About Research Centre
The Agro-Economic Research Centre (AERC) at the Himachal Pradesh University was established in December 1972 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India to carry out research and investigations in the field of Agricultural Economics in Western Himalayan Region consisting of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir. This is one of the 12 AER Centers established by the Government of India. The AERC has been working as an Institution of Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla. The Centre has completed 42 glorious years of its journey marked by both achievements and challenges. During these years, the Centre has emerged as a strong policy feedback Centre of Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India and concerned state governments due to hard work and strong commitment of the staff in the Centre.
The Government of India, while approving the setting up of AER Centre stipulated that the Centre would undertake the following activities :
- Make a study of changes in rural economy by means of survey of a number of selected villages each year and resurvey of the same group of villages at an interval of say, five years.
- Conduct ad-hoc investigations into problems of interest to the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India.
- Carry out research on fundamental problems relating to agricultural economics of the country.
- Give technical advice to the Government of India and concerned State Governments on such issues as, with mutual agreement, may be referred to the Centre.
- It was also desired that the AER Centers would maintain necessary contacts with each other and also with the Ministry of Agriculture.
The Centre has also been taking up from time to time some ad-hoc studies on behalf of / in collaboration with some other national and international agencies such as World Bank, USAID, GTZ, ICIMOD, CIP, SJVN and different Departments of State Government.
How AER Centers Evolved
The idea of an Applied Research Section in Agricultural Economics at the Delhi School of Economics was, for the first time, mooted by eminent economist Dr. V.K.R.V. Rao in a proposal to the then Ministry of Food & Agriculture, Government of India, on 24th October 1952. The Government of India approved, in principle, Dr. Rao scheme for setting up a research section in Agricultural Economics at the Delhi School of Economics and, simultaneously, decided to set up three more Centers at Santiniketan, Madras and Pune to cover eastern, southern and western regions respectively.
The Agro-Economic Research Centre, Shimla is one of the 12 Centers established by the Agriculture Ministry in 1972. During its long journey of 42 years, the AER Centre has been fortunate to have received the guidance of some of the distinguished economists of the country. Some of the other leading academicians of the country who have been associated in a formal capacity as Chairperson of the Advisory Body or Advisory Committee include Professor R.K. Singh, Dr L.S. Negi, Dr G.C. Gupta, Professor L.P. Sinha, Professor K.C. Malhotra, Professor C.L. Kundu, Professor S.D. Sharma, Professor L.R. Verma, Dr Anil Wilson, Professor Sunil Kumar Gupta and presently Professor A.D.N. Bajpai.