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Population Research Centres in India


On the recommendations of Demographic Sub-Committee appointed by the Research Programme of Planning Commision in 1955, the Ministry of Health provided grants for the establishment of Demographic Research Centres (DRC) in Delhi, Calcutta and Trivandrum to undertake research on various demographic, social & economic aspects of population growth in their respective regions. Later on, Family Planning Communication Action Research Centres were established to carry out research studies in the field of family planning communication to understand the processes of acceptance of family planning and evolve more efficient programmes for the acceptance of small family norm under the guidance of expert committees appointed by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare from time to time. These centres exist mostly in Universities and Institutions of national repute. The nomenclatures of DRC and Family Planning Committee Action Research Centres were changed to Population Research Centre (PRC) in 1978-79 after taking into account the fact that activities of all research centres were more or less alike.

The PRCs are expected to carry out research on various aspects of population stabilisation, conduct demographic and socio-demographic surveys and study communication aspects of Population and Family Welfare Programme. At present, there is a network of 18 PRCs in 12 Universities and 6 institutions of national repute scattered over 17 states of India.

The PRCs are autonomous in their functioning. These Centres are provided with 100 per cent central assistance in the form of grants-in-aid on a year-to-year basis. In most of the States where PRCs are present, Research Coordination Committees have been constituted under the chairmanship of Health Secretaries of respective States. This is to provide a forum for exchange of ideas and findings between programme administrators and researchers for the optimum utilisation of resources and also identification of areas where further research may be needed.

The PRCs are monitored by the Central Government from time to time to ensure that the research effort is not merely academic but also action-oriented. Most of the studies conducted by the PRCs are on varying topics such as population growth, socioeconomic characteristics of rural/ urban population, evaluation of Family Welfare Programme for non-acceptance of family planning methods, evaluation of special school health check up scheme, and fertility and socioeconomic indicators.

Click here for the list of Population Research Centres in India
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