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About VIDS

Visthar Institute of Development Studies – VIDS

VIDS is an educational institution, based in Bangalore, offering specialised courses of study, undertaking research in similar areas and community extension ensure services, applying a trans disciplinary approaches to learning. The institute operates through three centres. Centre for / of Counter Culture and Communication, Centre for Gender and Diversity and Centre for environment Sustainability. VIDS is the new avatar of the erstwhile Visthar Academy of Justice and Peace.


Visthar is registered as a Trust (81/89 – 90) in 1989. Spanning three decades, Visthar has promoted three institutions, VIDS being the primary, the other two are Bandhavi and the Conference and Retreat Centre (CRC).

All three institutions are autonomous with independent governance structures.  While Bandhavi is based in Koppal and engaged in community advocacy, CRC is situated in an Eco Sanctuary based out of Bangalore.

Vision and Mission

Our vision is of communities that affirm diversity, equity, sustainability and peace with justice.

Mission: To facilitate and promote transformative learning and social research as a response to gender discrimination, social exclusion, violence of development in collaboration with educational institutions, faith based organizations and social movements.

Affiliations, Accreditations, and Partnerships:

VIDS is affiliated to the Kannada University (Hampi) and the Bangalore (North) University (State University). Our courses are accredited by the Xavier Institute of Social Service in Ranchi. We have also sustained partnerships with three Liberal Arts Colleges in the US: Gustavus Adolphus College and Concordia College in Minnesota and Davidson College in North Carolina.


Visthar is governed by a Board of Trustees. The Trustees for 2018 – 21 include:

  • Ms. Kirtana Kumar – Chairperson
  • Prof. Muzaffar Asadi – Member
  • Ms. Asma Naseer – Member
  • Dr. Dexter Maben – Member
  • Mr. M Francis – Member
  • Mr. D. Gnanapragasam – Founder and Permanent Invitee
  • Ms. Mercy Kappen – Member and Director
  • Dr. David Selvaraj – Founder and Executive Trustee

The Visthar Institute of Development Studies is also accountable to an Academic Council that includes:

  • Dr. Theodore Baskaran
  • Prof. Jeevan Kumar
  • Prof. Muzaffar Asadi
  • Prof. Uday Kumar
  • Ms. Kirtana Kumar
  • Mr. Roshen Chandran
  • Ms. Kiran Bhatia
  • Prof. D. Davidappa
  • Dr.  Brinille D’souza
  • Dr.  Mini Sukumar
  • Mr. Sudhir Selvaraj
  • Ms. Mercy Kappen
  • Dr.  David Selvaraj
  • Rev. Christopher Samuel

Our Partners

Our partners in Karnataka are

  1. Bandhavi (Visthar Community Resource Centre), an independent and autonomous organisation engaged in community based advocacy and field based research.
  2. Conference and Resource Centre (CRC), a social entrepreneurship unit focusing on hospitality services. An independent and autonomous unit, it is an ideal site for conferences, trainings and workshops.

Besides the above, we partner with developmental organisations and universities in India and overseas.

Our international partners include:

  1. ‘Another Development’ based in Sweden
  2. Gustavus Adolphus College
  3. Concordia College – Liberal Arts Colleges based in Mn. USA
  4. Davidson College – Liberal Arts College based in N. Carolina – USA
  5. KIA
  6. KNH
  7. AJWS