New Delhi: To bring research in social sciences on par with science subjects, the University Grants Commission has recommended creation of a Humanities research board with special funding.
Termed as Social Science/Humanities research board, the panel has recommended it to be autonomous and obtain special budgetary allocation for conducting research in humanities and social sciences.
"For research in the physical and natural sciences in India, a great deal of funding comes from the Ministry of Science and Technology. In contrast, the social sciences/humanities do not receive such organised research funding from the government," the committee headed by professor P. Balaram, former director, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, said in its report.
The committee recommends that the UGC take the initiative in creating a Social Sciences/Humanities Research Board, which should function autonomously, under the umbrella of the UGC and obtain a special budgetary allocation for this purpose," it added.
The report prepared by the four-member committee added that the members of the board must be senior professors, national awardees and academics with proven track record of high-quality publications in the field.
It added that the Board should have regional representation. "The Board may introduce special initiatives which promote inter-university collaborations along the lines of existing inter-university centers set up in specialised areas of science," it added.
The panel has also suggested that it is essential to make the community of researchers from all major streams of knowledge and also various academic and regulatory bodies including the funding bodies, sensitive to the idea that the social, ethical, and legal aspects of their research activities are of emerging concerns worldwide.
"Inter and multi-disciplinary research in Humanities and Social Science could be well addressing the emerging concerns in social, political, economic, and cultural realities of India to deepen our understanding of the same," it has said.
The panel has also recommended setting-up of regional research consortia to ensure interaction among colleges, universities and national institutions. The panel further said that the consortia will also facilitate sharing of resources, equipment and laboratory facilities among the institutions, sharing of library resources and exchange of faculty across these institutions.