Indian Council of Social Science Research

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Indian Council of Social Science Research

Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) was established in the year of 1969 by the Government of India to promote research in social sciences in the country. It supports a network of 27 ICSSR research institutes, including:


The Council was meant to:

  • Review the progress of social science research and give advice to its users;
  • Sponsor social science research programmes and projects and administer grants to institutions and individuals for research in social sciences;
  • Institute and administer scholarships and fellowships for research in social sciences;
  • Indicate areas in which social science research is to be promoted and adopt special measures for development of research in neglected or new areas;
  • Give financial support to institutions, associations, and journals engaged in social science research;
  • Arrange for technical training in research methodology and to provide guidance for research;
  • Co-ordinate research activities and encourage programmes for interdisciplinary research;
  • Develop and support centers for documentation services and supply of data;
  • Organize, sponsor, and finance seminars, workshops and study groups;
  • Undertake publication and assist publication of journals and books in social sciences;
  • Advise the Government of India on all matters pertaining to social science research as may be referred to it from time to time; and take such measures generally as may be necessary from time to time to promote social science research and its utilization.


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.

The scholars are requested to indicate under which category / disciplines their proposals falls.

Duration and Value

Grant-in-aid, under the Research Projects Scheme, is available for the research proposals with a time duration ranging from 3 – 24 months. The budget estimates for these proposals are required to be prepared on the basis of the guidelines given at Annexure I.

Eligibility for the Grant

Professional social scientists having significant publications to their credit are eligible for this grant. However, some other categories of scholars such as civil servants, journalists, social workers, etc. known for their academic interests and with a record of publications may also apply under the scheme. A research proposal on any theme having significant social science content, is required to be submitted in the prescribed format (Annexure II) by an individual scholar or a team of scholars through his/her employer.

Retired/Unemployed scholars may submit their proposals directly. Subsequently, they would be required to affiliate themselves to a reputed academic institution or a university.

This grant-in-aid would normally be available only for scholars below the age of 70 years.

Procedure for Award

Research project proposals will be evaluated by a Committee of Experts set up for each social science discipline/ category. The committee will meet twice, first in the month of July to shortlist the applications and second in August to give marking on a ten-point scale after interacting with the short listed applicants. The recommendations of the Committee will be placed before the Research Committee for final decision. The Research Committee considers, but is not bound by the judgments of the external assessors. In a few cases, the proposals may also be referred to the Council. All recommendations are normally subject to approval by the Council.

Submission of Proposals

Research proposals will be invited each year, through some national dailies. EPW, University News and the ICSSR Web-site in the month of April each year. The complete proposals including the following documents should reach to the ICSSR by 15th JUNE.

Self-contained Research Proposal (Five Copies. See Annexure II for Format).

Summary of Research Proposal in 500 Words (Five Copies) See Annexure VI for Format.

Bio-Data (Five Copies. See Annexure III for Format).

Cost Estimation (Five Copies. See Annexure I for Budget Format and Approved Rates of Project Staff).

Consent Letter from the Affiliating Institute (See Annexure IV for Format).

Profile of the Affiliating Institute for NGO/Societies and other unrecognized Institutes (See Annexure V for Format).

N.B. The research proposals along with the above documents is to be submitted to  : The Director, Research Projects Division, ICSSR, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, JNU Institutional Area, New Delhi.- 110067


The Project Director will get the project affiliated to a reputed institution/university/college of his/her choice (with the approval of the ICSSR) through which the project money will be released (See Annexure II for preparing Research Proposal).

Release of Grant

The sanctioned grant is normally released to the institute/university in three to six installments, depending upon the duration of the project. The first instalment (which can be up to 40% of the grant) is released after the approval of the Project and receipt of acceptance by the Project Director, along with a tentative breakup of expenditure for the first phase of the project. Subsequent grants are released on the basis of the receipt of progress reports, including financial statement of the use of the grant. Twenty per cent of the grant (including 7.5% of the overhead charges payable to the affiliating institute) is withheld and is released only after the submission of the Project Report and Audited Statement of Accounts and their approval by the Council.

Progress Report

The Project Director will submit to the Council, Six Monthly Progress Report of the project along with a certified statement of expenditure actually incurred and an estimate of expenditure for the next quarter/six months in the prescribed form (See Annexure VII ). The release of subsequent instalment is subject to satisfactory progress of the work.

Final Report

The Project Director is required to submit three copies of the Project Report to the Council on completion of the project. The Council may, after scrutiny of the report, request the Project Director to revise the report. The Project Director is also required to submit a Summary of the report in 2000 to 5000 words and policy implications of the study in not more than 1000 words.

Preservation of Data

The affiliating institution shall make suitable arrangements for preservation of data such as filled-in schedules, tabulation sheets, manuscripts, report etc., relating to the project. The Council reserves the right to demand raw data or such part of it as may be specified to be transferred to the Council.

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.

Cultural Exchange Programmes (CEPs)[edit]

The Council is one of the implementing agencies for the social sciences component of the 'Cultural Exchange Agreements' signed by the Government of India with other countries. Presently, it has major Cultural Exchange Programmes with the following countries:

  1. Russia
  2. France
  3. China

Academic Contacts with organizations/Countries not Covered under CEPs

  1. Australia
  2. Japan
  3. Republic of Korea
  4. Mexico
  5. South Africa
  6. Sri Lanka
  7. Vietnam

Professional contacts and long-term collaborative programmes with Academy of Social Science in Australia, Canberra, Human Science Research Council (HSRC), now called, National Research Foundation, Pretoria, South Africa and the Japan Society for Promotion of Sciences (JSPS), Tokyo, El Collegio de Mexico, Mexico City, Korean Research Foundation, Seoul, Vietnam Academy of Social Science, Hanoi, for organizing joint seminars, projects, exchange of scholars and joint publications, etc. Social science contacts with Israel, Taiwan and Sri Lanka have also been initiated.

Collaboration with Multilateral Organisations[edit]

The ICSSR is also a member of the International Social Science Council (ISSC), Paris, Association of Asian Social Science Research Council (AASSREC), Science Council of Asia, Japan and International Federation of Social Sciences Organisation (IFSSO). The Council participates in the activities of UNESCO's programme called Management of Social Transformation (MOST).

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.

National Social Science Documentation Centre - NASSDOC[edit]

India's National Social Science Documentation Centre (NASSDOC), was established in 1969 as a Division of the ICSSR with the objective to provide library and information support services to researchers in social sciences; those working in academic institutions, autonomous research organisations, policy making, planning and research units of government departments, business and industry etc. NASSDOC also provides guidance to libraies of ICSSR Regional Centres and ICSSR supported Research Institutes.

Facilities Available at NASSDOC[edit]

  1. Documentation Library and Reference Service;
  2. Collection of unpublished doctoral dissertations, research project reports, current and old volumes of social science journals of Indian and foreign origin;
  3. Literature Search Service from printed and digital databases, i.e. CD-ROMS, floppies, Online database etc.;
  4. Compilation of short bibliographies on request;
  5. Study grant to doctoral students for collection of research material from various libraries located in different parts of India;
  6. Financial assistance is provided for taking up bibliographical and documentation projects;
  7. Document Delivery Service is provided by procuring books and journals on Inter-library loan or by photocopying the documents;
  8. Short-term training courses are organized for the research scholars, social scientists, librarians and IT professionals to acquaint them with the latest information and communication technology;and
  9. Cyber Cafe, to facilitate access to internet resources on social sciences.

Indian Institute of Economics[edit]

The Indian Institute of Economics was established in 1953, as a National Centre for Theoretical and Applied Economic Research, as an autonomous Not-for-Profit Society registered under the Public Societies Registration Act 1350F with No. 5/1953 dated 7 March 1953.

In pursuance of its objectives, the Institute has established a Library with over twelve thousand volumes. It receives about forty Indian and International Journals.

Its focus is on empirical research, evaluation and assessment studies. In the last five decades, the IIE, has carried out over 150 research studies and surveys financed by the Government of A.P. various Ministries, of Government of India, ICSSR and Public Sector Undertakings. It is an accredited Research Institution of Osmania University, Hyderabad and Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati for research scholars to pursue M.Phil and Ph.D courses.

The Institute publishes an International Journal ASIAN ECONOMIC REVIEW.

Its membership is open in three categories. ≤≥


External links[edit]