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Social Research Centre

Financial database

The SRC is organising study tours to Auroville and south-India. Learn more about it at:


Commenced in the spring of 1995 in New Creation, the purpose of the Auroville International Township Social Research Centre is to collect, process, analyze and report on information useful to the development of the Auroville bioregion. The Social Research Centre is now a unit of the Centre of Scientific Research Trust and is located in the Aurelec Building in Prayogashala, Auroville.

The Social Research Centre on the first floor of the Aurelec building

Database development

Over the past years, four databases have been developed and are currently undergoing analysis. The first three have been developed under the auspice of the Auroville Economic Research Programme, a programme requested by the Auroville Economy Group and guided by Professor Henk Thomas, Professor Emeritus of the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, the Netherlands. We are grateful that the fourth database has been recently brought under the auspice of the SRC with one of its authors, Ms.Harini Sampathkumar, joining the SRC as Joint Director from July 2001.

View of the office

1) Historical database of Auroville's socio-economic development

With the tremendous assistance of the Auroville Archives, Cynergy, the Auroville Foundation Office, the Auroville Fund, and many concerned Aurovilians, a textual database of Auroville's socio-economic development is completed. It is constituted of socio-economic material from the community weekly newsletters, the Auroville Notes/News 1975 to 2000, the Auroville Review 1977 to 1984, data entered by Cynergy from the Finance and Economy section in the Auroville Archives plus individual contributions. This organised and indexed documentation will be made available to Aurovilians for computer based searches.

2) Financial database

This project created a comprehensive database of financial statements of the Auroville Trusts and Units (both commercial and service units) in one format. It provides a digital archive of the historical economic development of Auroville, although not many statements could be found from the early years. The objective of this project is to be able to extract data based on a wide range of queries. This data will be made available to those Aurovilians formally working on the township's financial and economic development

3) Database of Auroville employees

The SRC implemented an assignment by SEWA (Auroville's Small Employer's Welfare Administration) to build a reliable database on the thousands of workers from the neighboring villages. 3706 employees of Auroville were interviewed. The outcome of this will serve as a baseline for further enquiries that will take place in the future and will provide SEWA with the facts that are needed to implement its role in Auroville with respect to various social policies and aspects of labour relations that have come its way.

4) Village demographics

Between 1995 and 2000, demographics of 32 villages in the Auroville bioregion were compiled and computerised. This pool of data is invaluable for the shaping of development strategies and initiatives. Now, under the aegis of the SRC, this information may provide the tools needed for decision making on development issues that concern the region as a whole.
The SRC, with collaborators, is presently involved in preparing reports on these four databases. Over and above the use of this material for the ongoing Auroville Economic Research Programme, it is to be available as a resource for Auroville residents to enhance their understanding of key civic and bioregional issues and aid the rational development of the area.

International collaboration

Until recently, the Social Research Centre was located in one of Auroville's largest development projects for the local villages, New Creation. For the last seventeen years, international members of New Creation community have worked to provide education, nutrition and a sports programme to the children of these villages. While academic involvement for the SRC includes participants from the Netherlands, Canada, the University of Pondicherry, and international members of Auroville itself, staffing of our projects has included principally Aurovilian youth from the village and local graduates and post-graduates from the nearby city of Pondicherry. The SRC, like New Creation itself, became a focal point of multicultural integration in the work environment. During the current analysis stage of the research to date, staffing is not at present required.

Unique field of study

The dynamic generated by an active and international resident population in the context of rural south-India is a unique field of study. The SRC introduces this field of study to all interested by organising study tours of high quality on Auroville and south-India, focusing on the dynamics of Culture and the Environment in this milieu.

Learn more about the study tours at:




Stuart Leard
M.A. Sociology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada;
Thesis: "The International Township of Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India: The Routinisation of Charisma in the Context of an Inner-Worldly Mystical Orientation" (1993).


Harini Sampathkumar
M.A. Econometrics, University of Madras, India (1986); Post-Graduate Diploma in Rural Management, Anand, Gujarat, India (1990).



Advisory Group members:

Professor Henk Thomas, Professor Emeritus of the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, the Netherlands, specializing in the fields of alternative economies, employment and labour issues, and small-scale enterprise development.

Professor Gunasekaran, Head, Department of Sociology, University of Pondicherry, Pondicherry, India, specializing in research methodologies.

Mrs. R. Meenakshi, M.A. Social Work, Executive of Small Employers' Workers Administration, and Ilaignarkal School, Auroville, India, long-serving development worker and coordinator in the Auroville bioregional context.


Contact: src@auroville.org.in  and/or thomas@dataweb.nl 


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