For meaningful research in social sciences and related areas, look at the Madhya Pradesh Institute of Social Science Research, Ujjain, and the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar National Institute of Social Sciences, Indore.

Many students in humanities are not aware of the rich opportunities for quality research in their discipline. They often land jobs that have hardly anything to do with their chosen subject of study. We have been trying to bring to their notice several institutions which offer facilities for meaningful research in social sciences and related areas. We now give the details of two more such research institutions.

One is the Madhya Pradesh Institute of Social Science Research. Apart from its significance as a city through which the Tropic of Cancer passes and its links with the great poet Kalidasa, the mythological Guru Sandipani and the giant festival of Kumbh Mela, Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh enjoys a pride of place as a centre of learning. These factors were also in the minds of the founders of the MPISSR: Madhya Pradesh Institute of Social Science Research, 6, Bharatpuri Institutional Area, Dewas Road, Ujjain – 456010; Website: www.mpissr.org.

This autonomous, non-profit, non-political organisation was established in 1983. After 10 years, it was brought under the grant-in-aid scheme of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR). The institute gets support from the government of Madhya Pradesh as well.

The MPISSR promotes research in areas of socio-economic significance, current relevance and policy implications. Some of the examples are tribal development, Panchayat Raj, rural development, environmental issues, industrial development and education. It carries out training and extension work related to the development and welfare of women, children and other weaker sections of the society. It conducts evaluation studies on development programmes and schemes. It offers consultancy services to the Union and the State governments. Priority is often laid on issues of Madhya Pradesh. Some of the studies are sponsored by governmental and non-governmental organisations, international agencies and foundations.

Thrust areas of research:

Castes and tribes.

Development and deprivation.

Education.

Gender studies.

Information technology and society.

New economic policy and society.

Panchayati Raj and rural development.

Social justice, democracy and human rights.

Studies in environment.

Let us now look at some of the specific areas of studies undertaken, so as to get a clear picture of what awaits prospective researchers in the institution.

Agricultural productivity and employment gains in watershed projects.

Changing pattern of matrimonial processes.

Chronic poverty in remote tribal areas.

Complementarities between interventions of government and NGOs in

enhancing capabilities of women in rural India.

Development and deprivation in lagging States.

Economic growth and human development.

Effectiveness of remedial teaching at the elementary level.

Evaluation of schemes related to education and health for the conservation and development of a primitive tribal group.

Impact of self-help group on economic empowerment and social autonomy of women.

Livelihood and seasonal migration.

Management of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

Monitoring of the mid-day meal scheme.

Monitoring of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

Multi-centric study on the role of parent-teacher associations in school management.

Need assessment and situational analysis study for Childline.

Parent teacher associations in the development of schools and ensuring quality teaching.

Post-poll survey: Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections.

Teacher absence in primary and upper primary schools.

Watershed management in Madhya Pradesh.

Doctoral research

The MPISSR is a recognised centre for research leading to Ph.D. in Political Science, Economics, Geography and Sociology. The institute offers three ICSSR institutional doctoral fellowships annually to pursue Ph.D. on topical issues of social sciences. It also offers guidance and research facilities to scholars under the open category and the Junior Research Fellowship and the Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship of the University Grants Commission.

The second institution is the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar National Institute of Social Sciences (BANISS). This institute of social sciences has a unique feature. It is guided by the views, ideals, thoughts and philosophy of Dr. Ambedkar.

The mandate of the institute is to work for the development of society in general and that of the weaker sections in particular, through its research, teaching, training, sensitisation and extension programmes.

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar National Institute of Social Sciences, Agra-Mumbai National Highway No. 3, Dongargaon, Dr. Ambedkar Nagar, Indore – 453 441; Website: www.baniss.co.in.

This was established at Mhow, the birthplace of Ambedakar, in 1988 by the government of Madhya Pradesh. It provides facilities for specialised teaching courses, research, extension, sensitisation and training in social sciences. It is supported by the State government and the ICSSR.

Objectives

Implementing schemes for the most underprivileged groups.

Studying socio-economic inequality, disability and discrimination, especially those arising out of the caste system — causation, perpetuation and resistance to change.

Studying government and non-government interventions for the alleviation and eradication of social disparities and injustice and for the development and empowerment of socially disadvantaged groups, especially the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, women and children.

Studying the work of various thinkers and practitioners who have made significant contributions in the area of development and empowerment of socially disadvantaged groups.

Undertaking extension works in the area of removal of social disparities, and development and empowerment of socially disadvantaged groups.

Sensitising and training persons in the formulation and implementation of programmes and interventions aimed at removal of social disparities.

Conducting programmes of education at the postgraduate and higher levels and of research in areas of social sciences in related relevant fields.

Disseminating the findings and results of the work done by the institute.

Providing consultancy and advice to the Government of Madhya Pradesh and other interested organisations in the area of development and empowerment of socially disadvantaged groups.

Areas of research

Evaluation and impact of policies and programmes.

Handicraft artisans.

Labour migration, bonded labour and their rehabilitation.

Religion, conversion and values.

Religious minorities and identification of backwardness.

Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Panchayat Raj; Special Component Plan and Tribal Sub Plan.

Scavengers and their rehabilitation.

Social segregation, untouchability and atrocities.

Status and problems of women and children.

Thrust areas

Dr. Ambedkar’s thought and philosophy.

Development of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes.

Rural development and Panchayat Raj.

Social development and justice.

Women and child development.

Those who aspire to conduct studies and research in areas covering development and empowerment of socially disadvantaged groups, with special references to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, and women and children will enjoy the congenial atmosphere and facilities offered by BANISS.

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