Reform is a Right.


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About Us

Institute of Perception Studies (IPS), New Delhi, is a research organization dedicated to the study and understanding of perception through in-depth and methodologically innovative access of its impact on society and politics.

Perception is opinion and judgment, based on both cognitive and intuitive understanding. Perception is essential for knowledge, and is a gateway for explorations that are inductive, deductive, as well as intuitive, predictive. The Institute of Perception Studies (IPS) unifies the various aspects of the social, political and cultural, to reveal the underlying disparities that societies across the world have accepted as ‘normal’. Citizens are the inadvertent practitioners of perceptions created by the normative and experiential devices of perception-making of politics and policy, evidenced in the sociological and economic distress. However, distress in the contemporary world is under-explained and less understood because of its normalisation through a shared perception of its inevitability and, therefore, invisibility. The main objective of IPS research has been to unravel ‘new distress’ through a redefinition that makes the concept as well as the solutions more inclusive.

Distress understood only through economics neglects a far more wide-spread and insidious version that has come to represent the state of developing democracies like India. While poverty and deprivation may be examples of direct distress, there is an indirect distress prevalent as discontent in society that remains uncharted and, therefore, unaddressed. Even the expression of discontent, notably through the anti-incumbent vote, does not address the indirect distress with the same alacrity and commitment as financial distress of the markets, industry or banks is tackled. Further, such indirect distress is often dismissed by compartmentalizing it within a community or a sector, which assists in diminishing its severity in perception and reach. As a result, the direct distress of corporations and industry has a better chance of recovery than individual distress of citizens when it is reversible, until the long-term neglect changes lives irreversibly and irreparably. The objectives of IPS are the following: One, to redefine distress in Indian democracy beyond its perception. Two, to demarcate different kinds of indirect distress. Three, to find methodologies of distress. Four, to identify interventions that can reverse distress.

IPS Initiatives

Rate The Debate

Rate The Debate (RTD): An media initiative of the IPS that measures perception manufactured by television news. This is India’s only content-based analysis of media through indices such as prime-time debates, anchor analysis and language analysis, among others.


Rural-Urban Distress Reforms and Action (RUDRA): RUDRA is a research initiative to identify new Distress and experiment with solutions. The focal point of Rural Distress has been Farmer Suicides, Farmer Suicide Households, Distress Indicators, Farm Widows, Women Farmers, among others. Urban Distress delves into the infrastructure inequalities in cities, and rights and freedoms of urban citizens.

Hakku Initiative/Channel

Hakku Initiative/Channel is India’s first campaign-based online platform for Social Journalism that that works on finding solutions and with an objective to explore pathways for reforms in social, economic and political spheres.


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Dr. Kota Neelima

Director, IPS

Dr. Kota Neelima

Director, IPS

Dr. Kota Neelima is an author, political scientist, and former journalist, and writes on distress, poverty, gender, electoral reforms and democratic deficit. Dr. Neelima was Senior Research Fellow, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC and is an alumna of Jawaharlal Nehru University and University of Delhi.

She heads the Institute of Perception Studies, New Delhi. The Institute’s Rate The Debate is India’s first content-based rating system for television news. The media watchdog tracks prime time news, TV debates, for hate and bias. Neelima also heads the Hakku Initiative & Channel in Hyderabad. It is India’s only campaign-based, solution-oriented ‘non-news’ YouTube channel. The civic issues of Hyderabad addressed since its inception in 2021 are Monsoon Preparedness, Sanitation Warriors, Open Drains, Forgotten Teachers and the ongoing campaign is on Women’s Safety and Wine Shops in Hyderabad.

The Hakku Campaigns have made a difference due to citizen participation and collaboration with the state government and municipal authorities. Rate the Debate and Hakku Initiative & Channel are based on Dr Neelima’s concepts of ‘Social Journalism’ and ‘Counter Communication’. Neelima has also authored seven books, ranging from poverty to philosophy. Her recent book, Widows of Vidarbha, Making of Shadows (Oxford University Press), is a longitudinal study of farmer suicide households. Two of her books have been optioned for web-series and one has been optioned for a movie.

Citizen Referendum


Activities that we've worked on

Intern/Volunteer Opportunities

Institute of Perception Studies (IPS) offers internships for scholars and students from diverse backgrounds, proficient in language, to work under various IPS programmes and initiatives. Interns will learn project design and project writing (from identification to implementation) specially focused on research methodology. Interns can also get a chance to implement ideas on field or in projects, wherever suitable. If you have innovative research ideas (economic, social, technical) to solve problems of poverty, distress, climate change and if you want to explore or implement these ideas, here is your chance! We are looking for you. Even language will be not a barrier if you have a great idea.  Institute of Perception Studies (IPS) is looking for creative and dynamic interns with different capacity. To apply, please email your resume, and a cover letter to with the subject line: Internship. Please note that applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. We will only reply to you when your application fits our requirements. 

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