K N Raj Memorial Day 2020

K N Raj Memorial Day : 17 February 2020

Release of Collected Papers of the CDS Founding Fathers and K N Raj Memorial Lecture

As part of the Fiftieth Foundation Year, and also to perpetuate the memory of the Centre’s founding fathers, a compiled collection of their papers was released on 17th February, 2020 which was also celebrated as K N Raj Memorial Day.

The volumes of compiled papers of Prof KN Raj, Prof PGK Panikar, Prof TN Krishnan, Prof A. Vaidyanathan, Prof IS Gulati and Prof N Krishnaji were released by Prof. Gita Sen in the presence of the family members of the founding fathers before the start of the KN Raj Memorial lecture.

The volume of collected papers of KN Raj was handed over to Shri Gopal Raj, son of Dr Raj. Collected papers of PGK Panikar was  received  by his son Shri KGK Panikar, and Dr. Sunitha Krishnan received a volume of her father TN Krishnan’s work. In the absence of family members, Prof K Narayanan Nair received the volume of A. Vaidyanathan, Prof Sunil Mani that of  IS Gulati and a set of volumes of N. Krishnaji by Prof AV Jose on behalf of their families.

In his welcome address, Professor Mani stated that the K N Raj Memorial Day was an occasion to thank and reflect over the many contributions of Professor Raj in setting up such high academic standards and also for establishing a democratic governance structure. CDS is privileged to be very unique in this respect. He further pointed out that in this 50th year of Founding of CDS, the CDS community remembers and affirms the contributions of all the 6 founding fathers as we refer to them. As part of this, we have compiled the varied papers written by the them  into six collected paper volumes. A quick run through their individual contributions  show a common thread: (i) they engaged themselves with all the current issues facing both India and Kerala’s economy; (ii) initiated new areas of research in India and Kerala; and (iii) had a phenomenal research output   at a time when the physical process of conducting empirical research  was difficult especially when secondary source material was not that easy to come by.

Introducing Prof. Gita Sen, he said she was presently Director & Distinguished Professor, Ramalingaswami Centre on Equity & Social Determinants of Health (RCESDH), Public Health Foundation of India at Bangalore. She had also been on the faculty of CDS earlier and was also a student under Prof Raj in the Delhi School of Economics.

In her lecture, Prof Sen, reflected on the contribution of Prof Raj, while he was at the Delhi School, his association with Pandit Nehru, and his role in formulating the first Five Year Plans, She touched on his personal as well as professional life, saying that he was way ahead of his time in many his ways of thinking. His dream was, however, to set up the CDS with the helping contribution of his close associates. At the end of the lecture, Prof KN Nair, a former Director of the Centre and Dr A V Jose, Visiting Professor of CDS also shared their memories of Prof Raj.