The Centre for Bhutan Studies (CBS) was established in 1999 through an executive order COM/02/52 of 11 November 1998 from Lyonpo Jigmi Y. Thinley, then the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, subsequent to the approval of the Council of Ministers, the highest executive body in the Royal Government of Bhutan.
The Centre was officially inaugurated on 25 March 1999.
The objectives of the Centre are to,
1. Conduct evaluative studies on existing programmes of the government and provide feedback on the basis of which the Royal Government can improve programmes and policies.
2. Support basic research by other agencies in Bhutan.
3. Conduct inter-disciplinary studies of Bhutan in its social, cultural, and economics aspects, focussing largely, but not exclusively, on contemporary issues.
4. Act as a clearing-house of information on various studies and researches being conducted in Bhutan and abroad by foreign institutes. Within Bhutan, the Centre will maintain a close research alliance with other people and institutes engaged in similar activities.
5. Generate programme proposals or writings, as assigned by the Council for the Centre.
6. Host special lectures and seminars on themes related to its charge by Bhutanese, and by foreign scholars who visit Bhutan for whatever reasons.
7. Commission studies or research by Bhutanese scholars, related to its charge
8. Publish the Journal of Bhutan Studies and other research papers.
9. Serve as a vehicle to train individuals in research skills to analyse, in particular, contemporary issues.
The Centre is an autonomous body governed by Tsa-thrim (a set of rules and regulations) approved by the Council of Ministers. It is headed by the President Dasho Karma Ura.