Indian Council of Social Science Research

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Indian Council of Social Science Research logo.png
Logo of ICSSR
Established 1969
Chairman Sukhadeo Thorat[1]
Location Aruna Asaf Ali Marg,
New Delhi

Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) is a council in India which promotes research in the field of social sciences. It was established in 1969 as an autonomous body under Government of India with their office in New Delhi.[2] In the same year it started a division called National Social Science Documentation Centre (NASSDOC), whose primary aim is to provide library and information support services.[3] Among the BRICS nation India spends minimum on social science research among which majority goes to ICSSR.[4][5]

The organization supports a network of 29 research institutes, of which 24 are directly funded by ICSSR and 5 are recognized by ICSSR.[6] Notable institutes are


Under its responsive role the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) has an elaborate programme of supporting research to individual scholars by offering them fellowships at different levels in social science disciplines. The disciplines /areas recognised for such support are:

  1. Economics/Commerce/Management/Business Administration;
  2. Sociology and Social Anthropology/Social Work/Demography/Gender Studies;
  3. Political Science/International Relations/Geography/Public Administration;
  4. Psychology/Education/Criminology;
  5. Others- Linguistics/Law etc.

The applicants are requested to indicate under which clubbing of disciplines their proposals falls.


The Objectives of the Programme are:

  • To provide opportunities to social scientists to engage themselves in full-time research on important themes of their choice or to write books about their research;
  • To assist young scholars who have the potential and competence for research to work full-time on their approved research themes;
  • To support doctoral students to pursue and complete their research work.
  • To achieve these objectives, four categories of fellowships are offered /awarded to scholars who are at various levels in their profession: National Fellowships, Senior Fellowships, General Fellowships & Doctoral Fellowships.
  • National Fellowships are offered to eminent social scientists, who have made outstanding contributions to research in their respective fields, to enable them to continue their academic work further. There is no age bar for this category of fellowship.
  • Senior Fellowships are awarded to social scientists, no age limit, who have done quality research work, publications and papers in professional journals to their credit. Besides, civil servants, journalists and social workers known for their academic interests are also considered.
  • General Fellowships are awarded to scholars, preferably below the age of 50 years, who have shown significant promise and competence for research work, have completed their Ph.D. or have done equivalent research work of merit and desire to work on approved research themes at institutions of excellence under the guidance of senior social scientists.
  • Doctoral Fellowships are open to doctoral students, preferably below the age of 35 years, who have a Master's degree from a recognized university with a first or second class and are registered for a doctoral degree in social sciences.
  • Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), provides grants to scholars to conduct research in various fields of social sciences which have a theoretical, conceptual, methodological or policy orientation on the subject of their choice. The research projects may belong to any one of the following social science disciplines or may be interdisciplinary in nature: the recognized disciplines / category are:

(i) Economics / Commerce / Management / Business Administration; (ii) Sociology and Social Anthropology / Social Work / Demography / Gender Studies; (iii) Political Science / International Relations / Geography / Public Administration; (iv) Psychology / Education /Criminology; (v) Other-Linguistics / legal Studies / National Security Studies etc.

International collaboration[edit]

The Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), through its International Collaboration Programme, invests significant time and energy in developing collaborative links with social scientists, social science organizations and academic institutions in India and overseas. Over the years, the Council has built strong international links established through research collaborations and professional leadership with scholars working in other countries. The focus has been on developing close and continuing relationships with social scientists and social science organizations, and other professional communities across the globe.

Renewal, strengthening and expansion of the frontiers of academic collaboration with an international focus and linkage have become buzzwords at the ICSSR. Developing and focusing on regional and international links has been on its agenda for quite some time now.

Research survey and publications[edit]

The Research Survey and Publication Division (RSP) takes care of the Council’s Research Survey Programme and Publications. Publication has an important role to play in the promotion of research activities in the field of social sciences. The Council has an extensive programme of publication.

Monitoring of the progress of research in social science is as important as the research itself. Having realised this basic reality, the Council has undertaken the task of surveying developments in the various fields of social sciences in right earnest through publishing Journals of Abstracts and Reviews in the disciplines of Economics, Geography, Political Science, Psychology and Sociology and Social Anthropology and its programme of Research Survey. Besides, there are various other activities which include: Organizing the Annual Vikram Sarabhai Memorial Award and Lecture; making grants available to social science professional organizations either to partially meet their day-to-day maintenance and development cost or to run their journals; selling and distributing the publications of the ICSSR; providing subsidy to the publishers bringing out dissertations and other manuscripts duly approved by the ICSSR etc.


The Council has already published, in addition to a number of journals, over 350 books, pamphlets and monographs. The publications result from different programmes of the Council, such as : Survey of Research in Social Sciences; Studies on Alternatives in Development; Research Projects; Sponsored Programmes; Fellowships; Conferences, Workshops and Seminars; International Collaboration, etc.

Journals of Abstracts and Reviews[edit]

ICSSR brings out Journals of Abstracts and Reviews, bi-annually, in five disciplines, viz., Economics, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and Social Anthropology. Also, it collaborates with Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), New Delhi, and Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, in the publication of two quarterly journals, namely, ‘Documentation in Public Administration' and 'Vikalpa', respectively. The council is digitizing the information.

Research Surveys[edit]

Over the years, it has become one of the Council’s major activities. In the process, those areas that deserve more attention, the so-called neglected segments, are identified and efforts are made to fill the gaps by sponsoring specific types of research. The disciplines that have been covered under the Research Survey Programme are Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Geography, Education, Sociology and Social Anthropology. All the surveys have been published by the Council either on its own or through commercial publishers.

Occasional Monograph Series[edit]

Under its scheme of 'Occasional Monograph Series', ICSSR brings out occasional monographs on themes of contemporary relevance and national importance.

Outstanding Reports[edit]

The ICSSR publishes outstanding fellowship and research project reports; survey reports and documentation works; or any other manuscript worthy of publication (a list of publications may be seen at Annexure-VI).

Publication Subsidy[edit]

The ICSSR provides subsidy to publishers to publish doctoral dissertations, research reports and books. The approved Ph.D. dissertations or research reports in publishable form are eligible to receive subsidy for publication. Sometimes, ICSSR bears the entire responsibility of publishing a manuscript on its own or through the cooperation of some commercial publisher.


  1. ^ ICSSR Council members. Official website. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  2. ^ ICSSR at a glance. Official website. Retrieved 10 January 2017
  3. ^ National Social Science Documentation Centre. Official website. Retrieved 10 January 2017
  4. ^ Areeba Falak (12 November 2016). "'India spends lowest on social research'". Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  5. ^ Nagesh Prabhu (26 December 2016). "Research in social sciences takes a beating owing to poor funding: Study". The Hindu. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  6. ^ List of Research Institutes. Official website. Retrieved 10 January 2017

External links[edit]