Sameeksha Trust is a charitable trust, registered under the Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950.
The Trust was established in 1966 for the purpose of publishing EPW. Over the decades its members have mainly been academics and public personalities of eminence. The Trust set up EPWRF in 1993 as a sister unit of EPW.
Donations to the Sameeksha Trust enjoy tax exemption under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act.
EPW Research Foundation
The EPW Research Foundation (EPWRF), set up in January 1993 to mark the 25th anniversary of the formation of the Sameeksha Trust conducts research on financial and macro-economic issues in India.
Since its inception, the EPWRF has built up expertise in important areas of economic research and analysis. The Foundation has been focusing on a systematic compilation and dissemination of current and long-term data series on the macro-economy, as also various economic, social and demographic sectors. While disseminating these data series, the EPWRF has not only been describing the underlying concepts and methods and procedures of data compilation, it has also been making critical observations on their quality and possible weaknesses. Besides, all data base studies published by the EPWRF have provided reviews of the trends in growth and structural changes of the Indian economy as revealed in the respective macro-economic and sectoral data.
The data base and associated research work of the institution can be grouped under six heads:
EPWRF's publications with long time series of data have included:
- Comprehensive and independent publications on macroeconomic and sectoral themes;
- High-frequency data sets updated week by week and uploaded on the website along with Macro-Economic Indicators and Review of week’s developments;
- Regular reviews of current economic and financial developments such as Four thematic publications: a Monthly Economic Review (MER), a monthly Money Market Review (MMR), a Financial Markets Review (FMR) and a quarterly/occasional theme paper, all disseminated through the website;
- Major research projects undertaken on behalf of public agencies or on its own;
- Special Statistics series published in the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) and/or placed on the Institution’s website; and
- Periodical research papers published in the EPW or documented for use by various study groups/ working groups.
As part of the Special Statistics series, about 30 sets of data series have been published or documented and uploaded on the website. The latter studies have concerned industrial statistics, wholesale and consumer price indices, central and state government finances, the financial system and the money market, balance of payments, foreign trade, external debt and exchange rate statistics and some social sector development indicators. The scope of our weekly updates now covers over 45 macro-economic and sectoral data sets.
- National Accounts Statistics of India
- Domestic Product of States of India
- Annual Survey of Industries
- Finances of State Governments in India
- Progress of Commercial Banking in India
- District-wise Agricultural Data Base for Maharashtra
- Household Savings and Investment Behaviour in India
In recognition of EPWRF's expertise in building data series, many institutions like the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) - the research centre of ICICI Limited - have extended substantial research support.
The Foundation was associated with the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) in the latter's study on Household Savings and Investment Behaviour in India as part of its more comprehensive study on the Micro Impact of Macro-Economic Policies. Earlier, the Government of Maharashtra awarded a special research project to EPWRF on the documentation of the Latur and Osmanabad earthquake rehabilitation experience, for which the institution produced seven major reports. Finally, EPWRF has also been awarded by the Planning Commission, Government of India, a research project on "Finances of State Governments in India: A Time Series Analysis of State-wise Budgetary Performances During the 1980s and 1990s" (published in two volumes).
EPWRF’s current projects include publication of a Pocket Book of Socio-economic Data and developing a long-term India time series online for the benefit of students and researchers and all those interested in India’s developments.
The EPW Research Foundation’s website (www.epwrf.res.in) disseminates all data series generated under different projects. The site also covers weekly reports, monthly money market reviews, and Special Statistics series. Apart from links and archives, an appropriate index of subjects is also provided.
The Economic and Political Weekly, published from Mumbai, is an Indian institution which enjoys a global reputation for excellence in independent scholarship and critical inquiry.
First published in 1949 as the Economic Weekly and since 1966 as the Economic and Political Weekly, EPW, as the journal is popularly known, occupies a special place in the intellectual history of independent India. For more than five decades EPW has remained a unique forum that week after week has brought together academics, researchers, policy makers, independent thinkers, members of non-governmental organisations and political activists for debates straddling economics, politics, sociology, culture, the environment and numerous other disciplines.
EPW is also unique because it is the one forum where there is an exchange of ideas across the social science disciplines - political scientists debate with economists, sociologists read what political scientists have to say, historians study what economists have to say and so on.
EPW, published by the Sameeksha Trust, a registered charitable trust, is the only social science journal of its kind in the world. Where other reputed journals publish either only comments on contemporary affairs or research papers, EPW is unique in that week it publishes analysis of contemporary affairs side by side with academic papers in the social sciences. The only other similar publication which contains short comments and research output is Nature of the U.K., which covers the physical sciences.
EPW has been built over the decades with a shoe-string budget and has experienced considerable financial difficulties. It has grown to be what it is today because of the passion and selfless efforts of its staff, support from its contributors and goodwill from advertisers.
There are a number of features which make EPW special, not just in India or Asia but in the world:
- A unique aspect of EPW is that it is the only publication in the world that publishes both research in social sciences (in the "Special Articles" section) and informed comment on current affairs (in the "Commentary" section). In this manner it appeals to both the reader looking for analysis of contemporary issues and the researcher looking for new developments in their respective fields.
- Week after week, EPW publishes a minimum of 70,000 to 80,000 words on a variety of issues. The articles are contributed by leading academics, well-known public commentators, young social scientists and political activists who seek a platform to publish their views. This makes it a veritable monograph-sized publication put out every week.
- EPW has never shirked from taking strong editorial positions. It has always taken bold stands on current affairs and its pages have for decades been open to writers who have highlighted the challenges facing the disadvantaged. It is known as a publication with a "social conscience". Some have even called it independent India's conscience.
- The EPW's biggest influence on social sciences in India has been in catalysing debates and disseminating research output. Many of the leading debates in economics, political science, sociology and history have begun in EPW. In this respect, EPW is considered to have played as important a role as any of the key university departments or research institutes in the country.
- EPW is at the same time widely read in policy circles and is seen as providing in-depth analysis of major economic and social issues which go far beyond that published by mainstream media.
- The focus of the EPW is economic issues, but it is truly a multidisciplinary publication covering sociology, political science, history, gender and environment studies. This is reflected in both the research (Special Articles) and current affairs (Commentary) sections.
- EPW is India's one global publication in its readership and the background of its contributors. In addition to Indian nationals, living in India and abroad, it regularly draws contributors from west Europe, North America, Japan and the neighbouring countries in south Asia. It also attracts many writers from Australia, south-east Asia and, on occasion, from Africa and South America as well. The subjects it covers go well beyond Indian themes. South Asian issues are obviously covered, but so too are issues of global relevance.
- Increasingly, EPW has begun to play another role. As the space for informed debate in India's mainstream media has shrunk, the journal is perhaps the only publication that keeps alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media. It is also the only one which gives considerable space for writers who wish to develop an argument and discuss various aspects of an issue.
EPW Research Foundation,
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Mumbai 400 101, INDIA
022 - 2885 4995/96
022 - 2887 3038