The Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) was established in 1969 by the Government of India on the recommendation of the then Planning Commission to encourage, promote and fund research in social sciences in the country. It is an autonomous body functioning under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.

The Council aims to:

  • Review and survey the progress of Social Science Research and advise the Government on policy issues ;
  • Fund and promote Social Science Research in Universities/Colleges/Research Institutes by
  • Providing Ph.D., Post–Doctoral, Senior & National Fellowships to researchers & faculties;
  • Granting Minor, Major & Collaborative Research Projects to faculties;
  • Funding seminars and conferences to disseminate social science research findings;
  • Sponsoring training and capacity building programmes for young researchers and faculties;
  • Providing international travel and data collection grant to scholars and faculties;
  • Encouraging international collaboration in research with foreign countries and funding agencies;
  • Funding publication of journals and books & strengthening professional social science associations/organizations;
  • Providing library, documentation, data and online services for social science research; and
  • Indicate periodic themes in neglected and new critical areas of research;

Major Achievements

During the last 49 years of its existence, the ICSSR has played an important role in the promotion of Social Science Research in the country.

  • It has been funding 24 Research Institutes and six Regional Centres for studying regional issues from multi-disciplinary perspective.
  • Awarded 7538 Doctoral (5515 Full-Term and 2023 Short-Term Fellowships), (2,954 in 2013-14 to 2017-18), 2081 Post-Doctoral (1659 in last five years) 701 Senior (186 in last five years) and 163 National Fellowships (39 in last five years).
  • Provided 6274 Minor, Major and Collaborative Research Projects (1985 in last five years.
  • Funded 3682 National and 945 International seminars (1573 National and 578 International seminars in last five years).
  • Sponsored 1794 scholars for attending seminars abroad, 414 for data collection abroad, 958 exchange of scholars and 92 Joint Research Projects under International Collaborative Programme (719 scholars attended seminars abroad, 219 went for data collection, 97 exchange of scholars and 70 Joint Research Projects in last five years).
  • Signed international collaboration agreements with 11 countries in the form of exchange of scholars, joint research projects/ seminars/ publications.
  • Implementing agency of the social science component of the Cultural Exchange Agreements (CEPs) and Educational Exchange Programmes (EEPs) signed between the Government of India and the governments of other countries.
  • Participated in activities of international social science organizations like United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organisation (UNESCO); International Federation of Social Science Organisations (IFSSO) Philippines; International Social Science Council (ISSC), Paris etc.
  • Sponsored 893 Training & Capacity Building Programmes (366 in last five years).
  • Provided services like library, documentation, organising training courses, access to e-resources through NASSDOC to several thousand scholars and faculties.
  • Conducted six round of surveys of current state of research in social science disciplines namely Economics, Political Science, Sociology and Social Anthropology, Geography and Psychology in the country.
  • Advised Government of India on matters pertaining to social science research in the country including collaborative arrangements with foreign agencies. g Newton-Vivekanand program with UK and carried out specific studies for the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (Educational status of SCs), Ministry of Minority Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs etc.
  • Considerable presence of ICSSR studies and references in various policy documents of the Ministries, Planning Commission and Media Reports.
  • Significant involvement of social science researchers from ICSSR as members or chairpersons of important policy forums such as working groups and technical committees.