Planning and Development" and the Chair as "Professor A.K.Dasgupta Chair in Planning and Development".
Sir Partho Dasgupta, FBA, FRS (Frank Ramsay Professor of Economics, the University of Cambridge) and Dr. Alaknanda Patel (wife of Dr. I.G.Patel), the son and daughter of Professor A.K.Dasgupta respectively have donated Prof. Dasgupta's residence 'Nirala' to Visva-Bharati to house the Centre. The university authority has renovated the house at a cost of nearly 22 lakhs.
Ms. Sudha P.Rao and Sri V.V.Sadamate, advisors of the erstwhile Planning Commission had suggested the areas of research as rural health care, rural development, women empowerment and child development and agriculture as the main areas of research activities of the Centre. The advisors suggested making it a nodal centre under which various departments of Visva Bharati could undertake research in the relevant areas and supply inputs.
Professor Abhijit Sen, the then Member of the erstwhile Planning Commission, GOI visited the centre and expressed satisfaction with its research and publications.
The Centre has taken up the activities of collecting data, holding workshops and seminars, publishing working papers and books in these fields. The activities of the Centre has been broadened and incorporated the Professors and researchers of other universities and also researchers from different research agencies to improve the primary data-base to understand the realities.
The University is keen to strengthen the collaboration between the activities of different departments through the A K D centre with a view to improve their technical and analytical capabilities to undertake research which has social relevance and is useful for purposes of formulation of appropriate policies pertaining to rural development. The University would like to make the centre a Centre of Research per excellence.
A.K.Dasgupta Chair Professor in Planning and Development
A.K.Dasgupta Centre for Planning & Development