Indian Institute of Dalit Studies (IIDS)

Image Credit: 
Ray Witlin - World Bank
Delhi, India
Date Established: 
Social Policy
Think Tank Website: 
Sanghmitra S. Acharya
Executive Director
IIDS aims to add to the knowledge base it has generated in the last 9 years on inclusive policy and other action on the various dimensions of exclusion associated with group identity In India. This body of work informs government and civil society actors to help them achieve the goal of inclusive society conceived by the Indian government.

The Indian Institute of Dalit Studies (IIDS) is a social sciences research centre with a focus on development concerns related to marginalized and socially excluded groups. The Institute conducts research on issues of deprivation, the nature and consequences of exclusion and discrimination, and collective action. IIDS is one of of India’s first research organisations to focus specifically on these issues.

IIDS recognizes that social exclusion and discrimination in Indian society – based on caste, ethnicity, gender, religion, physical disability, regional origin and other forms of social identify – have contributed to deprivation and poverty among these groups. Its vision is to help India develop an inclusive society by developing a body of knowledge that improves understanding of the problems related to social exclusion and suggesting evidence-based policies that extend equal rights and entitlements to marginalized groups.

The Institute focuses on interdisciplinary theoretical, empirical and applied research on exclusion and discrimination and its consequences, with particular focus on economic growth and development, inter-social group inequalities, poverty, deprivation and marginalization. IIDS also studies collective actions by and on behalf of marginalized groups and provides knowledge to support civil society organizations engaged in advocacy. It has developed an extensive database on social groups in India, providing valuable resources to academics, researchers, activists and others. It aims to strengthen networking with similar institutions, both in India and abroad, through joint collaboration and partnerships, seminars, workshops and lectures.

Research Areas: 
social exclusion and discrimination in multiple spheres
social inclusion in government welfare programs
ownership of private enterprise among Dalits
Dalit women and leadership
religion and caste interface – Dalit Muslims & Dalit Christians
social protection policies
Dalit literature and art