The Centre for Equity Studies was established in 2001 to attempt to influence public policy and law in favour of people of greatest disadvantage. All work of CES is founded around the belief in the inherent and intrinsic equal worth of every human being and seeks to enquire into the nature and causes of social injustice and inequity and to collectively, through research and action projects, find methods of moving towards a more equitable and humane world.
Through the implementation of research and advocacy projects alongside the operation of homeless shelters, health and recovery clinics, the Centre for Equity Studies aims to influence public policy and law for sustainable long term solutions toward the rights and care of underprivileged sections of society.
It worked to contribute to drafting and monitoring many important social legislations, including the National Food Security Act, the Right to Information Act, the Prevention of Manual Scavenging Act, among many others.
In recent years, CES’s flagship project is the India Exclusion Report (IXR), an annual publication that examines access to public goods and the exclusion of vulnerable groups. Because of valuable expert contributors from the fields of social sciences, human rights, public policy, social and economic exclusion and citizen-centric budget analysis, the report has contributed greatly to a wider understanding of inclusion and exclusion from public goods and the marginalisation faced by the most vulnerable social groups in India.
Its founding members included NC Saxena, Ghanshyam Shah, Jean Dreze, Shekhar Singh, Usha Ramanathan and Harsh Mander. Besides these, its chairpersons and board members have included Justice AP Shah, Satish Deshpande, Keshav Desiraju, Zoya Hasan, Niranjan Pant, Bezwada Wilson, Biraj Patnaik, Dipa Sinha, Amitabh Behar, Sejal Dand, Radhika Alkazi, Babloo Loitongbam, Chingmak Kejong, among others.
The Distinguished Fellows of CES currently are Dr Neera Chandoke, Dr Prabhat Patnaik, Ms Aditi Mehta and Dr Avinash Kumar.