Academy of Grassroots Studies and Research of India (AGRASRI), Tirupati, was founded by social activist couple Dr. D. Sundar Ram and Mrs. D. Bharathi Sundar. It came in to existence on 2 October, 2001, which was registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, Vide Regd. No.293 of 2001, as autonomous, independent, non-political, non-profit and Professional Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), being headquartered at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. The motto of AGRASRI is Sarve Bhavanthu Sukhinaa [Prosperous Life with Inclusive Growth by all].
The Academy was formally inaugurated by the champion of decentralisation movement Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar, the then Hon’ble Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha), on 20 August, 2002 at Tirupati. It is founded to provide an environment suitable for the study and promotion of academic research, training, policy advocacy and networking in grassroots democratic institutions for self-sufficient Village Republics in India.
The primary object of the academy is to develop a sound and efficient grassroots democratic system in India for achieving the Gandhian dream of Gram Swaraj. This is a unique Academy in the field of Grassroots Studies and Governance in India. It provides a bridge between the elected representatives of PRI’s, Nagar Palikas, academicians, researchers, administrators and youth working in the field, under the nurture of Dr. D. Sundar Ram and Mrs. D. Bharathi Sundar, Founder and Co-founder of the Academy.
The Academy of Grassroots Studies and Research of India is a good fortunate to have a distinguished policy makers and scholars, as source of inspiration and support, for implementing its aims and objects for fulfilling the Gandhian dream Gram Swaraj through Grassroots Democracy.
Dr. Subhash C. Kashyap, eminent Constitutional expert and Former Secretary-General of Lok Sabha, New Delhi, is the Hon. Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Academy, while Dr (Mrs) V. Mohini Giri, eminent social activist and Former Chairperson of the National Commission for Women, New Delhi, is the Chairperson of the Hon. Board of Advisers. Several distinguished policy makers, administrators and scholars have been associated with the Academy, as Members of its Board of Governors, Board of Advisers, Executive Council, Research Council and as distinguished fellows, visiting senior fellows, visiting fellows and guest faculty.
The main aim of the Founders of the Academy was that the organisation should not only stimulate a proper study of panchayati raj administration but also train directly a number of elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions, Self-Help Group (SHG) Members, Youth Leaders and Social activists in the discipline, art and practice of administration for good governance at the grassroots in contemporary India.
In pursuance of the aims and objectives of the AGRASRI towards strengthening grassroots democratic Institutions as self-sufficient Village Republics in India, a number of academic and research activities have been organised since its inception, include Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Lecture and Rajiv Gandhi Outstanding Leadership, Mahila Shakti, Yuva Shakti, Best District, Best Taluk, Best Gram Panchayat National Awards, besides Chittoor District Centenary Visishta Ratna Award conferment programmes. The Academy has recognised as NODAL AGENCY/ TECHNICAL SUPPORT INSTITUTE by the Govt. of India and Govt. of Andhra Pradesh, for imparting Capacity Building and Training Programmes for the elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions in the Year 2010. The Academy is also registered under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, vide Regd.No. 010140430 of 2011.
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