Social Research Centre
Commenced in the spring of 1995 in New Creation, the purpose of the Auroville International Township Social Research Centre is to collect, process, analyze and report on information useful to the development of the Auroville bioregion. The Social Research Centre is now a unit of the Centre of Scientific Research Trust and is located in the Aurelec Building in Prayogashala, Auroville.
Over the past years, four databases have been developed and are currently undergoing analysis. The first three have been developed under the auspice of the Auroville Economic Research Programme, a programme requested by the Auroville Economy Group and guided by Professor Henk Thomas, Professor Emeritus of the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, the Netherlands. We are grateful that the fourth database has been recently brought under the auspice of the SRC with one of its authors, Ms.Harini Sampathkumar, joining the SRC as Joint Director from July 2001.
1) Historical database of Auroville's socio-economic development
With the tremendous assistance of the Auroville Archives, Cynergy, the Auroville Foundation Office, the Auroville Fund, and many concerned Aurovilians, a textual database of Auroville's socio-economic development is completed. It is constituted of socio-economic material from the community weekly newsletters, the Auroville Notes/News 1975 to 2000, the Auroville Review 1977 to 1984, data entered by Cynergy from the Finance and Economy section in the Auroville Archives plus individual contributions. This organised and indexed documentation will be made available to Aurovilians for computer based searches.
2) Financial database
This project created a comprehensive database of financial statements of the Auroville Trusts and Units (both commercial and service units) in one format. It provides a digital archive of the historical economic development of Auroville, although not many statements could be found from the early years. The objective of this project is to be able to extract data based on a wide range of queries. This data will be made available to those Aurovilians formally working on the township's financial and economic development
3) Database of Auroville employees
The SRC implemented an assignment by SEWA (Auroville's Small Employer's Welfare Administration) to build a reliable database on the thousands of workers from the neighboring villages. 3706 employees of Auroville were interviewed. The outcome of this will serve as a baseline for further enquiries that will take place in the future and will provide SEWA with the facts that are needed to implement its role in Auroville with respect to various social policies and aspects of labour relations that have come its way.
4) Village demographics
Between 1995 and 2000, demographics of 32 villages
in the Auroville bioregion were compiled and computerised. This pool
of data is invaluable for the shaping of development strategies and
initiatives. Now, under the aegis of the SRC, this information may provide
the tools needed for decision making on development issues that concern
the region as a whole.
Until recently, the Social Research Centre was located in one of Auroville's largest development projects for the local villages, New Creation. For the last seventeen years, international members of New Creation community have worked to provide education, nutrition and a sports programme to the children of these villages. While academic involvement for the SRC includes participants from the Netherlands, Canada, the University of Pondicherry, and international members of Auroville itself, staffing of our projects has included principally Aurovilian youth from the village and local graduates and post-graduates from the nearby city of Pondicherry. The SRC, like New Creation itself, became a focal point of multicultural integration in the work environment. During the current analysis stage of the research to date, staffing is not at present required.
Unique field of study
The dynamic generated by an active and international resident population in the context of rural south-India is a unique field of study. The SRC introduces this field of study to all interested by organising study tours of high quality on Auroville and south-India, focusing on the dynamics of Culture and the Environment in this milieu.
Learn more about the study tours at:
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com
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