Sibal outlines a five point plan to promote social sciences; this includes 10 annual Amartya Sen awards similar to Bhatnagar awards given to scientists.
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Five-Point Agenda for Rejuvenating Social Science Research Announced
Shri Kapil Sibal inaugurates International Conference on Indian Social Sciences in the Changing World: Roles, Responsibilities and Reforms Shri Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Human Resource Development announced a five-point agenda for rejuvenating social science research in the country. He was speaking at the inaugural of the ‘International Conference on Indian Social Sciences in the Changing World: Roles, Responsibilities and Reforms’. He said, “Firstly, we need to attract bright minds to social science research in the country. To that end, ICSSR shall proceed to develop a Fellowship scheme for embedding young scholars in the universities interested in pursuit of social science research. Simultaneously, we also need to enhance both the quantum and number of fellowships awarded every year.”
“Secondly, ICSSR can create a network of eminent academics to collaborate on creation of academic content including publications of texts, digests and manuscripts in specific areas in social sciences. These manuscripts would provide an inexpensive aid to teachers and students in social sciences and would be available in different languages. The manuscripts could be delivered electronically leveraging on the gains of the National Knowledge Network which aims to interlink all institutions of higher learning with an information super-highway.”
“Thirdly, ICSSR could take the lead to develop a Social Sciences Knowledge and Research Network as an open source, virtual assembly of research papers of quality. This Network could host peer reviewed research papers and Ph.D theses in social sciences, both priced and free, depending on the choice of the author. The SSKRN could also provide authorised translations of hosted research papers in various languages for the community of researchers in the country.”
“Fourth, in order to develop capacity in new and frontier areas of trans-disciplinary research, ICSSR could establish a National Social Science Research Innovation Centre. The Centre could identify innovative research methodologies in frontier areas of knowledge and assist in building a network for carrying forward the research interests of institutions, scholars and teachers.”
“Fifth, while the field of sciences recognises advances through research through the Bhatnagar Awards, there is no comparative recognition to high quality research in social sciences. We propose to institute ten annual awards to recognise advancement of knowledge in social sciences. I hope that due recognition to social scientists and their contributions would spur thousands of aspiring scholars in the future.” These awards will be known as the Amartya Sen Awards.
Shri Sibal also stated that the functioning of the ICSSR has been reviewed by an eminent group of social scientists. He said that the Committee has given valuable suggestions which are intended to be taken forward in the Twelfth Plan. He also underlined the need for greater research in areas such as agriculture and defence, where inadequate research is done at present. He also pointed out that the government would continue funding these research institutes, as at present there is no other source of funding for them.
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