Centre For Development and Peace Studies (CDPS) 

he Centre for Development and Peace Studies (CDPS) is an independent research center, registered in 2004 as a non-profit society with the Registrar of Societies, Government of Assam, in northeastern India (registration number: KAM/240/T/04 of 2004-2005). Based at Guwahati, capital of Assam, the Centre comprises a core group that is a mix of senior working journalists, besides academics, economists, technocrats and development experts.

Well positioned geographically, to be in the thick of things in South and Southeast Asia, the Northeast of India, consisting of eight states with a population of 45 million, spread over a 2,63,000 square kilometer area, and wedged between Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and China’s Tibet region, is a turbulent frontier. Insurgency and ethnic strife plague the region, retarding progress and economic activity. Even a cursory look at the socio-political dynamics of the region would reveal that lack of livelihood opportunities, despite immense natural resources, have bred insurgency, and insurgency, in turn, has hindered growth. The cycle, if anything, is vicious.

It is in this context that the CDPS has been set up to carry out meaningful research and writings on the micro and macro-level issues in the fields of development and peace, or the lack of it, that characterizes India’s Northeast, highlight efforts and success stories in peace making, draw up linkages between development and security, and suggest measures to tackle the imbalances. Aside from close interaction with the Government and non-governmental organizations working in the area, CDPS aims at working in tandem with the media to reach out to the masses, besides sensitizing journalists on the need to shift their focus from violence to development and peace writings.

The Centre also aims at assessing the impact of existing development programmes and policies of the Government towards the northeastern frontier, and highlighting gaps, if any, and recommending alternative measures wherever necessary.

Northeast India today draws attention from at least two major regional groupings in South and Southeast Asia – SAARC and ASEAN. In fact, it would not be quite off the mark to suggest that the states in northeastern India can be included seamlessly in the agenda of both SAARC and ASEAN, particularly in areas of transnational connectivity, trade, tourism and movement of people and ideas for an integrated South and Southeast Asia. CDPS is conscious of the location of Northeast India in the map and is, therefore, looking and working on issues that are of relevance to a peaceful South and Southeast Asia that has the potential to be integrated as a region.

The Governing Body

President: Dr B K DAS. Dr B K Das is one of India’s leading technocrats with a vast leadership experience, mainly in the country’s oil sector. For years, he had been holding top managerial positions in different oil companies in the country and has immensely contributed to their growth. Currently, he is an Emeritus Professor at Dibrugarh University, a Visiting Professor at Tezpur University and an Adviser at the Centre for Leadership Development in the Assam Administrative Staff College.

Dr Das started his professional career in 1974 as a Marketing Executive at Assam Oil Company Limited (fully owned by Burmah Oil Company of UK). From 1981 to 1995, he worked as the Manager, Corporate Planning, to General Manager (Commercial) at Assam Oil Division of Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL). He joined the Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) in January 1996 as the Director Finance and became its Managing Director in 2002. Dr. Das then joined Bharat Oman Refineries Limited (BORL), Bina, Madhya Pradesh as the Managing Director (19 October 2011 to 31 December 2014).

Right from school, till his post graduation in 1974 from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, Dr B K Das had a brilliant academic record. At IIM Ahmedabad, he secured Oil India Scholarship for Management Studies. He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 2007 by the Gauhati University for his research work titled Impact of Reforms on the Performance and Valuation of the companies operating in the Oil sector in India. Dr BK Das has several published research papers to his credit, apart from participating in many national and international seminars.

Dr Das is also an acclaimed poet. His published poetry collections include: may i (1997), life & beyond life (2004), who says (2011) and god in colours (2013).

Executive Director & Secretary: WASBIR HUSSAIN. A journalist and political commentator, Hussain is a former two time Member of the National Security Advisory Board, India.

He has been covering insurgency, ethnic strife, and other major political and social developments in the northeastern states for the past 32 years for major newspapers and magazines. Hussain was Consulting Editor, The Sentinel, Guwahati, Consulting Editor, The Newspaper Today, India Today Group Online, Editor, The Northeast Daily, Guwahati, Special Correspondent with The Asian Age; Regional Editor of The Telegraph; and Special Correspondent of The Telegraph.

He bagged the 1996 Sanskriti Foundation National Award for excellence in journalism. Hussain currently writes for The Asian Age, The Sentinel and The Associated Press. Besides, his writings on security issues concerning India ’s Northeast and its surrounding foreign neighbours appear regularly in the South Asia Intelligence Review.

Widely travelled, Hussain has authored six books recently—Kamrup: Mirror of Assam’s Past and Present, 2013, Wordweaves India, Tarun Gogoi: The Inside Story of a Blunt Politician, 2010, Wordweaves India, Guwahati; Chord of Harmony: Sattras & Dargahs of Assam (authored jointly with Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta), published by Wordweaves India, Guwahati, 2010, Homemakers Without The Men: Assam’s Widows of Violence, published by Indialog Publications, New Delhi (2006), Life and Times: Story of an Assamese Tea Baron, Spectrum Publications, Guwahati/New Delhi (2007), and Positive in Rhino Land: Battle Against HIV/AIDS in Assam, Wordweaves India, Guwahati (2008). Hussain’s edited volumes include Assamese Cinema 80 Years (edited jointly with Maini Mahanta), 2015, Wordweaves India, The Autonomy Discourse (edited jointly with Rani Pathak Das), 2013, Wordweaves India, Northeast India: Sustaining Peace Changing Dimensions, Bhabani Books, Guwahati (2012), Peace Tools & Conflict Nuances In India’s Northeast, Wordweaves India, Guwahati (2010), and Order In Chaos: Essays on Conflict in India’s Northeast and the Road to Peace in South Asia, Spectrum Publications, Guwahati/New Delhi (2006). His papers and commentaries have been published in several books and journals in India and abroad. Hussain can be contacted at director@cdpsindia.org.

Joint Secretary
: Mr P.J. BARUAH. Mr Baruah is Executive Editor, The Assam Tribune, a frontline English daily from Guwahati, Assam. He has been 31 years in journalism, and has written and commented on various socio-political and other issues concerning India’s Northeast.

: Dr I.S. MUMTAZA. Dr Mumtaza is Associate Professor, Department of History, at the Gauhati University.

Member: Mr PRASANTA RAJGURU. Mr Rajguru is the Executive Editor, Amar Asom, a frontline Assamese daily from Guwahati, Assam. He is a Rotary International Peace Fellow and did an International Course on Conflict Resolution at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. He is also a recipient of the MAJA KOENE Social Journalist Award 2015, initiated by CESCI (Centre for Experiencing Socio-Cultural Interaction) Foundation. The award was given to him in recognition of his vital contributions in the field of journalism and peace building in Northeast India. CESCI is an international organization based in India and Switzerland. Mr Rajguru has been 32 years in journalism, and has written and commented on various socio-political and other issues concerning India’s Northeast.

Member: Ms SEEMA HUSSAIN. She has been specializing in writings on development and peace, particularly multi-track peace initiatives, in India ’s Northeast. Ms Hussain had been a fellow with the National Foundation for India , New Delhi , and a Peace Fellow with WISCOMP, Women in Security, Conflict Management & Peace, New Delhi.

Syed ZARIR HUSSAIN. He is a well known journalist and author and has produced several television documentaries on social and political issues concerning Northeast India. Hussain has done his Masters in Radio and Television Journalism from the University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom.