The Department of Economic Analysis and Research (DEAR) was set up to provide policy and action-oriented research support through macro-level data analysis and field-based feedback on issues of relevance to NABARD, the government and the banking industry. It specialises in knowledge-driven activities relating to agriculture and rural development, as per the mandate of NABARD.
The strength of the department lies in the cadre of professional economists and its ability to network and collaborate with other reputed institutions.
2. Vision of Department of Economic Analysis and Research
“To develop into a quality research wing of NABARD that conducts and coordinates research to generate ideas, help evolve policy inputs, evaluate policy alternatives that would help the management in realising the objectives of the organisation and produce research output that improves NABARD’s understanding of the dimensions of rural credit in particular and overall rural development in general.”
3. Core Functions of the Department
A. Provide policy inputs to the management through research studies
• Conduct in-house studies and other research activities through subject matter specialists within the organisation at the Head Office and Regional Offices
• Conduct studies in collaboration with other research institutions of repute on state/region-specific issues
B. Manage the Research and Development (R&D) Fund
The R&D Fund was established by the bank in accordance with the provisions of the NABARD Act, 1981, with a corpus of Rs.50 crore. The fund is used to extend grant support broadly for the following purposes:
• Research Projects/Studies
Studies and research projects supported under the R&D Fund aim at acquiring new insights into the problems of agriculture and rural development through in-depth studies, applied research and innovative approaches.
• Seminars/Conferences, etc.
The R&D Fund is also utilised for sponsoring events or extending partial support towards printing of proceedings/research articles presented in the conferences/seminars conducted by outside agencies as well as in-house on themes relevant and useful to NABARD.
• NABARD Chair Unit Scheme
The NABARD Chair Unit Scheme has been formulated keeping in view the need to establish strong research linkages with reputed institutions, with the objective of pursuing extensive research in the areas of agriculture and rural development. It also publishes Monographs based on the deliberations at the National Seminars.
DEAR brings out publications in the form of Occasional Papers, Research Study Series, Knowledge Series, R&D Digest, Rural Pulse, Sustainability Report, Eco-think, Commodity Trend, etc. for wider dissemination of research outcomes, both internal and/ or external, on areas of interest to NABARD. DEAR is also bringing out Sustainability Report since 2015-16.
• Student Internship Scheme Programme
NABARD has been offering internships to students having good academic backgrounds and pursuing Post-Graduate degrees in various disciplines in institutes of repute. The objective of this programme is to obtain feedback through studies/projects on themes related to agriculture and rural development.
C. Prepare Annual Report of NABARD
The department brings out the annual report of NABARD which documents a comprehensive picture of the activities undertaken by NABARD in the previous financial year.
D. Prepare Sustainability Report
NABARD prepares its Sustainability Report based on GRI Guidelines. It gives information about economic environmental, social and governance performance of organisation. It conveys critical impacts positive or negative of organizations, decisions and programmes – on the environment, society and the economy.
E. Manage the Rural Economy Tracker
The department has evolved a data tracking system, titled Rural Economy Tracker (RET) by bringing all important data relating to various aspects of the rural economy of India together. RET tracks 63 different parameters, including the rainfall situation, agricultural production, State-wise Cold Storage capacity, State-wise Livestock Population and Production of major livestock products, wholesale price index (WPI) and consumer price index (CPI), etc.
F. Provide support to Committees/Expert Working Groups
The department and its officers provide academic / secretarial support to the Committees wherein NABARD is involved.
G. Maintain the Central Library of NABARD
DEAR maintains a well-stocked Central Library at its head office with over 25000 books and subscription of on-line data basis on topics relevant to the functioning of NABARD besides journals, newspapers, magazines.
4. Broad Achievements of the Department at the National Level
Findings, based on the studies conducted by DEAR have facilitated/triggered policy refinements of NABARD, the Government of India, RBI, etc. in the case of doubling of farmers’ income, Household Indebtedness and Assets Based on Debt & Investment Surveys, Livelihood as well as financial aspects including credit, savings, investments, insurance, pension and remittance/payments, Estimates of crop and water productivity of 10 major agricultural crops in the dominant districts and states of India, etc.
• NABARD All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey (NAFIS) 2016-17
NABARD has released All India NABARD Financial Inclusion Survey (NAFIS) Report on 16 August 2018. The survey focuses on livelihood and financial inclusion aspects of rural households to generate a deeper understanding of the financial inclusion at the grass root level. State level bulletins are being prepared. (Link of the NAFIS Report)
• Water Productivity mapping of major Indian crops
The major purpose of the study was to estimate productivity of water, map the variations, understand the causes for mismatch, if any, between cropping pattern and availability of water resource across the Indian states, and collate the technical and policy interventions for enhancing water productivity. As a major outcome of this study, under the leadership of Dr. Ashok Gulati, the leading agricultural economist, a first of its kind report on Water Productivity mapping of major Indian crops was undertaken. ( Link of Water Productivity mapping of major Indian crops Report)
The officers of the Department have prepared over 50 papers which were presented in seminars/conferences and published in Journals.
5. Ongoing projects and schemes
A. NABARD has sponsored research on various subjects, such as:
• Agro processing sector in India.
• Rural infrastructure development Index
• High Value rice landraces in J & K.
• FPOs & Agri. marketing experience in select State.
A total of 6 studies were completed by reputed research institutions/university departments/business schools in the country on the above topics.
B. DEAR has sponsored studies across the country on Doubling Farmers’ Income in six states, viz., Assam, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.