The Indian Council of Social Science
Research, an autonomous organisation, was established by the Government of India in 1969. It, in turn, established the Western Regional Centre (WRC) with the approval of the Government of Maharashtra in January 1973 in collaboration with the University of Mumbai on the new campus of the University of Mumbai at
It consists of three buildings – a wing of the Jawaharlal Nehru Library (1976), the ICSSR Hostel Building (1976) and the J. P. Naik Bhavan (1983). The ICSSR Conference Hall is located on the ground floor of the J. P. Naik Bhavan.
During the last thirty years, the WRC has grown into a fine and exceedingly useful institution. In fact, it has now been recognised as one of the best and most developed Regional Centres of the ICSSR in the entire country.
Organisation of the WRC
An Advisory Committee consisting of eminent social scientists belonging to the universities and research institutes in the states of
Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa with the Vice-Chancellor of the Mumbai University as its Chairman has been constituted for advising the Centre on the planning and development of its
The WRC also has a Local Consultative Committee consisting of five social scientists locally available in Mumbai to advise and guide
in planning and administering the activities of the Centre.
Objectives of the WRC
The ICSSR has before it the primary objective of promoting research in social sciences. Social science research in the country has a long history. Valuable contributions have been made by scholars of outstanding ability and international repute in their own fields. Research has made strides both in regard to conceptualisation of problems and empirical analyses.
Despite a covetable past, much work is to be done through seminars. The progress in various social sciences has been fairly rapid in recent times. Many disciplines are developing research tools to attain precision in defining problems and analysing them. To keep pace with the progress in different fields and to attain still greater heights in knowledge,
organised, consistent and continuous research work has to be done. Many more scholars have, therefore, to be drawn into the research mainstream.
The knowledge and equipment related to research have to be carried even to remote areas and to young minds with good potential. The objective of promoting research among them can be better achieved by encouraging a research mindset through building a bridge of knowledge extending from areas of excellence to areas of untapped potentials. Quiet and continuous work by researchers spread over vast areas would enrich people’s understanding in various disciplines of social sciences.
Aims of the WRC
To build up a stock of social science research material, which is available on microfilm, and provide and maintain the necessary equipment for its use;
To subscribe to periodicals in social sciences that are not available in Mumbai University with a view to making a net addition to the research resources available in the western region; maintain essential bibliographical and documentation services for research workers;
Collect social science material in Marathi and Gujarati in addition to those in English;
n To maintain a hostel where social scientists (university teachers, college teachers, doctoral students in social sciences or other research workers in the field) can stay at a minimal cost;
Operate a study grant scheme under which travel costs and local maintenance charges at the prescribed rates are given to social scientists who come to Mumbai to avail themselves of the research material available, in accordance with the rules framed by the
Set up a panel of consultants approved by the ICSSR who will provide guidance and advice to junior researchers for undertaking research;
Organise training courses in Research Methodology in the social sciences as approved by the ICSSR from time to time;
Hold summer school in social sciences and organise seminars and discussions among social scientists with the idea of promoting research;
Maintain a data library;
Develop a repository programme;
Arrange lectures, seminars and discussions for Indian social scientists with the help of eminent social scientists; and
to undertake any other programme designed to promote and facilitate social science research in the region.
The WRC, in pursuance of its aims and objectives, conducts research methodology courses, seminars, and workshops, receives foreign visitors, administers study grant, acquires books and other material on deposit basis, purchases books and journals, maintains a bibliographical unit, operates clearing-cum-documentation services, provides hostel facilities, etc.
In addition to the seminars and lectures conducted by foreign social scientists, the WRC organises and aids seminars, workshops, conferences, lectures and the like in different parts of the western region.
Acquisition of Theses
The WRC acquires dissertations from the scholars by paying them a sum of Rs. 600 on behalf of the National Social Science Documentation Centre of the ICSSR. Dessertations in regional languages are retained by the Centre while their synopses in English are sent to the NASSDOC. Dissertations in English are sent to the NASSDOC, New Delhi. So far, the WRC has acquired 149 theses.
Acquisition of Collections
The Centre has so far acquired the following collection of books on deposit/donation basis:
1. Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, 19,500
2. Late Dr. A. R. Desai’s collection, 2,896
3. Late Shri Sudhir Das Gupta’s collection, 1,700
4. Late Dr. V. G. Dihe’s collection, 500
5. Bombay Geographical Association, 500
6. Shri D. M. Sukhtankar, 118
Purchase of Books and Journals
The Centre purchased a number of books for the library of the University. Books received on gratis are also sent to the library. So far, 5,363 books have been added to the WRC’s collection in the Jawaharlal Nehru Library of the University of Mumbai.
The WRC subscribes to a number of foreign and Indian journals in social sciences not subscribed by the University, thus increasing the stock of social science material for research. For the period upto 1996, 91 journals were subscribed to, 62 foreign and 29 Indian. But with the escalating cost of subscription of the foreign journals, since 1997, 25 journals are being subscribed to, 18 foreign and 7 Indian.
The primary objective of the Centre is to improve the research capacity of scholars and potential research workers in the region so as to encourage research in social sciences all over the region. During the last 28 years, the Centre has sponsored 375 seminars/workshops and conferences in different parts of the western region.
The purpose of the Study Grant is mainly to provide financial assistance to doctoral students in the field of social sciences in order to enable them to visit Mumbai and consult libraries & specialists for their research purpose. The assistance under the Study Grant scheme is given to research scholars who are registered in any Indian University for a Ph.D. or D.Litt. degree in social science and who do not receive any fellowships or other assistance carrying travel or contingency grant from any other agency. The period of stay of the selected scholars is not ordinarily less than two weeks but should not exceed six weeks. The awardee is paid Rs. 150 as daily allowance. In addition to this, the selected scholars are paid their to and fro second-class railway fare.
Scholars from all over India have taken advantage of this facility. So far, 620 scholars have availed themselves of the Study Grant facility provided by the
The Council awards several types of fellowships to assist social scientists to engage in research on a whole-time basis or to complete research already in progress. Scholars from the western region who are awarded these fellowships by the ICSSR can join the WRC for the purpose of disbursement of their fellowship amount. During the period under report, nine Doctoral Fellows, nine Senior Fellows, three General Fellows and two National Fellows were attached to the
Distinguished foreign social scientists invited to India by the Council under its programme of international collaboration visit the Centre. The Centre takes advantage of their visits and also those of other foreign scholars who happen to visit the city by arranging meetings with specialists, researchers and professionals and by organising seminars/lectures in their respective field of specialisation for the general benefit of interested persons from various fields. So far, 142 foreign academicians have visited the
ICSSR Hostel-cum-Guest House
The ICSSR hostel has proved helpful to the students and scholars wishing to meet other scholars in their field of specialisation and to utilise the research material available in the University library and other libraries in the city. Without these facilities these students/scholars would not have been able to visit the city for research purpose.
The hostel has 21 single rooms, 3 flats and 3 A/C suites. The present hostel charges are: Single Room – Rs. 80 per day; Flats – Rs. 300 per day; A/C suites – Rs. 300 – 500 per day. For the recipients of the Study Grants, bonafied research scholars and employees of the ICSSR we charge only Rs. 70 per day for a single room.