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About The Australia South Asia Research Centre






The Australia South Asia Research Centre (ASARC) was established as an initiative of the National University of Australia’s Division of Economics through the Strategic Development Fund of the Institute of Advanced Studies, and with financial assistance from the Australian Department of Employment, Education and Training. The Centre focuses on India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives. The Centre is dedicated to research on the economics and politics of development in the South Asia region.

The primary aims of the Centre are:
  • to study the economic development and political economy of South Asia, particularly of India, taking into account Australia's national interests, and the dynamics of economic cooperation and interaction in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions
  • to provide a focus for scholarly interest across disciplines in South Asia throughout The Australian National University
  • to develop a database on the South Asian economies
  • to establish research linkages with South Asian research and teaching institutions, and with Australian institutions with research interests in South Asia
  • to establish and maintain consultative links with South Asian governments, the Commonwealth Government of Australia and its agencies (particularly AusAID and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade), the Australian business community and its organisations, and with significant non-government organisations
  • to disseminate the findings of research work throughout the community. The Centre publishes a series on South Asia within the Economics Division Working Papers
  • to undertake training activities on South Asian economics particularly at postgraduate level. Currently Professor Raghbendra Jha and Professor Prema-chandra Athukorala are concentrating on issues of financial sector reform and anti-poverty policy as well as the political economy of health care in India.

The focus of the Centre is on economic reform and internationalisation of the economies. The subject matter of research extends to international relations and political economy of South Asia's reform and integration into the international economy. Below is a list of research projects and other activities of the Centre:

  • The design and implementation of Social Safety Nets in India (funded by the Australian Research Council and AusAID).
  • Vulnerability and Natural Disasters in Central Asia and the Pacific Islands (funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development, Rome).
  • The behavior of calorie and protein intake in rural India — in particular a study of nutrition–poverty traps (funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), UK).
  • Fiscal Policy Design in Developing Countries, with special reference to India.
  • Vulnerability of Consumption Growth in Rural India.
  • The view of international environmental arrangements and the arguments for a world environmental organization — in particular the interest of Asian development countries in such an organization. Also the role of international distribution of consumption in determining global environmental degradation (funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, USA)
  • Review of anti-poverty programs in India (funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development, Rome);
  • Review of the prospects for attainment of Millennium Development Goals in India (funded by the World Bank);
  • Global public goods and the emerging world order (funded by the United Nations Development Program);
  • The effect of liberalisation on economic inequality in India (funded by World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER), Helsinki);
  • Proposals for global taxes and charges to supplement international aid funds (funded by WIDER, Helsinki);
  • The sustainability of fiscal deficits in developing countries (funded by WIDER, Helsinki);
  • Tariff policy in the Indian Ocean Rim countries (funded by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Commonwealth Government of Australian);
  • Pricing issues in Australian telephony (funded by Network Economics Consulting Group, Australia);
  • ASARC-ICSSR agreement on research collaboration (The Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi, was set up by the Government of India as the main vehicle to fund and promote research in the social sciences in India).

Asia-Studies Full-Text Online carries all the ASARC’s working papers from the present back to 2000.

For further information, please visit the ASARC website.