Press Release

Dialogues on Kerala Development #1

Published on 11-01-2023

The Centre for Socio-economic & Environmental Studies (CSES), Kochi, is beginning a triennial conference “Dialogues on Kerala Development” at Thiruvananthapuram on 12th and 13th January 2023. The triennial conference of the CSES aims to facilitate academic and policy-level discussions on issues related to Kerala’s development by bringing togethersocial scientists, policymakers, young researchers, and students, thereby contributing towards a transformative policy-making process. Each conference from the triennial series will deliberate on a selected developmental issue confronted by Kerala. CSES has been in existence for the last 25 years, and the launch of triennial conference is also a part of CSES initiative to promote quality research, to bridge the gap between public and policy makers and to facilitate evidence-based policy.

The theme for the Dialogues on Kerala Development #1 is “Challenges of Health and Demographic Transition” which is organised as a two-day national conference. This theme has been chosen after much deliberation, considering the state’s health and demographic challenges. Kerala has been a front-runner in India with respect to most of the health and healthcare utilisation indicators. The performance of Kerala on indicators such as infant and child mortality is comparable to advanced countries. Further, Kerala’s demographic and epidemiological transition stands out from the rest of the states in India. For instance, Kerala currently has the highest proportion of the elderly in the country, and the state records an increased incidence of lifestyle disease among its population. Such a scenario necessarily means unique healthcare challenges which demand innovative solutions. There are also unmet health care needs of marginalised communities such as tribal populations, fisherfolk, and other vulnerable groups such as migrant workers, persons with disabilities, the elderly, etc., which calls for critical introspection. Recent years have also brought colossal challenges in the form of unprecedented natural calamities and the COVID-19 pandemic. This Conference will bring together academicians, policymakers, practitioners and young research scholars working on health and demographic transition in the state of Kerala and discusses its emerging challenges and interventions made by the state and the national programmes to address these concerns and way forward.  

The triennial conference Dialogues on Kerala Development #1, “Challenges of Health and Demographic Transition”, will be inaugurated by Prof. V.K. Ramachandran, Vice Chairperson, Kerala State Planning Board, on the 12th of January at Thiruvananthapuram. In the Inaugural Session, there will be three reputed speakers. Dr K.S. James, Director of the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), will speak on Kerala’s demographic challenges. Dr Biju Soman, Professor Achutha Menon Centre for Health Sciences Studies, SCTIMST will deliberate on epidemiological challenges confronting Kerala. Finally, Dr K.P. Aravindan, former Head of the Department of Pathology, Government Medical College, Calicut will deliver demographic and health challenges facing Kerala, particularly in the context of the pandemic and increasing burden of lifestyle diseases.

The Conference will bring together senior researchers in the Concluding Plenary, which will be Chaired by Dr Irudaya Rajan (Former Professor of Centre for Development Studies and Founder Chair IIMAD). There will be four panellists in the Concluding Plenary. Dr Mala Ramanathan (Professor, Achutha Menon Centre for Health Sciences Studies, SCTIMST) will speak on gender and health. Dr T.V. Sekher (Professor, IIPS) will speak on ageing in Kerala, and Dr A.K. Jayashree, (Professor, Pariyaram Medical College) will talk about the Health of vulnerable groups. Finally, Dr Mathew George (Professor, Central University of Kerala) and Dr Rakhal Gaitonde (Professor, SCTIMST) will speak on challenges confronting the health system.

Other academicians, policymakers and practitioners who will speak at the two day the conference includes Dr C.K. Jagadeeshan (Rtd Dy DHS Planning), Dr Radha Devi (Former Professor, IIPS), Dr Jaideep Menon (Cardiologist, Amritha Institute of Medical Sciences), Dr Bipin Gopal (Dy DHS, NVBDCP), Dr V. Jithesh (Executive Director, State Health Systems Resource Centre), Dr Praveen Pai (Founder Chairperson MAGICS) will speak at the Conference. In the two-day Conference, paper presentations will be thematically organised in four sessions— Demographic and Epidemiological Transition, Health Disparities, Health System Governance, and Ageing and Health.

More details on the Conference are available at

For more information contact: 9037250233 Ramshad M. (Research Officer)