Institute for Social and Economic Change

P K Michael Tharakan




Shri Ramakrishna Hegde Chair Professor in Decentralization and Governance

Area of Specialisation

  • Social and Economic History

  • Development Studies

  • Decentralization and Local Government

  • Literacy and Education

Disciplines of Interest and Competence
  • History

  • Applied Economics

full Curriculum Vitae, click here

Academic Qualification
  • B.A. with First Class and First Rank in the University, in History and Economics, from Union Christian College, Aluva, University of Kerala, 1972

  • M.A. with First Class and First Rank in the University, in History, from Union Christian College, Aluva, University of Kerala, 1974.

  • M.Phil in Applied Economics, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, 1977, Dissertation on Migration of Farmers from Travancore to Malabar, 1930 to 1960: An Analysis of its Economic Causes, Supervisor of Research: Professor K N Raj.

  • Ph.D in History, School of Social Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, 1998. Thesis on History as Development Experience, Disaggregated and Deconstructed Analysis of Kerala, Supervisor of Research: Professor Rajan Gurukkal.

Selected Publications

Papers Published in Journals as Chapters of Books, as Working Papers and Monograph (since 2000)

  • Popular Politics of Representation: Dilemmas and Experiments in Indonesia, the Indian State of Kerala, and Philippines,  along with Olle Tornquist, Nathan Quimpo and Jos Chathukulam [Forth coming] in Neil Webster ( (eds) Rethinking Democratic-Popular Representation, 2008-2009.

  • Kerala Model Revisited: New Problems, Fresh Challenges, Working Paper No.15, Centre for Socio-economic & Environmental Studies (CSES), Kochi, 2007, also appeared in K L Krishna and A Vaidyanathan (eds), Institutions and Markets, Essays for K N Raj, Oxford University Press, Delhi, 2007.

  • Evolution of Economy and Society in Kerala – A long term Perspective, in D Rajasenan and Gerard de Groot (eds), Kerala Economy, Trajectories, Challenges and Implications, Directorate of Publications and Public Relations, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kochi, 2005.

  • Sustainable Human Development in Kerala: Some Issues, (along with K K George), Advances in Arts and Ideas, Vol. 1, 2005.

  • Historical Hurdles in the Course of the People’s Planning Campaign in Kerala, India, in John Harriss, Kristian Stokke and Olle Tornquist (eds), Politicising Democracy, The New Local Politics of Democratisation, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2004.

  • Community Participation in School Education: Experiments in the State of Kerala, in R Govinda and Rashmi Diwan (eds), Community Participation and Empowerment in Primary Education, Sage Publications, New Delhi etc., 2003.

  • Land Relations in Contemporary Kerala: A Survey, Presentation in V.K. Ramachandran and Madhura Swaminathan (eds), Agrarian Studies, Essays on Agrarian Relations in Less Developed Countries, Tulika, Delhi, 2002.

  • Ernakulam Revisited: A Study of Literacy in the First Totally Literate District in India, in Malavika Karlekar (ed), Paradigms of Learning: The Total Literacy Campaign in India, Sage Publications, New Delhi etc., 2004, also in Malavika Karlekar (ed), Reading the Wor(l)d, Understanding the Literacy Campaign in India, Asia South Pacific Bureau of Adult Education (ASPBAE), Mumbai, 2000.

  • Development History: Thiruvananthapuram District, in Mridul Eapen, Sreekumar Chathopadhyaya, and Joy Elamon (eds), Development Perspective, First Step in Formulation of a District Plan, Case Study of Thiruvananthapuram District, People’s Plan Campaign, State Planning Board, Thiruvananthapuram, 2000.

Select Articles of Academic Interest Including Papers Presented at Conferences (since 2000)

  • Strategies and Dynamics of Change in Education: Kerala State Paper, (along with Parvathy Sunaina and N Ajith Kumar), in P K Michael Tharakan (ed), Strategies and Dynamics of Indian Education, CARE, Delhi, 2006.

  • Kerala Land Reforms in Retrospect, Development Digest, Kerala State Planning Board, Vol.II, No.2 and 3, April-September 2004.

  • From where do forces and values of Transformation emerge in Adult Education? An Enquiry into the Experience of Kerala, India, paper presented at the International Conference on Lifelong Learning for Social Development, 13-15 August, 2002, Loyola College of Social Sciences, Trivandrum.

  • Statue of St.Antony, Money Box, Unique Era and a Historic Travelogue: Relics from Parayil Past, Parayil Meet Committee, Ezhupunna and Thycattusserry, 2001.

  • Inward Social Linkages of External Trade: Kerala 1700 to 1950, paper presented at the National Seminar on Kerala in the World Economy, 25-28 February, 2000, School of International Relations, M G University, Kottayam, in association with KSPB, and KRPLLD, CDS, Trivandrum.

Commission/Committee Reports

  • Alternative Crops for Cardamom, Report of the Expert Committee, (along with Dr P V Shenoi (Chairman) (et al), Spices Board, Cochin, 1996.

  • Towards a New Paradigm in Higher Education, Report of the Commission on Restructuring Higher Education in Kerala, (along with Professor Prabhat Pattnaik (Chairman) (et al), University Unions in Kerala, Trivandrum, 2001

Select Public Lectrues Delivered
  • Dr.N.Parameswaran Nair Memorial Lecture on The Port, City and Bazar of Kochi in the Making of Modern Kerala, Sree Narayana Guru Institute of Science and Technology, North Paravur, Kerala, 2nd of January,2008.

  • Professor V.K.R.V. Rao Centenary Year Lectures, The Second Lecture on Present Discourse on Decentralisation in India: Conceptual Origins, institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore, 31 of August, 2007.

  • Mampidipudi Venkata Rangaiya Memorial Lecture on When we Historicize the Kerala Model of Development, 30th Session of the Andhra Pradesh History Congress, Siddipet, Andhra Pradesh, 2006.

Some Positions Currently Held
  • Member, Committee to study and suggest measures to revamp the Social Sciences research sector in the State, Government of Kerala.

  • Member, Board of Studies in Anthropology, University of Madras, Chennai.

  • Member, The Academic Council, Madras  Institute of Development Studies (MIDS),   Chennai.

  • Member, Expert Committee to study Past Experiences in Decentralised Planning, Government of Kerala.

  • Member, State Education Advisory Board, Government of Kerala.

  • Member, Executive Committee, Kerala  Council of Historical Research (KCHR).

  • Member, Board of Studies in Social Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam.

  • Member, Advisory Committee, Centre for Studies on Gender Concern in Agriculture, Kerala Agricultural University (KAU), Thrissur.

Editorial Functions

  • Guest Editor for a special issue on History from a different Perspective, January 2006, and for a special issue on History of Power, January 2007, of ORA, the Malayalam Organ for Radical Action.

  • Guest Editor along with Vikas Rawal for two issues presenting papers presented at the International Conference on Democratic Decentralization, at Thiruvananthapuram, 2000, of Social Scientist, Vol.29, Nos.9-10, 2001.

  • Member, Advisory Board, Loyola Journal of Social Sciences, Thiruvananthapuram.

  • Member, Editorial Board, Sasthragathy.


  • National Merit Scholarship, 1972-74.

  • P Gopala Menon Prize in History, University of Kerala, 1974.

  • Chairperson and Convener of the Session on Kerala at the European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1996.

  • Elected by the Governing Body of the St.Anthony’s College, Oxford University, U.K. as Honorary Associate Member for the Trinity Term, 1996.

  • Awarded Special Chair in Development Studies, Institute of Management Studies and Policy, University of Antwerp (RUCA), Belgium, 1998.

Membership In Learned Societies:

  • Member, Indian History Congress

  • Member, Keraleeya Puratativa Samithi (Kerala Archaeological Society)

Shri Ramakrishna Hegde Chair Professor in
Decentralization and Governance

Institute for Social and Economic Change
Dr. VKRV Rao Avenue, Nagarabhavi P.O. BANGALORE-560072, India
Tel : Office  080-23215468 EXT. 131
Fax : 080-23217008
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