Setting a model for the party in other states, Congress in Kerala is all set to become the first state unit to have a full-fledged academic campus for development studies, to be be inaugurated by AICC President Sonia Gandhi at Neyyar near here on September 7.
Named as Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Development Studies, the facility is conceived as an academically autonomous centre sponsored by the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee. According to KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala, the opening of the campus will be a "milestone" in the history of the party in the state and a unique venture since this is the first time that any PCC in the country have made a foray into advanced academic field.
Besides offering research facilities to scholars on topics related to developmental politics and economics, the campus would also organise short-term and long-term workshops and training programmes for party workers to equip them to deal with grassroot level issues far more effectively and meaningfully, Chennithala, Chairman of the institute, said.
The five-acre campus, developed on sylvan settings near Neyyar Dam, 25 km from here, has a research centre, library, seminar and lecture halls and other allied facilities for onboard training programmes. The programmes of the campus would be supervised by an academic committee chaired by planning expert Dr G Mohan Gopal and noted economist Dr B A Prakash as Vice-Chairman.