ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

R P Misra (1930–2021)

A Study in Institution-building

The article is a tribute to R P Misra—the social scientist—who did seminal work in regional planning, tried to revamp the geography curriculum and brought in innovation in the academic institution he built, all of this in an alien environment.


The author thanks P K Misra, distinguished anthropologist and friend of Institute of Development Studies, University of Mysore and C Shankara Murthy, formerly a valuable member of IDS for reading the draft of the article and offering suggestions. He would like to acknowledge with pleasure his gratitude to Panini (formerly of Jawaharlal Nehru University) who urged situating R P Misra’s achievements in the appropriate context and also suggested how it could be done.

This is not a conventional tribute to a leading social scientist. Far from being a summary of R P Misra’s achievements (that naturally occurs), it attempts to probe into the manner in which RP, as he was generally known, achieved what he did in what must have been to him a rather alien atmosphere. Hailing from Allahabad armed with master’s degrees in geography and economics and a doctorate in the former discipline, he worked as reader and later as a professor of geography in the University of Mysore. He also founded the

Institute of Development Studies. Apart from paying tribute to his accomplishments, this article examines how an academic who had no local roots—and it may be added had no caste links in the Mysuru context—achieved what he did. RP (1930–2021), who passed away on 16 April 2021, was without a doubt one of India’s top geographers. He was a geographer with a difference though. His interests were wide. This resulted from a highly probing mind, seeking answers to fundamental questions. He was attracted to fusing geography with the social sciences in general. This is what prompted him to branch out into development studies fairly early in his career. In what follows, the focus is on his work and contribution as an institution builder.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

Pay INR 50.00

(Readers in India)

Pay $ 6.00

(Readers outside India)

Updated On : 17th May, 2021
Back to Top