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Social science research more than doubled in five years, says education ministry

Delhi University admits 54,000 undergraduate students in various courses across over 60 colleges. Photo: Hindustan Times (Hindustan Times)Premium
Delhi University admits 54,000 undergraduate students in various courses across over 60 colleges. Photo: Hindustan Times
(Hindustan Times)

  • India ranks first among South Asian countries and 8th at the global level in social science research, according to SCOPUS an international database of peer-reviewed literature
  • The ministry of education has disbursed 1,119.31 crore between 2015-16 and 2019- 20 to promote social science research

NEW DELHI: The Union education ministry said on Friday that social science research in the country has witnessed significant improvement between 2015 and 2020 and research publication has gone up by 140% during the period.

India’s social science publications have risen from 10,500 in year 2015 to 25,811 by October 2020, the education ministry told the Parliament on Friday and added that 1,119 crore has been released in the last five years for social science research.

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“The social science research in the country has shown significant improvement during the last 5 years. As per the international database [of peer-reviewed literature] of SCOPUS, India stands at 1st position amongst South Asian countries and at 8th rank at global level in social science research," the ministry said in a written reply.

Further, to support the social science research in the higher educational institutions and to enable research to guide policy making, a scheme titled Impactful Policy Research in Social Science (IMPRESS) has been launched, the ministry said. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has also launched the Scheme for Trans-disciplinary Research for India’s Developing Economy, or STRIDE, which also, inter-alia, aims to empower research and development and significant improvement in social science research in the country.

“Various schemes are being implemented by the ministry of education for promoting research in the social sciences through its research councils like Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Delhi, Indian Council Of Historical Research (ICHR), Delhi and Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR), Delhi, etc. for which 1,119.31 crore have been released during 2015-16 to 2019- 20," the ministry added.

In India, social science research and publications were not a talking point since the numbers were low earlier and the focus was largely on research in the domains of science and technology, and engineering. The shift towards multidisciplinary education and the New Education Policy's emphasis on comprehensive and liberal education may give further push to social science research and publications.

However, the ministry said that it is currently not considering any proposal “for establishment of any new social science institution in the country.

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