Sibal outlines a five point plan to promote social sciences; this includes 10 annual Amartya Sen awards similar to Bhatnagar awards given to scientists.

The following is from http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=80127.

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.

February 7th, 2012

Regional Institute of Education Mysore offers 6 yrs M.Sc Ed integrated program. What about RIE Bhubaneswar?

Following is an excerpt from a report in Times of India.

The MSC Ed, an integrated six-year course (12 semesters), introduced in 2008 is the right way to master teaching skills. Offering quality teacher education programmes is the Regional Institute of Education that include innovative pre-service and in-service teacher training programmes and relevant research, development and extension activities.

The institute started as Regional College of Education in 1963, changed the name in 1994. It is one of the five such institutions established by the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT), New Delhi. The other institutes are located at Ajmer, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar and Shilong.

Prior to the six-year course, there was a two-year MSC Ed course for those who had completed BSC Ed, said Regional Institute of Education Principal GT Bhandage. "It had a good response and the students from all over the country would appear for the entrance exam. This course was conceived essentially to meet the demand of the higher secondary level in specific subjects like physics, chemistry and mathematics. Students who have passed out from this course were absorbed by Navodaya and Kendriya Vidyalaya," added Bhandage.

In 2008, MSC Ed course was introduced after completion of II PUC or equivalent. The idea was to catch them young and train them with pedagogic skills and develop adequate content competency crucial to a teacher education programme, said Bhandage.

The six years integrated course is a combination of BSc and MSC. The first four years, students study physics, chemistry and mathematics while in fifth and final year they can choose a specialization subject.

After completion of the course one can get into Higher Secondary Schools or can do research.

… The admissions are made on all India basis through an entrance exam. The selection will be based on the performance in the qualifying exam and entrance exam.

For details log on to www.riemysore.ac.in or call 514515/ 2514095.

RIE Mysore has a website at www.riemysore.ac.in. I have not been able to find a web site for RIE Bhubaneswar. I wonder if RIE Bhubaneswar offers such a course.


Considering the implementation of RTE, there is a big need for more and better trained teachers and educational administrators (headmasters, principals, vice-principals, etc.). To achieve that the government of India should upgrade the RIEs to National Institutes of Education and make them Institutions of National Importance. This will attract the attention of more good students towards a teaching and teaching administration career. The government should incraese the number of seats and number of programs in these institutes and intrdoce programs for creating top-notch Educational administrators.

1 comment April 14th, 2010

Pitroda proposes $500 million fund to attract star professors

Following is an excerpt from a report in Telegraph.

Former National Knowledge Commission (NKC) chief Sam Pitroda has proposed a $500-million dedicated fund to attract select global academic and research pioneers to India as part of the education reforms.

Pitroda has written to the Prime Minister’s Office proposing a Global Professors’ Fund to lure some of the world’s best brains to teach and pursue research in India, The Telegraph has learnt. …

The proposal, if accepted, will be the first time that India will dedicate a part of its national budget specifically to attract handpicked foreign faculty and researchers. It is likely that the select few will be winners of Nobels, Fields Medals, or other teachers and researchers globally renowned for path-breaking work in their subjects. …

The sum of $500 million Pitroda has proposed amounts to around Rs 2,300 crore at current dollar-to-rupee conversion rates. The amount is greater than the Rs 2,005-crore budget for the 15 Indian Institutes of Technology in 2009-10. …

The human resource development ministry, as a part of a “brain gain” policy, … The policy is a key component of wide-ranging higher education reforms the UPA government has proposed in its second term. Many of the reforms, such as creating a single, overarching higher education regulator and expanding higher education by encouraging private and public-private investments, are outcomes of the NKC’s recommendations during the UPA’s first term.

But Pitroda’s proposal for a professors’ fund effectively argues that mere structural changes — such as amending laws or policies — may be inadequate in luring some of the world’s best faculty and researchers.

February 2nd, 2010


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