Centre for Multi-disciplinary Development Research (CMDR) is an autonomous social science research institute recognised and financially supported by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India as well as Government of Karnataka.

The Centre for Multi-disciplinary Development Research (CMDR) has been functioning since 1976 at Dharwad as an autonomous not for profit research organisation. It has been registered in 1980 under the Society’s Registration Act. The aims and objectives of the Centre include, among others, conducting research on issues of socio-economic development, and decentralised planning at the sub-regional, regional and national levels in a multi-disciplinary framework, covering economic, social, political and cultural dimensions of human behaviour There is also an attempt to combine judiciously the conceptual and empirical perceptions in its research studies. The Centre has aims to examine the relevance of the received theories in social sciences which have alien origins and form new theories and conceptual frames of greater relevance to Indian conditions.

Setting up of CMDR was inspired by the advice of a band of dedicated and eminent social scientists. Being located in Dharwad, which combines both urban and semi-rural features, the Centre has the unique advantage of providing a suitable environment for the analysis of the socio-economic problems of the rural people and regional economy at the grass root level. Hitherto, there has been an unusual concentration of research institutions in urban and metropolitan areas in the country. Further, there is no adequate effort made to induct multi-disciplinary approach in the analysis of the socio-economic problems of the people. In North Karnataka, there is a significant scope for strengthening the institutional infrastructure for conducting socio-economic analysis of regional problems. Considering these needs and the unique features of CMDR, the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi, an all India apex body created by Govt. of India to promote social science research in the country, recognized CMDR as a national level research institute for social science research.